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nutnspecial   1.21 GW

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Re: $680 zoned HVAC instead of $5000 central system

Post by nutnspecial » Sep 06 2017 7:48pm

Thanks; I'm really green on the subject, but I was assuming brazing was specifically suited for joining dissimilar metals? I'm not sure how many, but I guess there's at least four common ones, and brazing modernly still has benefit in specific areas like this?

For copper to copper in plumbing I've always used solder and a torch. I'll have to look into what you're talking about to zero in on specific applications and procedures- it sounds interesting thankyou!

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Re: $680 zoned HVAC instead of $5000 central system

Post by spinningmagnets » Sep 06 2017 7:58pm

Resistance soldering/brazing...Here's an example, very short video. Activated by a foot-switch, and amps are adjustable according to the size of the work-piece.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjNHCxvB8Kc


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Re: $680 zoned HVAC instead of $5000 central system

Post by Matt Gruber » Sep 10 2017 3:01pm

So my plans are evolving. two of the reasons to use 5k btu ac's was they are usually the quietest and lightest. this device eliminates the need to not be heavy:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/440lbs-Mini-Ele ... 2749.l2649
now i see that 5 ac's would have a heck of a lot of ducts, so and drain plumbing, so now i'm free to use larger ac's.
Have 8k btu GE on order. recommend by consumer reports, and 92%. Got it from jet $138+ tax, free ship.
this drops the 5 down to 4.

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Re: $680 zoned HVAC instead of $5000 central system

Post by Matt Gruber » Sep 12 2017 6:23pm

Just got the GE 8k ac. a quick test and it makes less noise than my vacuum :roll:
if this was going in a window, i'd send it back.
68-73db.
but, behind a wall in the next room, only 48db. so i guess i'll give it a try for kitchen DR and den. i plan to run it for an hour or so before going in there, and then shut it off when in those rooms. Heck, i shut off my fridge and it is 48db. i'd rather hear my music without having to turn it up.
So no more big units for me. good thing i got it for 138 and didn't buy 2.

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Re: $680 zoned HVAC instead of $5000 central system

Post by nutnspecial » Sep 13 2017 9:54pm

68-73db
Wow is that like at 10ft? They all seem loud to me though, and never tested decibels on a standard box fan to compare (or much at all, beyond loud 100-110 stuff). Good thing your design minimizes any negative impact from noise for user!

Personally I can only 'handle' hearing a fan, like from a minispit, (or a normal fan), or the air moving thru vents. The various compressors' hums somehow can be annoying, at least in close comparison. Not sure if it's just frequency.

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Re: $680 zoned HVAC instead of $5000 central system

Post by Hillhater » Sep 14 2017 1:31am

Yes, a fan has to be big and slow,.or very remote, to be quiet enough to tolerate.
Even the latest brushless 48" ceiling fans i have installed are only tolerable at the slower speeds ( <100rpm ?)
not fanblade noise though, but a gentle buzz, most likely from the controller ?
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Re: $680 zoned HVAC instead of $5000 central system

Post by Matt Gruber » Sep 15 2017 9:57am

nutspecial wrote:
68-73db
Wow is that like at 10ft? They all seem loud to me though, and never tested decibels on a standard box fan to compare (or much at all, beyond loud 100-110 stuff). Good thing your design minimizes any negative impact from noise for user!

Personally I can only 'handle' hearing a fan, like from a minispit, (or a normal fan), or the air moving thru vents. The various compressors' hums somehow can be annoying, at least in close comparison. Not sure if it's just frequency.
68 is at 3'
73 is close.
actually, in a window much of this compressor noise is outside; that must be how it gets high ratings.
So, i've researched noise suppression, and have an idea i want to try. I have some 3/4" flake board that i got for free, but i never used it, in 15 yrs, until now. It is really heavy, like 100# if i had a whole sheet, which i dont; just leftovers from a job. i'm going to box in the outside section, really big, like 34" wide, while the ac is 19" wide. and 21" high vs. 12.5. the heavy case is the sound barrier. I'll cut a single 12" hole for the outside duct. 1 hole instead of 4 dozen slats which radiate the comp. noise. The duct will be r6 fglass covered; std HVAC duct. i'll cover the outside of the case with the SafenSound Roxul batts.
Then it will be easy to duct in air from the window to keep it cool. And should be much less noisy. In the winter it will be easy to connect a 12" return duct. BTW, 12" is way oversize, maybe 8" could do it, But ac experts say ducting mistakes are always going too small, and you can't really go too big. It will cost an extra $20-40, I don't mind spending extra on the ducts, since i'm saving like $4000 on the whole system.

