a/c--whole house options

barriolad

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Feb 27, 2010
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anyone have central air? mine is 1800 squ.ft house. one level.4 brs.
i'm now using one small window unit..want to go ----- cool... any help??
 

DMV123

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Mar 31, 2010
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Central air is available. BUT few have it or use due to the cost of electricity!!!! You need to be very well off to afford that!!!!
 

J D Sauser

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Nov 20, 2004
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anyone have central air? mine is 1800 squ.ft house. one level.4 brs.
i'm now using one small window unit..want to go ----- cool... any help??

Well first of all, are you aware energy wise what you are asking for?
Running A/C on a whole homes WILL run your electricity bill over the 699.99 KWh whack rate... you will pay anywhere up from USD 200.oo/month.
You also realize, that in this country it is not uncommon to experience power blackouts most every day and that an inverter system will NOT run such a rig and a gen-set may have to be quite largely sized to provide the power needed.
You will also have to protect the compressor unit from damage it may suffer from repeated power cuts (especially when the power comes back fairly quickly [delay unit needed]).

That being said, many if not most detached homes here, EVEN in some of the 4 most luxurious developments do NOT have central air. And maybe not only for above considerations.

Thus, you will most likely NOT find many businesses which effectively specialize in CALCULATING and installing central A/C in single family detached homes, except maybe around Santo Domingo.
But you will find, again in the major cities, some companies which specialize in commercial A/C and also equip modern upper scale apartment buildings.
Hard (aluminum lined hard foam or metal) and soft (corrugated and insulated flex-pipes) ducting material is available. So are compressor and evaporator sets as commonly used in the US.

Installing a central A/C system in a home, is not as complex a job as it can be to CALCULATE and plan it!
There now are computer programs available to do that for you. They estimate flow and and air volumes and directions, taking the home's geographical location and orientation (N-S) into account as well including each room's use, size of windows etc into the equation. THIS IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE if you want an effective BALANCED A/C result throughout the home!

If you want to do it yourself, there ARE books available in the US (google it) and probably the calculation programs (you input a simplified schematic of the home and some data) may be downloadable "for FREE" somewhere by now.

I had to do it in Spain, where central A/C in single family detached homes is also NOT as common as one would assume... it was interesting, even fun and we had excellent results. But we were lucky to have had help and being given a custom calculated "blue print" of our ducts, in sizes, forms and shapes (we used the aluminum lined hard foam which can be cut on site to create custom size and shaped ducts. Very wind noise conscious and well insulated!)

... J-D.
 

Conchman

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I have individual AC units in all my 4 bedrooms and recently added an AC unit for the living room. My bill does not exceed RD$8,000 despite me being charged 13 pesos per kilowatt as I live in a private hotel run development. (Granted, the AC's are not run during the day)

I have a 3bedroom condo in The Bahamas that runs on central air, smaller than my house, and in the summer I pay up to US$1,000 per month in electricity. Rates should be similar.

The differences can be huge.
 

sylindr

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Nov 29, 2007
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a/c for house

my house has a forced air unit that we do not use... i would love to sell it because we have never used it.

pm me if you want
 

bachata

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Aug 18, 2007
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Plant trees around the house and then install widows units depending in the size of the room, this is the cheapest way to make it cooler...

JJ
 

J D Sauser

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I have seen the tri or quad zone system like this Sanyo in a 3 bedroom condo in Santiago. Place was about 1350 sq. ft. and system was more than needed to cool the whole condo.

QUAD ZONE 12+7+7+7 kBTU AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM KMS1272/KMS0772-3/CM2472
One compressor into 2 or 3 or 4 split units certainly is an option and they are available in Santiago and Santo Domingo... maybe even a little cheaper than the one suggested (as an example above).
However, each split runs the same BIG compressor capable of runing 2, 3 or all 4 units. In other words, when using only one or two splits, the system may have a somewhat questionable efficiency rating.
These systems are being sold with the "NO ducting needed" argument. Keep in mind however, that there are two insulated (padded) copper pipes and power lines going back and forth between the compressor and EVERY split. One can do that by adding often unsightly PVC channels on the exterior of the home (preferably hidden right under the roof line) to avoid condensation issues inside the walls.

