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Mini-ducts


pete
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I am getting read to build a house for myself and I am trying to learn more about them. I have seen them on TV but can not seem to find alot of info. Are they as good as advertised? I am trying to hold to energey efficient standards so using the mini ducts might make it easier to keep them all on inside walls.

Pete

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Hi Pete,

I somewhat envey you at building your own home that includes a high pressure ventilation system.

I know of one excellent company that I'm comfortable with, The UNICO System.

www.unicosystem.com

As a contractor, I have attended their last workshop in Canada, they will offer installers workshop at their St.Louis plant at a cost of $300.00 per weekend.

It's a most excellent product WHEN INSTALLED BY TRAINED CONTRACTORS.

If you wish to discuss this, you can PM me or do it here...your choice.

I implore you to research it before you implement it into your home design.

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Originally posted by pete

What HVAC websites were you referring to?

Try Googleing different combinations of heating, cooling, ventilation, HVAC, etc. with "forums". There are a lot of different ones out there, running from design & engineering sites to contractors to homeowners. The only one I can recall offhand is HVAC-Talk.com . I did a little snooping on this topic once and ran across a discussion among contractors who basically felt the efficiency wasn't so good for the money (more SEER for less bucks with other systems).

Which leads me to another question. Exactly what the heck is SEER? Can someone explain it in terms I might understand?

Brian G.

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Rob,

The Unico site is very interesting. They seem to have a very flexible product, lots of options. Their claim of much less humidity rang a bell. That same discussion I ran across before touched on that. One of the contractors named some advance in certain conventional systems which equalled that mark, but I didn't fully follow him (shock).

I see they're a corporate partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. When I looked into this before it was to gather information to make clients aware of the option if they were considering an older home with no central systems. These are less obtrusive systems if you love the old look, and some houses I've seen have room for nothing else in terms of ducts.

Brian G.

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Brian,

As you know,

moving warm air over an evaporator coil will condense the air, thus the condensate pan and drain line etc.

Once apon a time, when a Mr. Carrier was designing AC's he consulted two groups, the marketers and the engineers. He made a choice to move warm air over his coil at the marketers designs because it was more economical.

Short story, moving air slowly over the coil (removes more moisture) is more expensive but has the endorsement of proper engineering practices.

Unico has literally developed a whole new industry, yes industry, to circumvent government restrictions on claims they now can make. Another long story.

The price will shock you as well at its performance.

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Hi Pete,

You didn't say, but I'm guessing that where you are you're planning on a hydronic heating system, so I grabbed these links for you over at PM Mag:

http://www.pmmag.com/pm/cda/articleinfo ... 01dbc.html

http://www.pmmag.com/pm/cda/articleinfo ... 01dbc.html

http://www.pmmag.com/pm/cda/articleinfo ... 01dbc.html

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by pete

Does anybody have any experience with the mini-duct AC systems? Know of any good info out on the web? I tried google but did not find anything informative..

Pete

I’ve seen them used back east on some restoration projects and they worked very well, indeed. But they serve a very narrow niche market and I don’t think new construction falls within the niche.

They were originally designed as a retrofit system to get air conditioning to buildings with hot water or steam heating. This is still their highest and best use. If you’ve got a historic home with some form of radiant heating, and you want to add air conditioning while disrupting the building as little as possible, these are the perfect choice. These things are definitely not the best choice for residential new construction, though. Although the two main manufacturers (Spacepak and Unico) offer heating designs, they are really not well suited for it.

The problem with using these for heating is that they use very high velocities, and rather low temperatures (even worse than heat pumps). Their installation instructions stress the importance of locating the outlets in places where the “cone of influenceâ€

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Hi,

Good eye Rob, I'd say so. Except, it looks like the outlet from the trap is low enough to ensure that it drains before it gets so high that it is backing up into the unit. Still, not the best photo in the world to use with that article. I wonder if subsequent issues of PM had letters from readers commenting on it?

OT - OF!!!

M.

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