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jacko10 09-18-2007 05:42 PM

Complete AC installation in Old Capitol Hill Row House
I need air conditioning (will use radiators for heat) in my 90yr old row house in Capitol Hill that currently has no ductwork. DC is hot and muggy (and I am not talking about the interns and old politicians).

The house consists of a basement, 1st floor, 2nd floor, a bit of attic space for an air handler. Each floor is about 700 sq ft and the house is 20 ft wide with common brick party walls on either side. All floors are supported at the brick party walls and have ceiling/floor joists running the width of the house. Ceilings are about 10ft on first and 2nd floor and about 6.5ft for the basement.

The roof has a 5degree slope and the attic space in the front of the house is larger than the back of the house. It would be hard/impossible to run standard ducts in the attic space all the way to the back of the house. Unless you go through the roof and back in.

I have estimates for installing both a high velocity system (unico & spacepak) and quotes on installing traditional ductwork. No prices quoted include patching and drywalling which will vary tremendously based upon proposals.

I can get a traditional ductwork system installed for about $x and about the same price for the least expensive quote for the high velocity systems.
Prices quoted includes putting the condenser on the roof of the house.

(1) How important is it that the air vents be at the windows?
I don't want to spend this much for ac and have hot and cold spots all over the house.
I can install a conventional duct system for $x but vents will not be at the ends of the house (more in the middle on floors in the back of the house.)

(2) It seems possible to route conventional ducts that consume minimal closet space and requiring less patching than the high velocity systems but doing so would mean that the vents would be more in the center of the house then all the way to the windows. How big of a problem is that? Big enough that it would be worth going with a high velocity system that is more expensive to service and I am told much noisier?

(3) I would like to use the basement as livable space (movie's etc), does it need to be air conditioned to stay cool or to remove the humidity?
Some have said but in 3 basement vents, some one vent, some insist on putting in no vents.

(4) I don't have a whole house fan or attic fan. Is it worth installing one in the attic?

(5) If I add central AC to my house how much of the cost will go into the value of the house?

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