Duct DISASTER at an NBA Players Home
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Bryan starts off using the FLIR thermal imaging camera to check out the temperatures across the ceiling and look for potential insulation issues (conductive gains). When the A/C is off, the camera shows that the vents are significantly hotter than the surrounding areas. Some vents are hotter around the edges, and others are hotter in the center; a heated center indicates duct gains (radiant gains), and warm edges indicate infiltration (convective gains). The recessed lights also have some heat around the edges, though they’re not nearly as bad as the vents.
When Bryan goes into the attic, he immediately notices that the ductwork is black. Black ductwork results in increased radiant gains, which would explain the hot vents. The duct is also unstrapped and sagging, and some of it goes into an open chase. There are also patches where the insulation is insufficient.
Rather than having a plenum, there is just a piece of flex that leads into a duct triangle, which could result in undesirable static pressure and poor performance. Despite everything, the return box appears to be in good shape, and the evaporator coil is clean. However, the filter’s static pressure drop is higher than the equipment’s test static, which doesn’t even consider static pressure in the ductwork.
With the gauges connected outdoors, Bryan and Joel check the refrigerant pressures, superheat, and subcooling. The suction pressure is very low, and the superheat and subcooling are also out of range. The delta T is 20 degrees, which indicates a likely airflow problem because the other readings aren’t within range.
On the other unit, there is water in the return box, which likely indicates that the evaporator coil has frozen and melted. There is also what appears to be a supply plenum, but that’s really just a facade for some more flex duct. An ECM was able to compensate for the airflow restrictions, but it did so at the cost of a higher power bill.
Bo’s main goal is for the upstairs to be comfortable without having to run the fans AND the A/C at the same time. The findings discovered by the Kalos team are high-value items for Bo and his comfort goals, so it’s important for technicians to investigate the entire HVAC system and bring any abnormalities or upgrades to the customer’s attention. That way, the customers can make informed decisions to meet their goals.
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