Heating, Air Conditioning, Fridge, HVAC/A/C AIR HANDLER SIZE FOR 2.5 TON

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Question
I am a first time home owner (finding out, its not all its cracked up to be) I recently had my a/c replaced, condenser unit on the roof and air handler in closet.  Well, my major dilemma is, that the company never measured the size of my closet and the handler they installed (which I live in a 900 sq ft condo, they sold me a 2.5 ton unit)
the handler is double the size of the one I originally had, so this new one completely blocks access to my hot water tank.  In other words, if anything happens to my H2O tank, I'm screwed because the air handler is ginormous.  So my question is, what is the minimal size I can have handler to make room in closet and still be able to accommodate the 2.5 ton?
specs are 2.5 ton split system (Rheem 410A), 14.0 seer (seasonal energy eff. ratio)5KW Heat...Help!!! the noise is unbearable and I'm so afraid of the inaccessibility to the H2O tank.
Thanks for any help.!

Answer
First off, 2-1/2 tons to serve 900SF (IE: 360 SF/Ton) is criminal. What a shame.

You might consider reporting them to your local building official, as they've created a Plumbing Code violation by blocking access to the water heater: 2012 IPC para. 502.5 requires a 30x30 working space at the water heater, and prohibits having to first remove another appliance to access the water heater.

You'll also have to replace the 2-1/2 with a 1-1/2 ton heat pump (IE: 600 SF/Ton, which should be OK assuming you're in a hot climate and have a lot of sunlit glass). That'll permit a physically smaller fan coil unit, and greatly improve summer humidity control. Leaving the 2-1/2 will surely lead to problems.

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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