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Monday, February 3,2014

Q: The A/C and heating needs to be remodeled

By Roger Zona
A: The NC house, when built, didn’t have central A/C. It was added several years after being built.  Until then, the house was heated with electric baseboard panels and A/C consisted of opening windows. That can be tolerated for short periods of time, but an A/C system was needed.
The electric baseboard panels had one major asset – each room had its own controls. That makes sense. The northern exposed rooms need heat more than other rooms. Also, I was concerned about the safety of hanging drapes or upholstered furniture placed in front of the panels. Also, the heat was distributed by convection.  There are no fans in the panels.
The A/C system was adequate but would provide only cooling. The air handler unit (where the cooling coils are and the fan for distribution) was not designed for the installation of an electric heater.
That being said, a new air handler was installed and the electric panels were disconnected and disposed of. The new thermostat is programmable for specific time periods of operation and heat or A/C.
The existing air handler was in a central location and it was easy to change filters and drain-off the condensate. The old duct system had developed some leaks and needed cleaning. The new duct system is Owl-Flex. It’s very practical and can easily turn corners, flatten to go under truss members and is well insulated. Ducts to specific rooms are branched off the main duct in a “Y” configuration. This allows the air to move with less restriction and pressure.
I suppose this renovation was not critical or mandatory, but it does provide uniform temperature, adequate heating for the few weeks it is needed, and a quieter A/C system.
It was money well spent and I have a happy spouse!


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