I must say, I am not a great fan of split A/C systems, even though I agree, that they can often be the only solution, especially as a post construction add on. Still, IF somebody considers adding several splits, I would usually recommend adding as many separate stand along split pairs as needed (a dedicated compressor for each split). First, believe it or not, they often turn out cheaper to buy than a 4/1 or 3/1 set and you can "manage" repair issues better (swap units around until repaired).

Finally. You will never experience the comfort of a proper central A/C system with split A/C systems.
But as some have not only suggested but demonstrated with examples, running central A/C with power at up to USD o.30 a Kw... :pirate: you know... :speechles


... J-D.
 

ctrob

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Nov 9, 2006
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Cool Tubes...

Cool Tubes is another option if you have the space outside. Cool Tubes is a 70's name, now their called Earth Tubes.

The concept is very old tho, using the earths cooler temps to bring in cooler air. Monticello has half-buried passage ways leading to the main house that are thought to have been used for cooling the main house. the romans used them, Cavemen did it, etc....

The cool air brought in is best pulled in by Whole House Fan. Works better in a two story house, but not critical to the design.

It works, I've built and used them. If done correctly, along with shading, insulated windows, etc, you won't be able to leave it on all nite. You'll freeze your, uh.....you'll be cold.
 

Daniel10

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Apr 19, 2010
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It works, I've built and used them. If done correctly, along with shading, insulated windows, etc, you won't be able to leave it on all nite. You'll freeze your, uh.....you'll be cold.
Was that in DR? It could work if you're a little more in the country.
Energy Savers: Earth Cooling Tubes gives some pointers about the environment:
Potential Problems
Earth cooling tubes are likely to perform poorly in hot, humid areas, because the ground does not remain sufficiently cool at a reasonable depth during the summer months. Moreover, dehumidification, another equally important aspect of cooling, is difficult to achieve with earth cooling. Mechanical dehumidifiers will most likely be necessary.

The dark and humid atmosphere of the cooling tubes may be a breeding ground for odor-producing molds and fungi. Furthermore, condensation or ground water seepage may accumulate in the tubes and encourage the growth of bacteria. Good construction and drainage could eliminate some of these problems.
 

barriolad

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Feb 27, 2010
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green

I think green. i like the cool tubes...(but) I'll probably go for a thru the wall 24,000 btu unit.
$$500. plus shipping, electrician-new outlet etc...$100. window modification probably another yard.
Family happy---priceless....
 

J D Sauser

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Cool tubes won't work here. As also suggested on the web site mentioned earlier... humidity (again) will create issues of excessive condensation and mold, allergies, fungus and even bacteria.

You can build up your house on an "above ground cellar" like they do in Spain or most of the US's South. Creating an OPEN crawl space 2 or 3 feet high from which cooler air can be pulled up and exhausted again thru chimney escapes, creating a cool to warm circulation.
It's NOT A/C but smarter building.

... J-D.
 

DMV123

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Mar 31, 2010
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I think green. i like the cool tubes...(but) I'll probably go for a thru the wall 24,000 btu unit.
$$500. plus shipping, electrician-new outlet etc...$100. window modification probably another yard.
Family happy---priceless....
Make sure to shop around for pricing on the 24,000 btu unit. Often the price here will include installation, compare that to price from outside plus installation plus hassle at customs PLUS you often void any warranty ....

Sometimes it might be a bit more expensive in the short term and be a better deal in the long term!!!!
 

cobraboy

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Jul 24, 2004
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Cool tubes won't work here. As also suggested on the web site mentioned earlier... humidity (again) will create issues of excessive condensation and mold, allergies, fungus and even bacteria.

