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Air conditioning

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by GregS, Jun 23, 2006.

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  1. GregS

    GregS Guest

    I remember looking through Sears catalogs and others showing whole house air conditioning
    units and prices. All I see now is estimates. I was thinking about whole air conditioning,
    but what a rip off when you can buy a 25K BTU window for $500, Where a similar whole house
    unit costs in the thousands. I really think I am going to buy a window unit and connect it to my
    new furnace when I buy that. Seriously. And the new laws make it even more expensive, trying to get
    better efficiencies mandatory, yet you can still buy those window units.

    greg
     
  2. AZ Nomad

    AZ Nomad Guest

    and you'll be lucky if it drops the house's temperature a whole degree.

    window units work because they only have to cool a single small room.
     
  3. Dave M.

    Dave M. Guest

    (GregS) wrote in
    At one time you could buy the central system and install it yourself,
    because the lines were pre-charged.

    A window unit works best using gravity by putting it in a window in a room
    upstairs and of course leaving the door open!

    In my present house that is a long ranch, I run an air conditioner in a
    room at one end of the house and leave the doors open, room to room. It's
    surprising how well the air travels from one end to the other. Sometimes I
    run an air conditioner at both ends of the house. The main idea is to dry
    the air anyway. You should be carefull not to put an air conditioner BTU
    rated for more than the room square feet calls for, because when the door
    is closed, it will be drafty.
     
  4. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest


    Those window units are rather low efficiency, usually around 8 EER. If
    you're a serious DIY, have a look at www.usamfg.net and keep an eye out
    on ebay. I installed a 3 ton (36K BTU) 14 SEER heat pump along with a
    new furnace for about $1600 including a few special tools I had to buy.
    Even if you buy all new equipment, you should be able to manage central
    AC for under $1500 assuming your furnace is ok.

    It really is a rip to have a contractor install it, sure they've gotta
    put food on the table but they normally buy the equipment wholesale,
    double the price, then charge $100+/hr for labor on top of that.

    You do have to make *really* good soldered joints on the pipes though.
    Most pros braze them but that requires a source of dry nitrogen and it
    can harden the copper. I use good silver solder and a special water
    based flux. For a vacuum pump I got a surplus window AC compressor from
    usamfg for about 8 bucks and soldered a fitting to it. Most systems come
    pre-charged with enough refrigerant for 15-25' of line but you can
    easily get certified online to purchase more. It is not trivial to put
    one in but I had a lot of fun, learned a lot and saved a bundle in the
    process. I've put in two systems now and was very satisfied with the
    results.

    Look for something that's at least 12 BTU/W efficiency, with the price
    of energy going up, any money you save with a lower efficiency unit
    you'll spend later on power.
     
  5. GregS

    GregS Guest

    Thanks.
    I see window units up over 10 now.

    greg
     
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