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Old 11-20-13, 03:40 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jeff5may View Post
...The envelope has been sealed up to "acceptable" levels...
What does this mean? "Acceptable" to who? Any numbers??

I think Daox's strategy of turning on all the exhaust fans and scouting for leaks would be a great start. A case of cans of foam, and one of those IR leak finders would come into play here.

Next, I'd recommend judicious use of bubble wrap on windows. If they're double or single hung... on the lower panes of most windows.

Originally Posted by jeff5may View Post
Not quite energy star, but better than most "affordable" site-built homes are being constructed today in the region.
This is really interesting, because around here, the standards are such that any home built today is much better than most homes built 30+ years ago. And to see what really good homes are like, just go check out a local Habitat for Humanity project, because they really have it going on regarding insulation.

Originally Posted by jeff5may View Post
The 80+ year old ductwork was not replaced when the HVAC system was upgraded from a fuel oil or coal burning furnace/boiler in the early 80's. As usual, the upgraded unit was upsized to push enough airflow for the ancient ductwork. From the whistling registers and vents, it is obvious that the air is just flying through the system. The ducts have been gobbed up with mastic to seal up the leaks, but not insulated. Between the high pressure drop and the exposed ductwork, the auditor estimates that duct losses are 40% or more. The HVAC gets a "D".
This part is really depressing because it reminds me of my place and the wretched old parched air heating system I formerly had. Just thinking about it is almost like post traumatic stress.

Originally Posted by jeff5may View Post
What would you guys recommend as a starting point, assuming the homeowner can swing a couple thousand dollars or so today if it will reduce their utility bill?
So, I'd tell the young couple to do the above loss reduction strategies, and then flush the whole idea of ever retaining and improving central air, and start buying and self-installing mini-splits (not going with a multi-head unit), one at a time, as their budget allows and use the wretched parched air system (set the thermostat lower than on the mini-splits) until they have enough mini-splits to carry the house, then rid themselves of parched air, forever.

Kentucky should be a great place to use mini-splits.

I'm not an HVAC technician. In fact, I'm barely even a hacker...

Last edited by AC_Hacker; 11-20-13 at 03:58 PM..
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