View Full Version : HVAC Problems Take TWO

03-02-2012, 02:12 AM
Ok after having at least 6-7 different HVAC companies come out and look at my system , and every one came up with the obvious , being the inside unit Magic Chief 1980 and outside unit replaced in 1996 ?. It ain't worth band-aiding it as they called it.
And having all different bids , I had the last guy come out last week and looking it over and he came up with a price.
AND he said come March 1st the local Roseville city electric is having a program with rebates up to $5K for complete HVAC system replacement.
He's getting all the details on it and wants to come by again measure- loadcalc etc and then get me pre-qualified .
I said I wanted him to that before we go any further..

Here is a link to it..

Does this look / sound good ?


03-02-2012, 08:05 AM
Looks like the labor cost may exceed the Rebate limit. May have to pay a few dollars.

Looks good if you can get it for just the cost of labor.

Tax Dollars at work...

03-02-2012, 09:08 AM
I dunno, if a 1.5-2 ton mini-split cuts it, the total cost could come in pretty close to the $5K rebate limit.

03-02-2012, 09:25 AM
I dunno, if a 1.5-2 ton mini-split cuts it, the total cost could come in pretty close to the $5K rebate limit.

Also the Rebate Says "UP TO" $5,000.

What is the Formula for UP TO ?

I guess that is measured in a vacuum.

Rebates are not my favorite, and every rule needs to be followed so that you quantify, or it may not pay out.

If you have received any appliance Energy Rebate in the past few years, then that could limit your qualification.

03-02-2012, 10:19 AM
It is based on this sheet:


It depends on the age and size of the house as well as what you are putting in. For instance, if you qualified for the $5000, you would get the total installed cost or $5000, whichever is greater.

There are a bunch of forms and additional work that has to be done to qualify including Manual J (heat load) and Manual D (duct sizing). These are things that should be done on an install, but usually are not.

Also, you need to make sure that you jump on it fast as one catch is doing before funds have been exhausted. I don't know how much money they have set aside for this, but you can be sure that it is going to move fast. It applies to units purchased after 2/1/12, so there may already be a long wait or funds may already be gone. You better check.

Here's what you need to qualify:


03-02-2012, 10:51 PM
Thanks for the replies.
Nobody ( HVAC Contractors ) knew about this and they just had a meet and greet kind of meeting last Thursday about it. Not alot showed up according to 2 of the guys I'm dealing with . Apparently not to many notices were sent out just relied on who is watching their website ?
One guy I was working with sent me an email about it and said he would let me know more about after the meeting, so I forwarded the email to another guy I was working with and he replied back that he didn't hear about it nor did anybody else he knew .?
Hopefully Monday they will come over and get started on getting me pre-qualified
By what I read on the site I would only qualify for up to $3514. for package or $3983 for split ?? 1980 and 1175 sq ft...

Right now it is a split system, buy I wanted to combine it and put it on the roof to get it off the street side and away from next to bedroom window.
I don't understand why split would get more than package ?

03-03-2012, 06:35 PM
It may be based on the efficiency of the units involved...mini-splits tend to be quite efficient, and that may be reflected in the allowed rebate.

03-05-2012, 09:08 AM
Jim, I think you're using different definitions of "split" here. I read Abouthadit's use of "split" to mean two separate compressors (ducted or un-ducted).

Abouthadit: With an inverter-drive mini-split/multi-split with variable speed scroll compressors are SO quiet I doubt you'd care whether it was near a bedroom window or not. At full power you can usually have a conversation standing next to one without having to raise your voice, and on the other side of a closed window it's not even as loud as breeze in the trees. I've lived with refrigerators louder than the compressor units on a 2 ton mini-split.

03-07-2012, 11:39 PM
Thanks Dana
Sorry but I'm pretty naive when it comes to HVAC systems.. Not to mention I'm sure on alot of other things too >>>...
But by me saying split system I have the comp and I believe condenser out side , then inside the air ex-changer with what looks like another condenser inside it is located in what would be a hallway closet. I have looked up inside it with a flash light and I cannot see (not sure what they look like ) any heat strips . just the other condenser looking radiator..

I looked on the website again and according to the HVAC guy I'm going to use to replace the system looks like I may qualify for the full 5k rebate ?
He started the process yesterday , and sent in the first step / paper work , he said he should hear back in a week or so, then the next step is final cost paperwork and for us to come to a price together.

Thanks for your replies and helping me understand .

