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Dinosaurus

07:46AM | 08/23/05
Member Since: 06/16/05
140 lifetime posts
Bvhvac
My home is a 1960s split level.

My air conditioning unit is in the attic space. Surrounding this unit is lots of insulation. Not all of the flooring is covered with wood planks so therefore alot of the insulation can be seen. Is it possible this insulation can get into the air ducts? I noticed some itchyness when we use the central air.

Another question is "When do you know when it is time to replace insulation?"

I had some cable lines dropped down the walls and the guy said the insulation was the older type and he could see pieces of glass. Isnt that what all insulation is like? Fiberglass.

Thanks

tomh

09:32AM | 08/23/05
Member Since: 07/01/03
550 lifetime posts
"Is it possible this insulation can get into the air ducts?"

Not likely, most forced air systems are under positive pressure on the distribution side, and would leak outward. Inward leaks would only be possible in the return air duct. Distribution system leaks are the leading cause of energy loss and are worth finding and fixing. A technician can pressurize the system and determine if leaks are present, or you can do it the old fashion way, by inspecting all joints.

"When do you know when it is time to replace insulation?"

Generally you never need to replace insulation, but you may want to add to it or redistribute it. Insulation settles over time. Adding blown in cellulose or fiberglass insulation or fiberglass batts is an easy DIY project that can pay back in improved energy efficiency. If insulation is damaged by moisture, mold, animal nesting or has become very dirty, it may need to be disposed and replaced.

Dinosaurus

12:53PM | 08/23/05
Member Since: 06/16/05
140 lifetime posts
Thank you for the information .. Does insulation of this age have asbestos in it?

The insulation doesnt have much fluff to it , so who do I call to check out the insulation? What is a distribution system leak? You mean it may be leaking freon? It does not cool the house very well and the last heating/cooling guy that was there said it needed freon. I have another guy coming tomorrow to look at it. Thanks so much

tomh

01:50PM | 08/23/05
Member Since: 07/01/03
550 lifetime posts
Does insulation of this age have asbestos in it?

That would be VERY unusual. This is most likely fiberglass, and could be mineral wool.

The insulation doesnt have much fluff to it , so who do I call to check out the insulation?

Just measure the depth. Depending on where you live (climate) you may need 6-inches (R-30) or more in the attic. Inches of dead air space trapped in insulation = resistance to thermal flow. The more resistance, the better for your energy bills. Any insulation contractor can quickly assess your situation and give you an estimate.

What is a distribution system leak? You mean it may be leaking freon?

No, we are talking about duct leaks. Distribution ducts blow air from the furnace/AC to the rooms, and the return duct recirculates air from the room through the furnace/AC. It is cheaper to recirculate conditioned air than to fully condition fresh air.

It does not cool the house very well and the last heating/cooling guy that was there said it needed freon.

You may well need the heating/cooling system to be maintained to have the best efficiency, but leaks in the duct work are very common, and may actually be the problem. If the system checks out OK and still does not yield the conditioning you expect, have the technician check for duct leaks. Integrity is critical or you just air-condition the outdoors.

Billhart

04:25PM | 08/23/05
Member Since: 04/25/05
1916 lifetime posts
"t does not cool the house very well and the last heating/cooling guy that was there said it needed freon.

You may well need the heating/cooling system to be maintained to have the best efficiency, but leaks in the duct work are very common, and may actually be the problem. If the system checks out OK and still does not yield the conditioning you expect, have the technician check for duct leaks. Integrity is critical or you just air-condition the outdoors."

Yes, duct leakage can be very critical.

Specially with the system in the attic.

That can depressuirize the house and cause makeup air to be drawn from outside and/or the basement.

And that in turn can draw in moisture.


Dinosaurus

07:19PM | 08/24/05
Member Since: 06/16/05
140 lifetime posts
Thanks to all who replied. This is my fourth hvac guy who came to the house. The first said I just needed to change the filter, the second said it needed freon and the third said the who in the wall needed to be bigger. After all this I had my cousin come to look at it (he has a h/a business) He said that I have a 2 ton unit. The intake vent is 12 inch and should be 12 and the vents that blow the air out are too small. He said that I should have 850 (cfm?)something and I only have 550. So therefore there is not enough air being circulated. SO that is my problem. Wow no wonder I was hot all summer.

Dinosaurus

07:21PM | 08/24/05
Member Since: 06/16/05
140 lifetime posts
My intake vent is 12 and should be 14. THe vents that blow out the air are too small in some spaces and too big in others. There is not enough air circulating to keep the house cool. The only place that stays cool is in the living room (thermostat in this room). There fore there is no cool air upstairs because the whole system has not been sized properly. So how much is it to fix this problem. I just bought this house.
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