Author Topic: HVAC woes  (Read 3908 times)

SpicyUnagi10

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HVAC woes
« on: June 18, 2014, 08:13:31 AM »
I currently have a dual HVAC unit that fits in a closeted area in my condo. Both the heating and cooling unit are mashed together in one tall unit. It is a 2.5 ton unit. I believe it's manufactured by Armstrong. It doesn't look like they make units like that anymore.

My question is:

What brands manufacture HVAC units that stack on top of one another in a 2.5 ton unit size? I have had trouble searching for the right info. Anytime I look for a dual unit it ends up showing two separate units that aren't connected to one another. My current unit is a 9-10 SEER that is coming up on being 15 years old, and I am weighing replacing it.


Shade00

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Re: HVAC woes
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2014, 08:39:47 AM »
Typically the interior part of your HVAC system is the air handler/furnace. This unit (it is tall, so it does look stacked) handles pushing the air around through your ductwork. There is most likely an exterior part to your HVAC system, though, which is the condenser/compressor. The entire unit is almost certainly not housed entirely in your closet. That said, if the unit is operating fine, you may want to reconsider replacement, as it will take many, many years in the condo to pay back based on an upgrade from, say, 9-10 SEER to 14 SEER. There are almost certainly better places to put that money. A better tactic may be to learn to live with it being a little warmer.

Also, consider a seasonal cleaning or maintenance of the unit by a professional if it seems to be operating poorly.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: HVAC woes
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2014, 09:30:45 AM »
I think OP is talking about his HVAC unit, where the AC evaporator coil is on top of the furnace, which is on top of the blower.  In our HVAC system at home, those three parts are actually separate components that are stacked together to make an all-in-one unit.

SpicyUnagi10

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Re: HVAC woes
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2014, 10:59:07 AM »
Typically the interior part of your HVAC system is the air handler/furnace. This unit (it is tall, so it does look stacked) handles pushing the air around through your ductwork. There is most likely an exterior part to your HVAC system, though, which is the condenser/compressor. The entire unit is almost certainly not housed entirely in your closet. That said, if the unit is operating fine, you may want to reconsider replacement, as it will take many, many years in the condo to pay back based on an upgrade from, say, 9-10 SEER to 14 SEER. There are almost certainly better places to put that money. A better tactic may be to learn to live with it being a little warmer.

Also, consider a seasonal cleaning or maintenance of the unit by a professional if it seems to be operating poorly.

Yes, there is an exterior portion of the unit that is outside. I have a unit on the second floor, so the whole thing resides in a closeted space, while there is a space cut in the wall where the exterior portion is exposed, which should be the condenser/compressor.

The unit up until this past week has been doing just fine. We had some very high humidity days where I am, and the unit was struggling to get back to 78 from the current interior temp of 86 or so. I usually have the system off when were not home. No point cooling the condo down when were gone for 8 hours at work. Since our utility company offers a time-of-use program, we are only charged .05/kw from 7PM-7AM, and all day on weekends. 7AM-7PM however is charged at .30/kw. The unit isn't run during those high peak hours.

I am constantly returning home at 5PM to 80-85 degrees on the thermometer. I kick our windows open and run all our ceiling fans and floor fans until 7, when I then shut the windows and turn on the air conditioning system. (Mind this is only during days where it is this hot.) Within the next 3 hours, around 10PM, the system still hasn't brought the temp down below 83. It is constantly cycling during those hours from what I can tell. I personally can tolerate the temp, but my wife can't.

I feel like I am doing something dumb, since this had never happened the previous year during the summer. (We have been at our residence for a little over a year now.)


Bourbon

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Re: HVAC woes
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2014, 11:12:10 AM »
Typically the interior part of your HVAC system is the air handler/furnace. This unit (it is tall, so it does look stacked) handles pushing the air around through your ductwork. There is most likely an exterior part to your HVAC system, though, which is the condenser/compressor. The entire unit is almost certainly not housed entirely in your closet. That said, if the unit is operating fine, you may want to reconsider replacement, as it will take many, many years in the condo to pay back based on an upgrade from, say, 9-10 SEER to 14 SEER. There are almost certainly better places to put that money. A better tactic may be to learn to live with it being a little warmer.

Also, consider a seasonal cleaning or maintenance of the unit by a professional if it seems to be operating poorly.


Yes, there is an exterior portion of the unit that is outside. I have a unit on the second floor, so the whole thing resides in a closeted space, while there is a space cut in the wall where the exterior portion is exposed, which should be the condenser/compressor.

The unit up until this past week has been doing just fine. We had some very high humidity days where I am, and the unit was struggling to get back to 78 from the current interior temp of 86 or so. I usually have the system off when were not home. No point cooling the condo down when were gone for 8 hours at work. Since our utility company offers a time-of-use program, we are only charged .05/kw from 7PM-7AM, and all day on weekends. 7AM-7PM however is charged at .30/kw. The unit isn't run during those high peak hours.

I am constantly returning home at 5PM to 80-85 degrees on the thermometer. I kick our windows open and run all our ceiling fans and floor fans until 7, when I then shut the windows and turn on the air conditioning system. (Mind this is only during days where it is this hot.) Within the next 3 hours, around 10PM, the system still hasn't brought the temp down below 83. It is constantly cycling during those hours from what I can tell. I personally can tolerate the temp, but my wife can't.

I feel like I am doing something dumb, since this had never happened the previous year during the summer. (We have been at our residence for a little over a year now.)

How old is the unit?  It may need to be recharged with refrigerant.  Have you had an HVAC company out to assess?
« Last Edit: June 18, 2014, 12:14:15 PM by Bourbon »

geekette

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Re: HVAC woes
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2014, 11:37:59 AM »
I feel like I am doing something dumb, since this had never happened the previous year during the summer. (We have been at our residence for a little over a year now.)
When ours isn't able to keep up, it needs freon.  Once recharged, it's fine.  I don't think it should cycle, though, if it hasn't gotten the temp down, so you may have a different problem.

SpicyUnagi10

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Re: HVAC woes
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2014, 12:04:23 PM »
I feel like I am doing something dumb, since this had never happened the previous year during the summer. (We have been at our residence for a little over a year now.)
When ours isn't able to keep up, it needs freon.  Once recharged, it's fine.  I don't think it should cycle, though, if it hasn't gotten the temp down, so you may have a different problem.

I figured it might just be Freon. It looks like the last time the A/C was serviced was 2011. Probably time for a tune-up.

Thanks all.

George_PA

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Re: HVAC woes
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2014, 08:07:12 PM »
You will have to get a professional to look at it.  Due to the refrigerant stuff in it, i.e. freon or other, you cannot legally fix it or replace it yourself with having the special license.  If its 15 years old that is about how long they last on average, so most likely you will need to get it replaced.

Probably the best thing you could do is concentrate on usage and insulation, that where the opportunity is to save money.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: HVAC woes
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2014, 07:06:08 AM »
85 with humidity isn't that bad once you adjust.

Keep in mind that opening the windows and letting all the late afternoon heat and humidity back in is the WORST thing you can do. The AC has to work double time to condense all the moisture out before it can effectively cool.

Are you still getting cool nights? Then leave the windows open and deal with it. If the nights stay above 80, leave the windows closed, set the thermostat to 85 when not home, then kick it down to your preferred temp.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: HVAC woes
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2014, 08:40:27 PM »
If the unit is cycling on and off, then you're almost certainly low on refrigerant--your compressor has a "pressure is too low" switch that will shut the unit off if there's not enough coolant.

(we're going through precisely the same thing right now.  Two more days until our HVAC tech can get here--it's the first hot week of the summer and he's swamped!)