But I don't understand mini split / multi split units as you guys are talking about.

03-08-2012, 11:40 AM
All AC systems have the compressor unit outside, with cooling coil inside some sort of indoor unit. The difference between traditional AC systems and "split systems" (mini-split/mult-split) is:

Traditional AC: There is a single cooling coil in a central air handler, with ducts distributing the chilled air to different rooms or zones,with separate ducts for returning air to the air handler. Since ducts are bulky they are often run outside of conditioned space, in attics or crawlspaces, where leakage and conducted losses go the the great outdoors. Duct systems that don't have a dedicated return for every supply balanced for flow creates pressure differences between rooms when the air handler is running, and every air leak to the outdoors become the "universal equalized-pressure" return path, further degrading system performance. (And made worse with leaking ducts.)


Split systems: No air handler or ducts. The cooling coil is in a ceiling or wall unit with an integral blower (usually variable or multi-speed). To serve multiple zones requires multiple interior units, each with their own coil and refrigerant lines running to the outdoor compressor unit. Since there are no duct losses (conducted or leakage) and no back pressure to overcome related to flow-volume & duct lengths/diameters, no pressure differences driving outdoor air infiltration, the system efficiencies tend to be MUCH higher than ducted systems (even variable-speed ducted systems with all ducts inside of conditioned space.)


A typical wall unit looks like this:


A thing of beauty they're not, but there's usually some place in a zone where you don't have to look at it much, and it won't be blowing directly on you. Ceiling mounted units can either be low-profile flush mounted or mounted between joists at ceiling level.

For single family single-story homes with open floor plans most can get by with a single-head "mini-split", relying on convection within the house to keep all areas reasonably cool, but in homes with multiple floors or a lot of doored-off areas you may need 2-3 interior heads ("multi-split") sometimes more. The make them with as many as 8 heads served off a single compressor, but at an installed cost of ~$1000-1500 per additional head it adds up pretty quickly:


03-08-2012, 02:18 PM
Thanks for the illustration !
Dana sent ya PM

03-19-2012, 11:03 PM
Thanks again for all the replies , comments , and advise !
This is what I'm going with
Trane XR15 Heat pump 1.5T. # 4TWR501861000A
Trane Hyperion Air Handler # TAM7A0A24H21
Trane T-Stat Touch screen # TCONT802
Trane 5KW Heat Strip # BAYEVAC05BK1AA
All this is off the estimate write up sheet....

Not sure if the numbers help ? Hope these are all good product line of Trane...

They will mount the heat pump on the roof and get it off the side of the house (20ft from the street) a lot of theft going on around here !.
Remove old air handler out of hall way closet (well it will be a closet now) and install the new air handler in the attic.
Replace all duct work,electrical, seal ducts etc and new registers.

I'm going to have the old cellulose sucked out of the attic at approx 4in thick , everything air-sealed .
While the attic is nice and clean I'm going to have lights installed in all three bedrooms , (right now the light switch just controls a certain wall socket/lamp, I hate that)
Then the HVAC guys will come in and do their install inspection, testing, signed off..
Once all that is completed the Insulation place is going to come back and blow in to R49 value covering up all the duct work etc.

Now the HVAC guy has done everything so far according to the rebate process, then once they get started they will be inspected and once completed tested.
He has gone over everything with the utilities to make sure everything qualifies.

Not sure if this is a good deal but agreed to $9K install with getting $5K back on rebate.
For what the insulation Company is going to do , their cost will be $1650.00. Remove old , seal, blow in new to R49 value
They should be getting started on it next Monday.

Is there anything I'm forgetting , should do, not do ??
I hope once it is all done there will be no need to be going up in the attic ?

Thanks for any comments good or bad !
I just want all this to go right and be right...

03-23-2012, 11:59 AM
In CA you can get away with blowing cellulose over AC ducts, but in places with more humid air (the gulf coast, or even the eastern seaboard of the US), that can lead to excessive condensation on the outside of the ducts saturating the cellulose over a cooling season.

Be sure to insist on "borate only, sulfate-free" cellulose too, because even minor condensation would activate corrosive aspects of sulfated fire retardents that are still allowed in the US.

If you can, blower-door test the air-seal at the ceiling boundary to find & fix all leakage before installing the new insulation too. This need not be a calibrated leakage volume test, a large window-fan depressurizing the house and poking around the attic with a smoke pencil & foam gun can do ya. Testing the ducts for leakage before burying them is also advised.