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Re: $680 zoned HVAC instead of $5000 central system

Post by vanilla » Sep 15 2017 4:14pm

Have you looked into conversion to propane for the r22 system? I've heard good things.

Back when I had central heat installed I decided against the A/C because I knew I'd use it if I had it. I later got a roll around unit that eats maybe 1500 watts. Great for the few really bad days. It only cools one room, but that is all you need really to hide out from the heat.

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Re: $680 zoned HVAC instead of $5000 central system

Post by Matt Gruber » Sep 16 2017 9:34am

vanilla wrote:Have you looked into conversion to propane for the r22 system? I've heard good things.

Back when I had central heat installed I decided against the A/C because I knew I'd use it if I had it. I later got a roll around unit that eats maybe 1500 watts. Great for the few really bad days. It only cools one room, but that is all you need really to hide out from the heat.
i saw a video on propane. interesting! But my 3 replacement ac's should last many years, and 2 use the cheaper r410a. The one that uses r22 will likely be thrown away when it fails. Why try to fix an old ac that cost $79 new?
the main idea here is to eliminate repairs/service calls, have a better system, and spend 80-90% less on hardware. ......and to have a new hobby where i learn something new every day, at least until the new system replaces the old. Then i sit back and enjoy it.
Last edited by Matt Gruber on Sep 16 2017 1:18pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: $680 zoned HVAC instead of $5000 central system

Post by bigmoose » Sep 16 2017 12:07pm

Some thoughts as this has been my summer of A/C repair/replacement and large industrial dehumidifier repair.

First, there are some decent R22 replacements that don't have flammable components. R407c is a decent substitute in R22 A/C systems. It needs POE oil however. If you can replace all the mineral oil with POE oil. If you can't one of the manufacturers says to add 20% POE oil over the mineral oil. Research this before you do it however.

For brazing Harris Dyna Flow is a good phosphorus copper rod for brazing copper to copper with no flux. If you need to braze copper to brass or copper to steel you need flux, like Stay-Silv flux from Harris. Cu - 87.9% P - 6.1% Ag - 6% Liquidus 1465 degF Solidus 1190 degF You MUST use a nitrogen or argon purge when brazing or you get nasty, black oxide buildups inside the copper tube that gets circulated to the compressor

That said the industry (most of it) frowns upon Stay Brite #8 8% Silver solder and Stay Clean flux for connections, but I love it and so do many installers. You can solder with Stay Brite #8 with a propane torch, and NO NEED for a nitrogen/argon purge, as it is at a much lower temperature. One of the manufactures support using this silver bearing solder even on the new high pressure R-410a systems.

Key component is to add a good liquid line filter dryer to ALL systems that you open. Emerson EK filter/dryers are a great choice and will neutralize any acid in the system also. I put in all filter/dryers with Stay Brite #8 so that they are easy to replace.

I only braze where I must fill in big gaps. Like when I changed a leaking evaporator on the industrial dehumidifier, I had to braze the capillary tube into a 3/8 inch tubing run. I did the usual squash the 3/8 around the capillary and fill the gaps with braze. The other made up fittings that were male/female I did with Stay Brite #8.

Stay Brite #8 was also used exclusively on a new install of a 5 ton R410a system. Again, follow the manufacturers requirements. Not all will accept Stay Brite #8 if a warranty call is required, and not all building codes allow it.

There you have my summer refrigeration work...

Edit: The new Pepsi Cooler use propane R-290 as the refrigerant, but go look at the service requirements for servicing their cooler. NO removable schrader valve ports are allowed after servicing. All fill lines must be crimped then brazed over. I don't think I want a 5 ton unit running propane in my house. I think my new R410 system has around 10# of refrigerant in it. Would not want 10 lbs of propane vented into my basement.

Edit2: You really need to rethink saving old, old A/C systems. Mine was 28 years old, installed by me back then too. Best I can figure it was around a SEER 8, the new system (one without PWM control of the compressor/fan as we get a lot of lightning strikes out where I am, and appliance electronics let the smoke out quite often) is a SEER 13/14. My electric bill dropped from a typical $480/$520 ish a month to $220 through the heat of the season. Sometimes new pays off quickly... especially if you get the new components at true wholesale.
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Re: $680 zoned HVAC instead of $5000 central system

Post by marty » Sep 16 2017 4:27pm

Mr Moose, Sounds like you are the refrigeration guy. I have always been afraid of Freon. Ohio is not too far from Buffalo. Will let you know when something is not getting cold.

