Author Topic: Central Air  (Read 3121 times)

velocistar237

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Central Air
« on: September 06, 2012, 06:04:07 AM »
The time has come to have our furnace replaced. The contractor said that it would be cheaper to install A/C now than to do it separately in the future. Right now we run 3 window units.

Pros:
Quieter for us (window units are loud, and street noise gets past them)
More comfortable
Controls summer humidity
Makes the house more sellable

Cons:
Expensive ($3K)
Louder for neighbors
Compressor takes up space in our tiny yard
More to maintain

My other idea is to install a whole-house dehumidifier, which would raise the temperature about 1 degree, but it would make fans more effective. Unlike A/C, I could DIY the installation, and we could take it with us if we moved. Our house doesn't usually get about 82 degrees. The dehumidifier would also control humidity in spring and fall, which is good for controlling dust mites. It just might not be effective enough at helping out with cooling, and I've never heard of anyone who has tried it.

I'm leaning toward getting central air. Can you help me with this decision?

johnnywill08

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Re: Central Air
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2012, 10:08:30 AM »
if it's only 3k installed (which sounds low) i'd get it, sellyour old ac's, and put it otwrds it.

my thoughts are that, at that price (again it sounds low), it's worth it come resale, if that time ever comes.  it'll be cheaper to run than thother three too, may never "make your money back", but you'll see some payback.  that and the resale make it worth it, i think.

i'm not a dyed in thw ool mustachian yet, though, so take it for what it's worth

tooqk4u22

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Re: Central Air
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2012, 11:45:28 AM »
It will definitely be cheaper to do them both at the same time, so that is mustachian right. 

Setting that aside, if it is common for homes in your area to have A/C, which most areas are, then it will absolutely make sense from a resale perspective.

Note that I have central air and the unit is nearing its end (works fine but is past its useful life) and I recently started looking into ductless mini split A/C units instead.  They may be a good fit for you.

I am in S. NJ and installed a whole house fan earlier this year, which has been great other than when it was really hot outside at night or really humid given the cool nights in Boston this could be a great solution and a relatively easy inexpensive ($250 or so) install.


johnnywill08

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Re: Central Air
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2012, 02:03:16 PM »
It will definitely be cheaper to do them both at the same time, so that is mustachian right. 

Setting that aside, if it is common for homes in your area to have A/C, which most areas are, then it will absolutely make sense from a resale perspective.

Note that I have central air and the unit is nearing its end (works fine but is past its useful life) and I recently started looking into ductless mini split A/C units instead.  They may be a good fit for you.

I am in S. NJ and installed a whole house fan earlier this year, which has been great other than when it was really hot outside at night or really humid given the cool nights in Boston this could be a great solution and a relatively easy inexpensive ($250 or so) install.

actually all really good points.   those split ac units, although those aren't too too cheap, are great for retro fits.....  and the whole house fan from a dollars and sense standpoint, there's nothing better, and there's not even a close second

velocistar237

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Re: Central Air
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2012, 03:21:39 PM »
I considered the mini-split. Our furnace is forced-air, so integrating a ducted air conditioner would be straightforward.

We often run a box fan in a window, though I do get a little worried about break-ins. We don't have an attic for a whole-house fan, just upstairs neighbors. We could install what's essentially a high-flow exhaust fan between floors. That one sells for $650. Maybe a better window fan would be good enough.

It's very common for new homes around here to have central air, and for people living in old homes to have window units, and for people living in old homes to talk about getting central air. We just don't really need it except for about 25 days a year.

palvar

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Re: Central Air
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2012, 07:23:01 AM »
For $3k, I would definitely get central air.  Even if you only use it a few days a year, it'll be worth it when you sell your house both in terms of cost and ease of sale.