Clippings by ss454-1969

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Quandary over forced air - any choice?

posted by: mtnlaw on 08.02.2007 at 11:16 pm in Heating & Air Conditioning Forum

Hello all. This is my first post here after following these very helpful forums for a while.

We are trying to making some final decisions on our new build and one of the biggest of course is HVAC related. Ill first summarize basic facts about our location and design, and then put my quandary on the table for you.

House specifics:

Location: Western North Carolina/Blue Ridge Mountains
Elevation: 3200
Site: South-facing slope with creek from which we are getting micro-hydro power, grid-tied, approx. 800-1000 KwH per month; passive solar design with long axis of house facing 165 degrees (15 degrees off due south); western sun dips behind treeline in late afternoon to minimize heat gain in summer; eastern morning sun will cause some summer heat gain issues
Size: 2146 sq. ft.; total volume of conditioned space per Manual J: 19,317 ft.
Manual J calc fugures are below (I have little clue what they mean)
Design: 2-story: Walkout basement with ICF walls; main floor hybrid timber frame with advanced stick framing;
Icynene insulation throughout; envelope will be very tight

Manual J:

Check Figures
Total Building Supply CFM: 1,192 CFM Per Square ft.: 0.555
Square ft. of Room Area: 2,146 Square ft. Per Ton: 1,214
Volume (ft) of Cond. Space: 19,317 Air Turnover Rate (per hour): 3.7
Building Loads
Total Heating Required With Outside Air: 36,657 Btuh 36.657 MBH (Based On 0.960 Derating)
Total Sensible Gain: 14,568 Btuh 82 %
Total Latent Gain: 3,302 Btuh 18 %
Total Cooling Required With Outside Air: 17,870 Btuh 1.49 Tons (Based On Sensible + Latent)
1.77 Tons (Based On 75% Sensible Capacity)
(and 0.916 Sensible Derating)

Please let me know if Im leaving out anything else germane to HVAC issues.

Heres the quandary: Our initial direction was to go without ductwork/forced air, and instead use radiant floor heat + possibly wood stoves for heat, possibly mini-splits for cooling, but that didnt address dehumidification and whole house air-exchange/ventilation. Budget issues dictated a reconsideration of that approach and we are now considering a forced air system and have received quotes for Trane XL16i and XL19i with heat pumps, zoned controls, XV95 2 stage variable speed gas furnace, Clean Effects filter and ERV.


1. I just dont know if our layperson thinking was off from the get go about not having any ductwork. We had a dream (if you call it that) about not having it, but it just seems too problematic in trying to address all the other air/ventilation issues that are left unsolved by just using radiant heat and mini-splits. Is this an issue that anyone has any opinions on resolving?

2. We really wanted radiant heat, but doesnt it become irrelevant or overkill if we go with forced air?

2. Are these quotes from the Trane dealer within a reasonable range? They include labor and equipment with 10 year workmanship warranty in addition to the manufacturers warranty. The Clean Effect filter and ERV are extras not included in these prices but the furnace is. Do you need any more information to assess them?


Make: Trane Model Number(s): 2TWX9030B1000A 2TEE3F40B1000A BATHTR1408000A

SEER: 17.3 HSPF: 9.5 Btuh Cooling: 30,000 Btuh Heating: 30,000

Installation shall include: a Trane, XL19i, two stage, heat pump with a Trane, variable speed, 8kw, air handler installed with a three zone automatic control system to allow temperature control from each of the three zones.
Total Investment: $ 16,838.47


Make: Trane Model Number(s): 4TWX6024B1000A 4TEE3F31B1000A BATHTR1408000A

SEER: 16 HSPF: 8.6 Btuh Cooling: 24,000 Btuh Heating: 24,000

Installation shall include: a Trane, XL16i, two stage, heat pump with a Trane, variable speed, 8kw, air handler installed with a three zone automatic control system to allow temperature control form each of the three zones.
Total Investment: $ 18,385.83

Thanks very much in advance for any replies.


clipped on: 08.06.2007 at 01:27 pm    last updated on: 08.06.2007 at 01:27 pm

Who makes basketweave floor tile?

posted by: funky5 on 06.11.2006 at 10:22 am in Bathrooms Forum

I'm looking for the traditional basketweave floor tile to put in our bathroom. Can anyone tell me who makes this type of tile?
Thanks so much!


clipped on: 08.06.2007 at 09:26 am    last updated on: 08.06.2007 at 09:26 am

RE: Handrail and balusters (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: ss454-1969 on 08.05.2007 at 11:08 pm in Remodeling Forum

Hi everyone as this subject seems to be something that a lot of folks with stairs are wanting to do, change or up grade is a big decision in time, effort, & O-YA money!

I would only buy your rail & stair parts from a stair company or someone that knows how to install these parts. They can usually straighten you out over the phone when you become stuck on a decision that could cost you all the money you would have saved by buying your parts at a box store or anywhere that does not make their living installing what they sell.

I would also check out this web site of a 30 year old comany to see some great pictures of finished styles of stairs & rail work. I also know they ship all over the US & if you fax a list of styles/parts (catalog names & or numbers) & a drawing (looking down at your plans/stair) of your stairs, they will help you get the right parts "the first time" & I would also ask if they have any styles that they are discontinuing or over runs if you are not too picky on styles.

When you talk to a stair company they will tell you that there are no 2" x 2" balusters, that they come as 1-1/4", 1-3/4", and some 2-1/4" are the standard size. Newels are 3" x 3", 3-1/4" and box newels can be just about any size your pocket book can stand!

Once you have figured out your plan of attack, like do I want the balusters to dowel into the treads, or do I want an elavated shoe rail that runs just above the tread nose at the pitch of the stair so the balusters fit into it and this will tell you and the stair pro how long the balusters need to be and then all you parts will start to fill in as you need them. Are you covering your old stair with new Oak Treads & if so, what about the rise change, will they still meet code in your area. Why spend all this $$$ if it does not knock your socks off when your done!

Most Stairs/Rails are usually near or at the entry where your guests enter your home, you want it to set the feel of your home that it is a quality built home, so shady workmanship here is a NO-NO!

You need to remember that there is a reason that more then half of the carpenters work on stairs, but only 10% know how to work on the rails system and if it's curved it's like only 2% that can do it in a timely mannor and make money doing it! Old Stair guy


clipped on: 08.06.2007 at 01:37 am    last updated on: 08.06.2007 at 01:37 am