Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > HVAC

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-15-2007, 09:11 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 15
Rewards Points: 0
Share |
Default

HVAC New Construction


Hi all. I am in the process of building a new house and i am wondering what anyones thoughts are on installing the HVAC system myself. I am a GC and pretty knowledgeable guy. I understand how split systems work as well as duct work. Where i am a little in the dark is the load calculations, (taking into account the R-value of the insulating and the size of the hose. and proper sizing/tapering of the duct work, along with the zoning of the system.Any advice is greatly appreciated.

1K2GO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2007, 06:42 AM   #2
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2
Rewards Points: 0
Default

HVAC New Construction


It is against federal law for you to install A/C equipment without a license. It is also dangerous for you to be installing a furnace without proper training and experience. Call a professional. Why does everyone here insisting on fixing furnaces and air conditioners themselves. You wouldn't represent yourself in a legal case, would you?

ruudman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2007, 09:23 AM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 197
Rewards Points: 0
Default

HVAC New Construction


Quote:
Originally Posted by ruudman View Post
It is against federal law for you to install A/C equipment without a license. It is also dangerous for you to be installing a furnace without proper training and experience. Call a professional. Why does everyone here insisting on fixing furnaces and air conditioners themselves. You wouldn't represent yourself in a legal case, would you?
What federal law are you referring to? Do you mean an EPA license? I have seen a few GC install their own equipment, as well as a homeowner. Installing an A/C isn't really a do it yourself project. Usually, the GC or homeowner will not be able to do the whole job. They will call someone out to wire up/startup the unit or to braze in the joints, etc... They then bombard the tech with hundreds of questions. To the OP, I would say to have someone do it for you. Even a service tech in the field for 20 plus years, will have a difficult time installing their own unit properly. It takes a knowledgeable installer to do it correctly. The only do it yourself project most knowledgeable homeowners could probably handle would be a condenser. Stay away from the air handler/furnace at all costs. With that said, I do not know your level of knowledge. I think anybody can accomplish anything with the proper guidance. One could even represent themselves in the court of law. I do things all the time that I wasn't trained for. I even just finished replacing my own roof.
Malcolm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2007, 12:52 PM   #4
Member
 
coolmen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: jersey
Posts: 135
Rewards Points: 0
Default

HVAC New Construction


A GC means nothing when it comes down to calculating ,designing,installing HVAC equipment9( PROPERLY)). Get estamites
coolmen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2007, 06:06 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 197
Rewards Points: 0
Default

HVAC New Construction


Quote:
Originally Posted by coolmen View Post
A GC means nothing when it comes down to calculating ,designing,installing HVAC equipment9( PROPERLY)). Get estamites
I don't think anybody said it did. He was just stating that he has general knowledge of construction. Most installers have no clue how to do load calcs. I do agree though that installing units should be left to the professional. It isn't something you can just read in a book or a forum. There are a lot of different facets to install.
Malcolm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2007, 11:05 AM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 33
Rewards Points: 0
Default

HVAC New Construction


Has anyone checked out some of the DIY HVAC companies? Send them your blueprints and they design the necessary system for you and you can order the parts from them or get them somewhere else. I personally don't have any experience with them, but it is likely that they design the system the exact same way that other hired professionals do.

In my opinion it would be kind of like electrical and plumbing. Most of the system can be done (roughed in) by a DIY. Why would anyone pay a professional electrician to string wire, or a plumber to run PEX? Call in the professional at the end to do a once over and finish the thing off. Not too difficult if you ask me.
Cache is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2007, 12:48 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 197
Rewards Points: 0
Default

HVAC New Construction


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cache View Post
Has anyone checked out some of the DIY HVAC companies? Send them your blueprints and they design the necessary system for you and you can order the parts from them or get them somewhere else. I personally don't have any experience with them, but it is likely that they design the system the exact same way that other hired professionals do.

In my opinion it would be kind of like electrical and plumbing. Most of the system can be done (roughed in) by a DIY. Why would anyone pay a professional electrician to string wire, or a plumber to run PEX? Call in the professional at the end to do a once over and finish the thing off. Not too difficult if you ask me.

I haven't checked out any of these sites. You have to own a lot of expensive equipment to install a system, such as torches, vacuum pump, recovery machine (if you can't pump it down), etc... The three things I just listed can run you well over a grand. If you mean just setting the unit, I think a diyer could do it. It doesn't take much to level a slab and to set an air handler. You would need trade knowledge for the duct connections though. You would also need to know how to braze in the copper, wire in the unit (high voltage and low), pulling a vacuum, charging the unit, etc... It isn't as easy as just stringing a wire. You don't pay the electrician just for that. You pay him for his knowledge on what size and type of wire and how to run it. I guarantee you wouldn't be able to install a HVAC unit, especially a gas furnace. Like I said before, I have had to bail out service techs that attempted to install units. I'm not saying it is a difficult job to learn, but you have to learn it before you can do it. It isn't as easy as running one wire to a light fixture.
Malcolm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2007, 05:13 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 33
Rewards Points: 0
Default

HVAC New Construction


I agree with what you are saying. My comments were more directed at the idea of using one of these DIY companies to map out the system. If they can really map out a system according to blueprints, and supply the materials with instructions, it seems that running the duct work and setting the unit wouldn't be too difficult. Then call in a professional to get the system finished off and running. If you can avoid it, no sense in paying a pro $80/hr to perform the unskilled part of the job.

