Where can I find a 1 ton 13 SEER or better central HVAC system?
I am renovating an 8 unit (1 BR) efficiency apartment building in Atlanta GA. The building is block construction, slab on grade, built in the 50s. Even the interior walls are a large brick/block material. The individual units are roughly 500 Sq feet each. I know from talking with contractors and my own mechanical engineering background that I will need a 1 ton central system. Problem is, I can’t seem to find a one ton system 13 SEER ir better OR a contractor that can install one. There are wall mount and ceiling mount systems, but I have to vent the conditioned air to a bedroom, kitchen, living room, and bath. All of these rooms are small and separate making any system that vents one room not very ideal. I have quotes for a 1 1/2 ton system with the understanding that this system will cycle often never dehumidifying the humid SE air. Any suggestions greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Use a ductless minisplit:
Martin, I'm confused about those mini splits. Do they provide air from the outside and take moisture out of the building? Or do they just cool the existing air?
A ductless minisplit is just an air-source heat pump. Some provide air conditioning only; other units can provide both space heating and air conditioning.
A ductless minisplit does not provide outdoor ventilation air. In that respect, it is just like a window air conditioner or a central air conditioner hooked up to your furnace. If you want ventilation, you need to install a ventilation system.
A ductless minisplit has an outdoor unit (a condenser) just like a central air conditioner. It also has an indoor unit (which includes the evaporator coil). The indoor unit is just a fan-coil unit; the coil contains refrigerant.
When the thermostat calls for cooling, the fan comes on, blowing indoor air over the cold coils. No outdoor air enters the building.
When condensation forms on the coils, the condensation drips to a pan connected to a small vinyl drain tube. The condensation drains to the exterior of the building. Because of this condensation collection system, a ductless minisplit can dehumidify the indoor air, like any air conditioner.
I considered this. I will need to get the conditioned air to all the rooms. Given my understanding of these units, they feed air into one main room. I have three rooms that are nearly the same size and a separate bathroom. I could place the unit in the ceiling above the space between the kitchen and living room, but then the bedroom and bath will not get any air. There is a hallway and then doorways with doors between the bedroom, bath, and main living area. Any suggestions? Thanks for the first answer.
Believe it or not the bathroom will not run out of air if you do not have a vent in it.
Jim - There are ducted mini splits that may meet your needs - available in small sizes and very high efficiencies. Mitsubishi has several units that may meet your needs. On a related subject, since you are in GA, your renovation may be eligible for significant rebates from GA Power if you meet specific improvement levels.
I hope your renovation includes serious attention to the insulation of the exterior walls. Both ductless and ducted minisplit systems work best inside a well-detailed thermal enclosure.