I like air. Open the window. Was looking at one of those big commercial HVAC roof top things. Was talking to the HVAC guy. Told him about a cool summer night. Nice weather here. 68° or so? I imagine a commercial building being heated by light bulbs, people, etc. Thermostat calls for AC. What if weather outside is cool enough for cooling? HVAC guy tells me about "enthalpy" Big door on HVAC roof top thing opens to bring outside air in. Honeywell technical guy knows all about enthalpy controllers. Enthalpy control thing measures outside temperature and humidity. With this and a relay I make whole house fan come on instead of AC when it is cool outside. Now we need mechanical windows that open and close automatically.
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Re: $680 zoned HVAC instead of $5000 central system

Post by Matt Gruber » Sep 16 2017 7:19pm

Since heating season is fast approaching, i checked the heat on the GE and it is TWICE as good as the Haier :shock:GE has a 14 degree rise vs. only 5-7 for both Haiers.. So my main focus for now, will be installing the GE as a heater, since the Goodman 3 ton really struggles when it drops below 45F and the big duct system has to heat up. Let's see if the GE can do better.it's an unfair test: 36k vs 8k btu, but the GE won't have to heat more than half the house. 2600w vs 715w, so whatever heat it puts out, sure won't cost much. (7 cents per hour)
Added a switch Heat/AC so this ac can be used as a heater. They don't give this option because the coil can ice up. I can get around this by using the attic warmer air. It works like this:
Early AM i turn on heat for up to an hour, then shut it off as the coil may get some ice. The sun comes up and starts to warm the attic. Around 10-11 AM the ice has melted and i get full heat without any more icing, as long as the attic is 52F or higher. Attic gets 10-30 degrees warmer than outside.
.
so here is what i learned from ac experts on how to keep the noise out of the room:
1. must have at least 3 feet between any noise and the register.
2. use a flex duct and make a 90 degree turn. Sound travels in a straight line and gets lost as it can't go around a corner.
3. if the 90 doesn't do it, put the duct in a zig zag box to further dissipate the noise. add sound absorption material as needed.
4. bigger ducts are quieter. sheet metal ducts are noisy. Duct board is better.
5. louvers with wider spacing flow more air and are quieter.
6. Put the ac in a heavy box to block sound. Cover the box with SafeNSound rock wool sound deadener, if necessary. Can put on loft walls too. or any walls that transmit sound. But not in the ac box, as rock wool or fglass fibers can get in your lungs.
7. Any hole in wall transmits sound. Electrical outlets need to be modified to block sound.
8. QuietRock is a special sheetrock that blocks sound 6X better.
.
so you can see, whatever you do, do NOT put a window ac in a wall or a window! 8)
9-17-17 edit
today's tests: took the case off. no sound padding! haier has padding. sounded much better no case, an annoying buzz disappeared, but the db was only down a little 65-68, was 68. the sound was much more tolerable without that buzz.
one expert said that even a card board box could do a lot, so i put the box it came in, on it with the top open. WOW db down to 59-60 :shock: with all the tricks to make it quiet, i may try the box for a test in the loft, and see how it does. maybe i can squeeze in an ac test before winter.

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Re: $680 zoned HVAC instead of $5000 central system

Post by Matt Gruber » Sep 21 2017 11:15am

Got this 12"x25' duct from HD:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Master-Flow- ... W775596449
this thing is huge! i almost fell into it :lol:
excellent to bring in window air direct to the ac. BUT it is taking up too much space. i can't imagine 4 or 5 ac's hooked up in my 10x14 loft. so i may have to use less, but larger ac's or smaller ducts.
Did a heater test hooking the duct to the back of the ac, and 25' later it goes out the window. With 75F air going in, 103F exited! WOW, this could be a good heater! Had 49-50F out the ac side. And there was NO NOISE at the exit;( compressor was 155F after 13 minutes; will watch it when in the loft)
when i stuck my head in the duct, there was just gentle air flow sound.

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Re: $680 zoned HVAC instead of $5000 central system

Post by Drunkskunk » Sep 21 2017 7:25pm

If you plan to use these for heating by using the waste heat, you're going to have to modify them. They are designed to sense the temp on the incoming air and shut down when the incoming air on the indoor side is below a certain temp. my Frigidaires shut off at 54º. My Haier shuts off below 61º That keeps the cooling coil from icing up. You'll need to find a way to over ride whatever they use for control so they can operate at much lower temps.


