Installing Central Air From Scratch w/ Eric Mele (Podcast)
In this podcast episode, Eric and I discuss his new home and his plans for installing central air the Eric-Mele way. Eric's home doesn't have an attic, crawlspace, or basement. So, designing and installing central A/C will be a challenge, especially since Eric doesn't like high-wall ductless systems.
Eric considered using an air handler with exposed ductwork, but he doesn't want the noise issues associated with that design. He also considered using a package system, but it has the same noise concerns as the previous option. In the end, he decided to go with ceiling cassettes. Cassettes have a condensate pump, differentiating them from high-wall ductless systems and making them a bit more expensive.
Eric has also collected his latent-sensible capacity data. Moisture removal is critical in his South Florida home, and equipment sizing is an important factor when installing central air. Sizing contributes to dehumidification because of its effect on runtime. However, smaller ductless/VRF units may not have sufficient heat even when they're properly sized. In the future, we expect companies to utilize heat sensors to improve the sensible heat ratio when moisture removal is needed.
For filtration, Eric plans on seeing how the fan motors react to pleated filters. Upgrading the filters could help control sensible heat ratio and VOC contamination, but static pressure remains a concern.
We also discuss:
- Ductless unit cleaning
- Filtration for air handlers with exposed ductwork
- Lagging vs. drilling
- Ceiling cassettes and condensate pumps
- Flex vs. duct board vs. metal ducts
- Oversizing VRF
- Two-pipe systems
- Activated carbon filtration
- Making flare fittings vs. brazing in factory-made flares
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