Admittedly though, I don't know how good these DIY companies are.
Cache is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2007, 10:41 AM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 197
Rewards Points: 0
Default

HVAC New Construction


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cache View Post
I agree with what you are saying. My comments were more directed at the idea of using one of these DIY companies to map out the system. If they can really map out a system according to blueprints, and supply the materials with instructions, it seems that running the duct work and setting the unit wouldn't be too difficult. Then call in a professional to get the system finished off and running. If you can avoid it, no sense in paying a pro $80/hr to perform the unskilled part of the job.

Admittedly though, I don't know how good these DIY companies are.
I see what you are saying. All I could see a company like that doing is sizing the unit a duct work. They wouldn't be able to see the actual layout of the duct though. I mean they can draw on the blueprints where the duct should run, the size of the duct, the size of the drops, etc... Doing something on paper and in real life is totally different. There are many obstacles you have to run your duct through. You would have to be able to run offsets to get it through. It is hard enough to get installers to do it right are supposedly experienced. It would be really hard to have a first timer do it. Maybe, they just do all flex duct systems and send you distribution boxes. I could see a homeowner doing that, but it is a horrible way to run duct. They would still have a lot of trouble attaching the unit to the duct.
Malcolm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2007, 09:13 AM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 33
Rewards Points: 0
Default

HVAC New Construction


Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm View Post
I see what you are saying. All I could see a company like that doing is sizing the unit a duct work. They wouldn't be able to see the actual layout of the duct though. I mean they can draw on the blueprints where the duct should run, the size of the duct, the size of the drops, etc... Doing something on paper and in real life is totally different. There are many obstacles you have to run your duct through. You would have to be able to run offsets to get it through. It is hard enough to get installers to do it right are supposedly experienced. It would be really hard to have a first timer do it. Maybe, they just do all flex duct systems and send you distribution boxes. I could see a homeowner doing that, but it is a horrible way to run duct. They would still have a lot of trouble attaching the unit to the duct.
Gotcha. Admittedly I'm not the expert on HVAC, there are just certain parts that don't seem too complicated. I think they do use flex duct for the most part. I didn't realize that it was inferior.

In regards to your other comments regarding where to run the ducts, I have a question for you. Someone suggested that I use floor trusses instead of joists over the basement so that I can run the ducts through them instead of under them. They made it sound like I can completely conceal all the ductwork in the ceiling without having to resort to any of the conventional methods like drop ceiling, boxing it in with drywall, or leaving it exposed.

Is that really the case?
Cache is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2007, 09:52 AM   #11
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2
Rewards Points: 0
Default

HVAC New Construction


Quote:
Originally Posted by ruudman View Post
Why does everyone here insisting on fixing furnaces and air conditioners themselves.
The answer is simple-- there is a plague of incompetence amongst people installing AC. The people that actually know the trade are also fed up with the morons that win contracts then install a disaster and someone else has to come and fix there poor install. Trying to get the right answer is next to impossible. To air condition the same exact space I have had estimators bid to use a 2 ton to a 4 ton system. That is just nuts. Even people in forums (not here) that have identified themselves as pros don't understand the difference between the volume of space in a room and calculating the heat load. The idea of paying 10k for labor to install a system that has a reasonably high chance of being wrong and needing to be redone is staggering. I understand that there is more than one way to skin a cat and no one right install but it is amazing how many suggestions are fundamentally wrong. e.g. you don't cut a roof supporting structure to get to the back of a house, you don't put a vent and return duct outlets right next to each other, etc.

Look at governemnt sites stating that as high as 85% of all installations are wrong. "Wrong" can encompass many degrees.

It would be nice if payment could be contigent upon the job being done correctly. It would be nice if there was some unbaised metric that would be fair to both the person installing the system and the home owner that determine if it is installed correctly.

There needs to be a greater insentive for installers to do the job correctly. This will help both the professionals that know what their doing and the consumer.
jacko10 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2007, 02:16 PM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 197
Rewards Points: 0
Default

HVAC New Construction


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cache View Post
Gotcha. Admittedly I'm not the expert on HVAC, there are just certain parts that don't seem too complicated. I think they do use flex duct for the most part. I didn't realize that it was inferior.

In regards to your other comments regarding where to run the ducts, I have a question for you. Someone suggested that I use floor trusses instead of joists over the basement so that I can run the ducts through them instead of under them. They made it sound like I can completely conceal all the ductwork in the ceiling without having to resort to any of the conventional methods like drop ceiling, boxing it in with drywall, or leaving it exposed.

Is that really the case?
I wasn't referring to just flex duct. I was referring to all-flex systems. Some people call the spider systems or spider boxes. These systems are made up of flex and distribution boxes instead of running a main trunk line. As far as running the duct in the basement, my area does not have basements at all. We run duct through floor trusses all of the time on two (plus) story buildings. You do not need any access to the duct unless you have motorized dampers or similar that need access.

Malcolm is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Do I need a HVAC return vent in basement? westing HVAC 13 04-03-2014 01:43 AM
History of HVAC Industry Brands winkydink HVAC 8 03-25-2011 07:28 AM
HVAC plans for remodel wease HVAC 3 03-23-2011 10:47 AM
New Construction Odor Bewildered1971 Building & Construction 12 06-25-2008 09:39 PM
new 3 ton hvac Payne units. No cool air comes out when fan, compressor,thermostat run runbikeengr HVAC 10 04-10-2007 05:59 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.