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Mr. Wizard

air conditioner

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We have a completely finished split level with hot water heat so no duct work. I'm looking at getting an attic mounted system to add central air. Anyone know the approximate cost for that type of system installed?

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Costs a left arm. Just kidding but I have heard that they are VERY spendy by the time all the duct work is installed. HVAC guys do not work cheap. Depending on your attic you may want to look at running the duct work (insulated tubing) yourself. Cutting square holes in the ceiling for the vents is not all that tough. Careful where you step though or you will be in the living room before ya know it! Take care and N Joy the Hunt././Jimbo

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check out a mini split system. Ductless, heatpump, and cheaper than a full ducted system. Downside is they are on the wall and can be seen.

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i would advise against the attic unit. i bought a house with that type of system and ended up taking it out--- condensation built up in the ductwork which created for a huge air quality issue. maybe the contractor installing it didn't insulate things very well- but it definetely became unhealthy. the split units aren't cheap-- but that might be the best way to go.

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Why not just frame in a window that would then accomodate a window unit? Much cheaper and I would guess. Plus how much do we really use the ac in MN. I really miss the window kinds as I was able to "control" the areas I wanted cooled. Plus on a split all the cold air will rush to the basement.

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Thanks for all the replys. I still need more info, especially now that I got the estimate back at $6100! And that was only for the upstairs. No ducts to the basement. I'm not worried about condensation or problems if I have this installed by the plumber we use. He didn't seem interested in me running the ducts so thats not an option on saving money either. We have a wall mounted unit now but I'd have to put 3 more in to cover the other rooms. How is the mini split unit different than a regular window unit?

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i would get a few more estimates.seems a little high..if u put an air handler in your attic thats only going to cover your upstairs. not much difference in a window unit to a mini split besides the thing hanging in your window and cheaper to run. you'll still have the ac lines and drain running outside your house.

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those type of split systems are very expensive, very! Very nice, quiet, aesthetically pleasing. you can put uo to 3 indoor heads and have only 1 outdoor condensing unit. I think they work pretty slick. Will pump heat in winter too

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If you are going to put it in the attic then there are certain things you should do. Depending on what you are willing to do yourself you can save a lot of money. First off you want to weatherize the attic. Air leaks from the living space to the attic will carry moisture with the potential for mold etc. Seal up wherever something protrudes into the attic like plumbing stack, wires, flues etc.

Have the duct work installed sealing around each register and seal the duct work. Then insulate around the ducts with cellulose insulation bringing everything to an r50.

The critical thing to do is to seal for air leaks from the house to the attic and in the duct work and then to insulate. If you do that you will not have mold and your system will operate effectively and efficiently. The key is paying attention to the little details which may be something you want to do yourself. It is labor intensive and attention to detail is important. Although many contractors will bad mouth flex duct a conference I was at said that air flow through the duct is actually quite good.

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