You can build up your house on an "above ground cellar" like they do in Spain or most of the US's South. Creating an OPEN crawl space 2 or 3 feet high from which cooler air can be pulled up and exhausted again thru chimney escapes, creating a cool to warm circulation.
It's NOT A/C but smarter building.

... J-D.
They coulkd work, but would have to go very deep.

Geo-therm would be an option, but drilling deep into the rocky DR ground is a challenge...and expensive.
 

ctrob

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Nov 9, 2006
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No, not in the DR. should have put in a disclaimer. I did think of the ground temp, which could probably be fixed by going deeper and packing some good sand around the tubes. And maybe shading the entire tube field.

The humidity/mold thing would be a little harder to overcome. but might be do-able by building in a way to hi-pressure spray clean the inside of the tubes once a month.

A lot of work for retrofit, but if I was building new I might try it.

Was that in DR? It could work if you're a little more in the country.
Energy Savers: Earth Cooling Tubes gives some pointers about the environment:
 
May 29, 2006
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Plant trees around the house and then install widows units depending in the size of the room, this is the cheapest way to make it cooler...

JJ
Best idea. Also vines on the walls. Hibiscus makes a nice living fence and Bougainvillea is a nice vine for walls. There are also special windows that can reduce the amount of heat entering the house.
 

J D Sauser

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They coulkd work, but would have to go very deep.

Geo-therm would be an option, but drilling deep into the rocky DR ground is a challenge...and expensive.
I am afraid they could still encounter the same issue of condensation, CB.
As deep as you chose to install them, they don't FIND cool air, they DO cool air that is supplied thru them from above ground... in most OUR case (we don't all have the privilege to live up in the mountains) here in the DR, that would be HUMID air. As that air cools down in the buried pipes, that humidity condensates and eventually may start to accumulate at the bottom of your pipes and grow "stuff" which may create undesirable odors, even health issues.

Rocky ground which would "siphon" that condensation at the bottom, may however be a solution... but that would be a good luck kind'a thing to find and be able to drill.

"Cool pipes" are for Southern Spain, parts of Australia... and Arizona maybe... hot and DRY situations, but probably not worth the effort in this Tropical climate.

Build your homes over 3 feet of empty space, keep your roof overhangs large and low, double layer your roofs with an airspace, locate and orient your homes so you take full advantage of the breeze THROUGHOUT the it, arrange airflow so cool air can migrate from the shade from the bottom up and hot air escape at the top sucking new cooler air from bellow.
'Cos it's cheaper than making "whoopee" with EdeNorte.

... J-D.
 

cobraboy

Pro-Bono Demolition Hobbyist
Jul 24, 2004
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I am afraid they could still encounter the same issue of condensation, CB.
As deep as you chose to install them, they don't FIND cool air, they DO cool air that is supplied thru them from above ground... in most OUR case (we don't all have the privilege to live up in the mountains) here in the DR, that would be HUMID air. As that air cools down in the buried pipes, that humidity condensates and eventually may start to accumulate at the bottom of your pipes and grow "stuff" which may create undesirable odors, even health issues.

Rocky ground which would "siphon" that condensation at the bottom, may however be a solution... but that would be a good luck kind'a thing to find and be able to drill.

"Cool pipes" are for Southern Spain, parts of Australia... and Arizona maybe... hot and DRY situations, but probably not worth the effort in this Tropical climate.

Build your homes over 3 feet of empty space, keep your roof overhangs large and low, double layer your roofs with an airspace, locate and orient your homes so you take full advantage of the breeze THROUGHOUT the it, arrange airflow so cool air can migrate from the shade from the bottom up and hot air escape at the top sucking new cooler air from bellow.
'Cos it's cheaper than making "whoopee" with EdeNorte.

... J-D.
Geo could work, but the up front cost makes the payback long, like other forms of alternative energy. Here the problem is drilling an adequate hole through rock.

I wonder of geo into a cool cistern or well would work. Certainly the temp difference from hot outside air is considerable...