03-29-2012, 03:20 PM
Had the old cellulose insulation removed 3 days ago , man that stuff was nasty !!
Today the HVAC guys showed up and is installing the system now as I type this.
Will report more when they are done...

Will do on the blower test , the insulation outfit I went with we discussed it and they will be doing that...

04-03-2012, 11:10 PM
Ok the Trane system is installed , the independent company came out and tested the system , everything passed .
There is a slight hum noise witch sounds like when you would stand close to a transformer and hear the hum noise they make.
When its not running , IE inside temp at say 75 and the T-stat is set at 70 to kick on. You can hear the hum noise through the air intake (ceiling) and two closest ducts. Obviously can't hear it when its running.
One of the installer guys said he can hear it and made the comment once the insulation gets blown in and around everything that should quite it down ?

I still want the owner to stop by and hear it himself , and then go from there , if its normal ? Then all is working great.

Insulation job conflicts (rained out ) came up so they can't come out till next Tuesday to do the sealing/blow-in...
So since I'm so sick of comcast cable problems , we signed up for DTV , they will be out Thursday to install the system , I'm going to try to get the guy to install the wires through the attic and drop down instead of having all the wires running along under the eves... Would be alot faster for him and clean for us...

04-04-2012, 07:23 AM
If the 60Hz transformer buzz is mechanically coupled to the duct walls the damping of burying them in insulation may take a dozen dB or more off it, but if it's mechanically coupled to something in the air-handler and only being acoustically transmitted through the air in the ducts the insulation won't do much.

If you can find the offending transformer there may be ways to damp it at the source. You might be able to sleuth it out the source using a length of tubing (3-4' of garden hose, say) as a stethoscope.

04-04-2012, 01:44 PM
One thing some installers neglect is the requirement to use a 'soft' connection between the air handler/furnace and the ductwork. This is often a rubberized canvas section of duct inserted between two sections of metal (sort of like a small bellows). This decoubles the air handler/furnace from the ductwork so no vibrations get transmitted through the solid metal framework. If you don't have this, you (probably) should (double-check the installation manual). And, if you don't and it is specified, it might help. Otherwise, the ductwork acts like a big sound board, helping to amplify and distribute any noise or vibration from the unit to the rest of the house. I think they ommit it because it costs a couple of bucks more, and they're either ignorant or cheap.

04-04-2012, 09:39 PM
Thanks I'll pass this on to them !

04-17-2012, 01:31 PM
Often these types of rebates are not worth the time it takes to implement from my experience.

Looks like the labor cost may exceed the Rebate limit. May have to pay a few dollars.

Looks good if you can get it for just the cost of labor.

Tax Dollars at work...

04-18-2012, 12:51 AM
I honestly feel the whole system should have cost $6500.00 installed not $9000.00..
But I'm not in the HVAC business and have only read what prices are for these systems online.

They installed the system , did the duct testing and adjusted the flows to within specs. Mailed it all in, City inspector came out looked the system over ,checked all the paper work read all the #'s signed off saying everything is good. ! All done over last two weeks...

SOOOOO everything should be good right ! I mean the City inspector showed up and signed off on it, NOPE City is saying numbers aren't right ?? Duct in hallway bathroom is reading 9cfm spects call for 4cfm ?? Uh what made the number changed and where ?? At time of testing every single duct tested was within specs so who changed the specs ?
All the ducts are buried under insulation , now they are suppose to come back out and retest hopefully only the hallway bathroom !!! DOH ! Cause I adjusted a few of them , more air flow in master bedroom and less in middle bedroom , along with more air flow in the living room

Runs with bison
04-18-2012, 11:23 PM
Seems strange to say "the bath has too much airflow (9 vs. 4)." Delta of 5 CFM sounds like less than 1% of your total flow, it's like using a howitzer to kill ants, what's the point? I'm assuming it has an adjustible register so that you can trim it as needed, so what is the point of the city throwing up a red flag on something so inconsequential? With yours being insulated and such you don't even have to worry about condensation on the duct...as I had here with high flows in the bath with AC...which led me to insulate the line and completely eliminate the problem. I trim back at the register anyway, since I don't need much flow in the master toilet space.

04-19-2012, 02:46 PM
With all new ducting through-out each line has an inline dampner I guess that is what you would call it ?
Kinda like whats on the fireplace flue ,where you can adjust it .
I guess they don't want the occupant to be able to just : be able to adjust the register for flow ?

So now all the ducting is buried under insulation that's going to be fun for them !