We have a townhouse in Flagstaff, AZ, as a second home. It's two stories,
about 1600 square feet, has a gas furnace in the attic. It's about a year old
and the furnace has had very little use as it's basically our summer home.
Although most folks in Flagstaff don't have air conditioning, we're thinking of
adding it for the few days in the summer when it gets uncomfortable. If you
don't know the climate, it's relatively low humidity and rarely gets above 90
degrees. A day in the mid-90s is considered a major heat wave, and then it
will drop down to below 60 at night. We're not talking about Phoenix-style
weather, obviously, but we're getting spoiled as we age and do want to add the
I'm just asking for general advice, as I don't want to be totally ignorant when
getting bids from contractors. What do I need? Capacity? Brands to look for?
Brands to avoid? What should it cost? Is there someplace I can read up about
Thanks in advance!
I spent last 4th of July up there and it was hideously hot with out any
Call several contractors and do some googling for the manufacture and part
number of the furnace. You MIGHT be able to put in an "A" coil with the
compressor on the ground outside. The coil will be sized to the furnace, if
you can do this.
Contractor is more important than the brand. All manufactures make low end
units to high end units. Low end tends to be nosier, and cost a bit more to
run. Since your not going to be living there, I would get a 10-13 seer unit.
Better check your HOA about regs before you jump off the deep end.
There is basically the cooling capacity of the system and air flow to
deliver the cooling to each room. Determining this can be quite complex
depending on local weather, your windows, insulation, size of rooms and
Problems can be too little cooling capacity, too much cooling capacity, too
little cooling in some rooms and too much in others, and the
upstairs/downstairs thing... Upstairs is too hot and downstairs it too
cold. (In Phoenix, west facing rooms with large windows seem to never cool
down in the afternoons, but may be too cold in the mornings...)
If there is too little capacity/air flow, the house will never cool down.
Too much and it will freeze you out of your home. Just right will keep all
rooms at the same temperature.
They may be able to just add on to your existing system or they may need to
add to or modify your duct system to add more air flow.
They can do calculations and a report on what is needed. A sample report is
at the link below.
I guess the best thing to do is to call for estimates from several
different companies and see what each says. (May want to take notes.) Then
ask back here if you have questions about what they said. Also may want to
ask on alt.hvac
Note that you can also get a humidity control, electronic air filter, HEPA
air filter for allergies, and temperature controls for each room (or
separate temperature controls for upstairs/downstairs).
Temperature controls for each room requires installing electric air
controls in the vents to each room.
"Vmcw" wrote in message
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