Heating, Air Conditioning, Fridge, HVAC/airconditioner and fan-

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QUESTION: I am having an addition to the house and want 24 seer airconditioner. My builder said he can't find 24 seer in New Jersey and that is only in Florida.
How do I solve that problem? If 24 seer is not available, than what is the best 19 seer airconditioner which is the best qaulity and very quiet? I hate airconditioner noise. It will be central airconditioner.
Also I have 3 fans in the bathroom. Which fan is the most quiet and good quality to install?
What is the best duct to use for fans and airconditioner?
My builder is taking all fans and airconditioner through softies on the roof and each fan and airconditioner has a separate holes that go into softies in the side. What is the best way: to have fans go through softies out separately or on the top of the roof?  Can they merge into one duct instead having three ducts separately out? How to protect animals and insects getting in through the fan openings?Thanks

ANSWER: Hello, NUR!

As you've read, I haven't been involved in service and repair since March, 1996. My knowledge of what's "best" is therefore out of date. You can't go wrong with one of the big three (Carrier, Trane, York) or their affiliates (Bryant, American Standard, etc.). I'd think you'd avoid brands sold through supply houses that any contractor can buy (IE: Brands that don't don't have a dealer network, with required dealer training).

Today's construction practices yield AC sizing in the range of 1,000 SF/Ton or more, so I assume you're either putting in a huge addition (2,000 SF or more), or you're replacing the existing equipment too. IE: You wouldn't put a two ton unit (typically the smallest high SEER unit made) to serve just a 500SF addition. Please clarify.

And you're focused on high SEER, why is that (I assume you live in New Jersey, not an extremely hot climate)? You do know the higher the SEER, the more you'll spend to maintain and repair it over its life, right? Are you prepared to pay $1,000 for a blower motor or a printed circuit board when the time comes? I usually advise my clients to stick with (single stage) 14 or 15 SEER: Incremental savings don't usually justify the additional cost and increased repair risk.

Any new AC will be noticeably quieter than its 10 SEER counterparts from back in the day, assuming normal operation.

On the quiet bathroom fans, I've had good luck with Panasonic in my homes. Don't know about a "softie" (Always thought that was a sentimental person), but terminations are usually wall or roof "caps" incorporating the required bird screen, and possibly a backdraft damper (you only want one of those, and most exhaust fan housings incorporate one). Codes typically require 36" clearance from openings (doors and windows). Fans are ducted separately to the outdoors.

Metal ductwork throughout, of course. Avoid fibrous glass and flex.

Fred



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you so much. Why not flex?

Answer
It's hard to find an installer who knows how to, and will take the time to, install it correctly. Plus you don't want to use it for handling return or exhaust air, because dirt will build up in the corrugations over time, creating IAQ and/or fire safety issues.

Do check that page on the website.

Fred

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Fred Weldin

Expertise

I can't help you if your whatsis won't work, people (Especially if it's a refrigerator); I have no experience with appliances, and I haven't been involved with H&AC service and repair since March 08, 1996 (Thank the Lord); I always send a "standard" reply to appliance questions and H&AC "Service and Repair" questions (about 20 a month), so if you want to know why your whatsis isn't working like it used to, ask someone else. A lot of my answers arenít read by the questioners; in that event, I always send reminders to read the answers for a month or more (the word "idiots" comes to mind - actually there's another more appropriate word, but discretion prevents its use here). If you have questions about how big a unit you need, if one room's warmer than the others, if you want an opinion oas to scope of work on bids received, etc. just ask. Do visit www.askweldin.com, there's a lot of good information on sizing, ductwork, efficiency, as well as some techniques accomplished DIY-ers can use to troubleshoot and improve their H&AC. Finally, I want to thank all of the kind, serious people whom I meet here: I enjoy working with you. My wife says I'm "snarky" from time to time; as for you others, please use your imagination as to the responses swirling on the snarky side of my brain when I read your questions.

Experience

53 years in the business. See www.askweldin.com

Organizations
ASHRAE, ICC.

Education/Credentials
B of ME U of D 1965, numerous classes, seminars and a lot of "Hands On" learning since.

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