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Rowlanda  (Level: 70.0 - Posts: 2853)
Sun, 25th May '08 4:09 AM


I just wrote a request for information
in the "Ask the Audience" section - but
have realized that I'd probably get a
faster answer from the Salty Dog, just
because more people read it.
My question is about central A/C units
so if you know anything about them, I'd
really appreciate your input
Thanks from

Gypsylady  (Level: 149.2 - Posts: 6102)
Sun, 25th May '08 7:22 AM


We have a Ducane 5 ton gas pack which is central heating and air. The air conditioner runs on electricity whereas the heat runs on gas. We've had it since 12/01 almost seven years. I really enjoy it as compared to window units. With those I was usually freezing or burning up. Our most expensive cooling bill was $330.00 last August in the hottest part of summer, whereas in the winter, when we use the gas for heat it's around $200.00. We have our gas on a program whereas we pay an average amount a month of around $118.00 every month. If we didn't have the program it would be excessively high every month in the winter, and around $20.00 in the summer, as we use a gas cook stove which is all that would be on the summer bill when we were not using the heat. We prefer the average all year around as opposed to extremely high in the winter and almost nothing in the warm months. I usually set the thermostat on 75 in the winter and around 70 to 73 in the summer. You may prefer to have an all electric unit for both heat and air. I don't really have a lot to compare it to as basically this is the only one we've had in this house. At another house we used to have a Trane which was all electric, but that was over 20 years ago, so couldn't really compare the prices. This is just my experience. Hopefully, others will have more advice or answers.


Pepperdoc  (Level: 152.5 - Posts: 4285)
Sun, 25th May '08 10:36 AM

Rowland, I hope you get a third-party (someone who doesn't sell A/C units) to give you an evaluation. It will depend upon your square footage and you'll need to have the appropriate number of intake ducts as well as output ducts (learned that the hard way). I can't give advice on my current system because it was already in the house when I bought it. Ask about the filters - if you have pets, the filters clog up more often. You may want an electrostatic filter that needs to be cleaned or replaced yearly instead of the usual kind that needs to be replaced more often (this may sound like a minor thing, but if the filter is in the attic, it could be a pain to reach.) I live in an area that gets very hot in the summer, so my needs for A/C are probably different than yours. I also recommend getting a really good programmable theromstat.

Knerd  (Level: 99.0 - Posts: 1139)
Sun, 25th May '08 11:55 AM

If you have two stories and just one unit you might want to look into zone cooling which would give you two thermostats. That's what I have and during the summer the upstairs thermostat is on only and vice versa during the winter. Also, you can look into evaporative cooler units to help cut down on your air conditioner use. They can cool a room by 6-15 degrees and it is a simple plug in unit.

Good luck and stay cool!

Toledosugar  (Level: 51.4 - Posts: 281)
Sun, 25th May '08 7:15 PM

Hi Rowlanda,
I posted a response to your original thread, hope it is helpful.

Phitzy1  (Level: 66.4 - Posts: 873)
Sun, 25th May '08 9:19 PM

Rowlanda, as long as you have ducted heat like gas forced or something with a fan to circulate it (as opposed to radiator or hot water).

Check with neighbours and other homeowners to see who'd they recommend usually it'll be listed as HVAC.

Good luck and may you be shivering with the conditioned air blowing upon you!

Rowlanda  (Level: 70.0 - Posts: 2853)
Mon, 26th May '08 11:28 PM

Thanks so much to my friends Phitzy, Knerd
Pepperdoc, Unclonewolf3, Toledosugar, and
particularly Revdodd....
Today I called the contractor back, told him
exactly what I want and don't want done, used
all the new vocabulary I've learned from you
guys....and stunned him with my decisiveness
and expertise!!!!

Thank you again....

Revdodd  (Level: 68.7 - Posts: 775)
Tue, 27th May '08 6:33 AM

Happy my past aggravations may help save you from those of the future....

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