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Old 05-08-2009, 02:44 AM   #1
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Can I install AC Now and Add Heat Later


Is there a central AC unit I can install now and add heat later? We have window units now and electric wall heat. Our house is only 864 square feet heated. I appreciate any information anyone can give.

Jim

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Old 05-08-2009, 05:40 AM   #2
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Can I install AC Now and Add Heat Later


Yes and no.

What kind of heat do you currnetly have.

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Old 05-08-2009, 09:26 AM   #3
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Can I install AC Now and Add Heat Later


Usually the other way around. It is not uncommon for folks to install heat and then later add AC. If I read you right, you will be installing AC first, which must include an air handling device and evaporator coil indoors, and thermostat, along with ductwork.

At that point, all that you have left to get to heat, is the installation of the Aux resistance strip heat, which is the least expense of all the above.

Does not seem viable to me, unless you are planning on a heat system that is separate from the AC system (hot water or some other type that is not integral to the AC system.
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:45 PM   #4
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Can I install AC Now and Add Heat Later


May I suggest a Heat Pump. Your cooling and heating loads are pretty close in Chattanooga and it doesn't get that cold which are both ideal for a heat pump. Installation is virtually identical to a central A/C. Cost would be just a little more than A/C but your heating would be considerable cheaper with a heat pump than your current electric resistance.
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:52 PM   #5
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Can I install AC Now and Add Heat Later


Hmm? I missed that, jogr is right. I did not pay any attention to where you are located. You are in a great heat pump part of the country.

As a personal purchase, the price difference between an AC unit and a HP will probably only be a few hundred $$. Contractor provided, a bit more, but still worth it in relation to your heating expenses. All of the other equipment needs will be basically the same, AC or HP.

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Old 05-08-2009, 10:39 PM   #6
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Can I install AC Now and Add Heat Later


Fellows I appreciate your time and information. The reason I am trying to install AC now and heat later is we are on a fixed income and a disabled vet don't get that much.

I have heard that a heat pump does a great job but when it needs repair it is expensive and the extra cost for the heat pump might be more than we can handle right now. Would a regular central AC unit last as long as a heat pump?

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Old 05-08-2009, 10:57 PM   #7
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Can I install AC Now and Add Heat Later


Quote:
Originally Posted by jiju1943 View Post
Fellows I appreciate your time and information. The reason I am trying to install AC now and heat later is we are on a fixed income and a disabled vet don't get that much.

I have heard that a heat pump does a great job but when it needs repair it is expensive and the extra cost for the heat pump might be more than we can handle right now. Would a regular central AC unit last as long as a heat pump?

Jim

Jim,

It gets back to my original thought, and that is a Central AC or Heat Pump either one is going to require the very same equipment and expense for the indoor portion (air handler, evap coil, lineset, ductwork, thermostat) Adding heat later to either will probably cost you as much in labor as the actual heat kit originally. So I guess to finally answer your question, Yes you can add cooling without heat, but I don't think anyone here would recommend it, regardless of budget.

As far as repairs, other than the reversing valve, the repairs for an AC and HP should not be much different. A heat pump may have a slightly shorter life, but only by the fact that it runs more hours as compared to an AC, but with proper maintenance, either should give reasonable life. And, the savings in heating bills would probably more then make up for any reduction in life.

This may ruffle the feather of a few, but if budget is an issue, you may consider buying your own equipment to save money, and hiring a local contractor to complete the work that you are not capable of completing. I do though, recommend you have a relationship with your contractor before you go this direction. If your contractor will help you with this project, then you should be fine. But know that not all will be willing to assist and work with this type of project, so have your relationship set first.

What ever you decide, i wish you the best of luck with your project. This is a DIY forum and you have a need. Keep asking the questions There are some great pros here who have a compassionate ear and good solid advice.
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:03 PM   #8
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Can I install AC Now and Add Heat Later


Quote:
Originally Posted by jiju1943 View Post
Fellows I appreciate your time and information. The reason I am trying to install AC now and heat later is we are on a fixed income and a disabled vet don't get that much.

I have heard that a heat pump does a great job but when it needs repair it is expensive and the extra cost for the heat pump might be more than we can handle right now. Would a regular central AC unit last as long as a heat pump?

Jim
I agree with Home Air Direct, as the difference in pricing is minimal between straight AC and a heat pump. Just get at least 3 quotes and stress the importance of a sound warranty to ease concerns about future repairs. Sooner or later you will have to address the heating as well. Just makes sense to solve both your AC and heating concerns at one time since you live in a climate that allows for a heat pump.
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Old 11-04-2010, 07:45 PM   #9
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Can I install AC Now and Add Heat Later


Quote:
Originally Posted by jiju1943
Fellows I appreciate your time and information. The reason I am trying to install AC now and heat later is we are on a fixed income and a disabled vet don't get that much.

I have heard that a heat pump does a great job but when it needs repair it is expensive and the extra cost for the heat pump might be more than we can handle right now. Would a regular central AC unit last as long as a heat pump?

Jim
Units life spans are usually about 10 years. My father got almost twenty. When hhis compreesor blew up he could not get a seer twelve through supply houses. His boss got a twelve and we put it in last summer. Works good. Thats the only problem is the seer rating. Tx valve have to be matched with compressors for the correct pressures. Heat pumps are ac units not familular with the compressors but the can't be much different the straight a/c. In a heat pump system there is a valve that reverses the evap and condesor also a little extra piping. In terms of converting exsisting ac systems to heat pumps....not to sure.


Read home air directs advice after this post and it is sound advice. Do the heat now if you can swing it. He does know what he is talking about.

Last edited by ianc435; 11-04-2010 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 11-05-2010, 10:30 AM   #10
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Can I install AC Now and Add Heat Later


If you are sure you want to install a heat pump, you could do the ducts now and install the heat pump itself later when your budget permits.

The deluxe system has ducts in both floor and ceiling. For a 2 story house, one set of ducts in 2'nd floor ceiling, one set between the floors, one set in first story floor. Set in the middle has adjustable louvers in floor above for heating mode and adjustable louvers in ceiling below for AC mode. This way you have cooled air coming down from the ceiling and warm air coming up from the floor.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 11-05-2010 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:55 AM   #11
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Can I install AC Now and Add Heat Later


Thank you all so much for your help, I really do appreciate it.

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