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Old 01-23-2010, 12:19 PM   #1
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Whole-system update for 1950's Ranch?

Our house is a mid-1950's Ranch. When we moved in 3 years ago, we had to update/upgrade it electrical system. In the next couple of years, we'd like to update/upgrade its ventilation ducting (original?), heater (1973), and maybe add A/C to bring it up to today's air quality and energy standards. Is there an all-in-one kind of contractor that will help us do a whole-system approach?

We live in a fairly temperate climate with only about 3-10 days of frost in the Winter but about 7-15 days of very hot days in the Summer/Fall. The heating ducts run through the unconditioned crawlspace & the returns (?) run through the unconditioned attic. The house has NO insulation in the walls, and only about 2-3 inches of rock wool in the attic. And, it is built primarily over a vented crawlspace (the garage and enclosed patio have concrete slab). The garage has a ceiling that connects it to a common attic. The bathrooms only have windows (and one has a skylight) for ventilation.

When we talked to one HVAC contractor, he didn't seem to want to do anything to the ducting (validate its size, etc.) except eliminate the heating ducts to the enclosed patio. When we talked to two insulation contractors, they did not talk about what to do with air flows (natural beneficial venting) and air leaks (natural non-helpful venting).



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Old 01-23-2010, 12:53 PM   #2
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Where do you live? city and state.


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Old 01-23-2010, 01:01 PM   #3
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Seperate contractors is the way to go. Be specific on what you want done when talking to them. Any that are not willing to look into the issues that you ask about are not worth hiring.

The HVAC guys should do a load calculation, check duct work size and quote prices for bathroom ventalation. The insulators only deal with that . Leaky windows and such will be yet another contractor.

You could call a general contractor and he will hire all the subs but then you are paying a middle man, which is not a bad thing if you don't want to deal with checking multiple companys yourself.
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:00 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by yuri View Post
Where do you live? city and state.
East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area, California
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