15 years ago my central air broke. faced with a $10,000 repair bill, i went out and bought a
$300 window unit to hold me over until I could sell a kidney to pay for the new AC. It worked so well at cooling the house with just the bedrooms closed off, that i put it off for a month.

and then got the electrical bill.

I had saved more than the cost of that window AC in just one month. So i said screw it, bough another window unit for the bedroom, and never fixed the central AC, enjoying an extra $250 to $300 monthly through AC season for the next 15 years. The original central AC had been a 18,000 btu unit. I had 24,000 BTU of window units. Except for the noise and the less than even cooling, the window units did a far better job.
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Re: $680 zoned HVAC instead of $5000 central system

Post by Matt Gruber » Sep 22 2017 5:00am

Drunk
thanks for your comments!
switch is in. it thinks it is 88F in heat mode. also hacked into the control panel for a remote on/off switch.
there are a lot of things to do, that is why i call it a hobby. it costs so little, i can do whatever i want.
How long do your window ac's last?
And if you want to eliminate 90% of the noise and improve the view, put each ac 3 feet from the window, and add supply and return ducts thru the window.

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Re: $680 zoned HVAC instead of $5000 central system

Post by Drunkskunk » Sep 22 2017 7:42pm

3 lasted >10 years. i just sold that house and they worked fine at the time of sale. the original one i installed had quit after 5 years. they ran day and night except in the winter.
I have a weekend shack with 2. one new as of 2 years ago that also has a heater, and one i bought used at the same time. it's easily 10 years old and works fine.
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Re: $680 zoned HVAC instead of $5000 central system

Post by Matt Gruber » Oct 29 2017 5:21pm

I'm back working on it!(was fixing my car for the past month)
I've boxed in the ac and turned it on, seemed quieter :D
checked with meter, only 59db at 3 feet. :D
45F cold front coming so i'm motivated to get it all hooked up during November.
long term plan is to use this 8k btu in BR, and get an 18K btu for the rest of the house. 2 units is plenty.

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Frankenair is ALIVE- quick zone 1 test

Post by Matt Gruber » Dec 05 2017 9:21am

ran it 8 min. but with 64F attic air, no return duct yet.
supply into room 96F :mrgreen:
47 db 8) is 46 with nothing on.

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Re: $680 zoned HVAC instead of $5000 central system

Post by Matt Gruber » Dec 07 2017 11:58am

return hooked up, now 47.7 db. fan on medium speed. right at the return grille it is 53db, pretty amazing as it was 73db before.
it blows air clear across the room and wiggles the curtains so i don't think it is losing power, even with all the ducts.
high was 80F yesterday, 66 at 7am. now you know why i moved here!
but sat am, cold front, maybe 50, and sunday morning 38-40. that will be a great test!
i do have the waste air going into the gable vent. so no chance it will turn the loft into a freezer.
Frankenair is alive! :shock:
doing a test today, it is cloudy, humid, and drizzling
after 1/2 hour
outside 64F attic 69F
BR 78 (was 76.5)
supply 110F edit: after 50 min 105F , down to 100 after 1 hr.
door open and entire house is warming up Kitchen was 75 now 76.2
of course on a cold day i plan to close off 2 rooms.
this is just one 8k btu, less than $200 cost so far.
Here is the drawback to both heat and ac:
It takes a lot of time, like 30+ hours to build a distribution box!

So, at this time, i plan to do only AC for unit 2.

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Re: $680 zoned HVAC instead of $5000 central system

Post by nutnspecial » Dec 10 2017 8:53pm

Matt I just tried something similar with my fridge. I'm sure somewhat inspired by your thread.

Since then I've learned people also split their fridges, but mine is not. I simply sunk it into an exterior wall so that I could expose the coil and compressor area entire rear of fridge to open air in the winter. So far it seems to run sooo much less, and an added benefit is it's way quieter and actually tolerable 10ft from a sleeping area

I'm interested not only in how it will maintain fridge/freezer balance in sub zero temps, but also how it will do in the summer when I power vent the then closed cavity to maintain ground temp for the compressor and coil. Hoping for an easy win win, although a full split would suit more situations I bet.

__________

That would be cool if you do a full writeup/pics or youtube etc of your project. I have a few in the works from this year that will be unique to utube at least from what I've seen. they were all spurned from others on here or there. Thanks kudos happy holidays etc!

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Re: $680 zoned HVAC instead of $5000 central system

Post by Matt Gruber » Dec 22 2017 11:10am

Looks like i won't be using the ac as a heater. It takes at least 5 minutes to get decent heat, and i don't like the cool breeze. I'd rather use my silent basebed heaters.
.
So i'll be hooking it up next summer for AC, as that cool breeze is welcome in the summer.
It does have a powerful fan, and should make a good ac, assuming my ventilation is adequate.
.
nutspecial,
a fridge is helpful in winter, as the warm section helps heat the house. In the summer is where you really can save if you can exhaust that heat.
.
happy holiday to all!

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Re: $680 zoned HVAC instead of $5000 central system

Post by nutnspecial » Dec 22 2017 4:06pm

a fridge is helpful in winter, as the warm section helps heat the house. In the summer is where you really can save if you can exhaust that heat.
Well I didn't think I'd need to get all mathy, and still don't. Try this on for reasoning though.

You are already paying to heat the house. Then you are paying to extract the heat from the fridge in the area you are heating. Imo the only occasion your reasoning would work beneficially is if you have a really poor heating system that costs more than the fridge to run. Maybe electric baseboard?

I do not. I have a 95% efficient gas forced air . . . and I actually prefer to heat above 55f or so with a ventless gas wall fireplace which for all intents and purposes should be considered 100% and uses noo electric.

So, my electric bill will be 6amps x alot of hours less during these cold months - because the fridge almost never runs and winter just started lol. Plus when it does it's almost silent in the room. Plus, when I do catch it running I have it on a wall switch and turn it off half the time. When I turn it on an hour or two later it has equated enough it doesn't even come back on lol.

Also, I have wheels on my deep freezer and simply roll that outside hehheh.

So, I am aware of your reasoning but only follow it for extreme circumstances, and do believe the maths are on my side for the rest, like my own. You obviously have more experience than me with hvac, so what do you think?

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Re: $680 zoned HVAC instead of $5000 central system

Post by Chalo » Dec 22 2017 6:00pm

If the fridge is entirely enclosed in the heated space, then 100% of the energy used to run the fridge ends up as heat in the house. That's maybe not as efficient as using a heat pump, but it's just as efficient as using any kind of resistive electric heat. If the fridge's efficiency is a little less because the heat exchanger is in a heated area, well, the extra energy use results in extra heat in the house where you are already using energy to keep warm. The inefficiency is still buying you something.

The flip side is that when you're using energy to cool the house, every watt that you use to run the fridge results in an extra watt of heat you have to extract. That's when it would be beneficial to have the heat exchanger outside your climate controlled space.
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Re: $680 zoned HVAC instead of $5000 central system

Post by nutnspecial » Dec 22 2017 6:55pm

just as efficient as using any kind of resistive electric heat.
Which is one of the most inefficient I know. ? I guess that means you agree in the case of my conditions and most that aren't unlucky renters?

Anyway, the point is you get as much of the fridge in an outside conditionable space for mean temps of 55 and below, and make sure that enclosure is well insulated and shaded for summer as well. My plans are to bury some pex and pump to a coil in that space in the summer with a tiny pump, or just vent from the building floor up thru the space to help the compressor and coil deal with their heat at that time. But at this time, not only is the outside air helping, but it's also trying to freeze the entire appliance without it even doing it's thing.

Duh. It's winter- move your cold goods outside- nothing more efficient than that. The trick is keeping the milk and eggs from actually freezing, but only from a fancy technical standpoint since you can always just dig a hole.

I'll take some pics or vid of my setup- I'm actually working on the aquaponics setup above the fridge this week and hoping to get it ready to start. The fridge 'cabinet' also houses the battery bank for the aquaponics and an inverter. Gotta vent that hydrogen too summer or winter, but keep the batts somewhat conditioned. Win win so far imo.

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Re: $680 zoned HVAC instead of $5000 central system

Post by Chalo » Dec 22 2017 8:53pm

nutnspecial wrote:
Dec 22 2017 6:55pm
just as efficient as using any kind of resistive electric heat.
Which is one of the most inefficient I know. ?
Cost-inefficient at most people's prices for electric power, sure. But 100% efficient in that one joule of electricity results in one joule of heat into the space being heated. No warm exhaust that must be vented, no incomplete heat transfer. Heat pumps can move more heat around than the energy it takes to run them, but they're expensive machines and you have to transfer a whole lot of heat before they amortize their purchase and maintenance costs.

In Seattle where electricity prices have been pretty cheap for a long time, and where it's cold most of the time, it's very common to have only electric resistive room heat, water heat, and cooking. In that context, there's no incentive to turn off lights/TV/computers, unplug power supplies, shell out extra for a highly efficient fridge, etc. It's all heat at the same efficiency that you get from the baseboard heaters. The only ways to economize are turn down the thermostat or add insulation and weatherproofing.
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