AC Installation In Merion Park: Better Comfort, Big Savings
Last spring, the homeowners called us because their 10-year-old air conditioner was making a lot of noise and wasn’t keeping the house cool. The problem was a damaged blower motor, which would cost a few thousand dollars to replace.
It was a lot of money to spend on an older system that had other problems. So, the homeowners wanted to replace it instead. They were also interested in better dehumidification. Humid air triggered their family’s severe allergies, so they needed the house at 50 percent relative humidity all the time.
Could we help? Sure! In fact, we were already familiar with this house and its HVAC system. This was an excellent opportunity to improve the cooling and air quality once and for all.
Once it was all said and done, the new system ended up saving the homeowners 14% on their energy bills the first summer they had it.
This case study covers:
- Problems with faulty ductwork and oversized air conditioners
- Addressing humidity control challenges
- How variable-speed central air provides better comfort
- Saving money with a high-efficiency HVAC system
If you’re having trouble with the heating or cooling in your Main Line home, or if you’re interested in upgrading your home comfort, efficiency, or indoor air quality, call or click below to set up a free consultation.
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Problem: An oversized central air system in a two-story Merion Station, PA colonial home broke down for good. The homeowners wanted a better system that could also provide better dehumidification and improve indoor air quality.
Solution: Installed a Carrier Infinity 26 Air Conditioner with Greenspeed Intelligence and APCO-X Air Purifier. Reinstalled existing AprilAire whole-house dehumidifier and addressed a ductwork issue.
History With The Home
This house has been in our files for more than a decade. The previous owner had asked for a quote on installing an air conditioner in the attic and went with another company. Five years later, we got a call from the new owners because their AC wasn’t cooling the house enough.
Based on the problems they were having, it was clear the installation didn’t go well.
The installers haphazardly placed flex ducts—round, insulated tubing that bends—throughout the attic. The ductwork made sharp turns and runs were laid on top of one another, compressing the ones underneath. This weakens airflow, as air can’t move efficiently around turns or in compressed ductwork.
Oversized Air Conditioner
The unit was too large for the house, which negatively affects performance. Central air should run for 10-15 minutes to cool and dehumidify the air properly. An oversized system draws too much air at once and sends out a cold blast.
It’s enough for the thermostat to shut the system off again, but it doesn’t circulate enough air to maintain that temperature. So, the thermostat turns the AC back on again, and the cycle continues.
The result is inconsistent temperatures and more wear on the AC components.
The oversized system didn’t stay on long enough to reduce humidity, crucial for a comfortable cooling process. The faulty ductwork also hindered the unit’s performance.
We addressed these issues by overhauling the ductwork and installing an AprilAire whole-house dehumidifier to improve the system’s performance.
However, we made it clear that only a replacement could fix the oversized AC issue. The system would still underperform and likely break down sooner than expected.
When we received a call last summer, we knew we could finally fix the cooling in this home once and for all.
Precise Cooling And Improved Indoor Air Quality
Our homeowner’s custom installation included a top-of-the-line Infinity 26 AC with Greenspeed Intelligence, an APCO-X air purifier, and some ductwork modification. We also reinstalled the existing dehumidifier.
Now, the family enjoys excellent cooling, cleaner, drier air, and lower electric bills. Here’s how we did it:
Infinity 26 Central Air Conditioner with Greenspeed Intelligence
This top-of-the-line AC is more efficient, quieter, and has enhanced dehumidification features than standard models. It’s also the right size and capacity for this home.
Variable-Speed Compressor: Better Comfort, Lower Bills
A Greenspeed Intelligence variable-speed compressor adjusts airflow and cooling to maintain a consistent temperature. Standard ACs can only run at 100% capacity when they’re on. That results in temperature drift:
The thermostat has to wait until the home is a few degrees to warm to turn on the AC. Then, the system runs until it’s a few degrees too cold. This causes temperature drift and uses a lot of energy to stop and start.
By contrast, the Greenspeed Intelligence compressor can run anywhere from 20% to 100% capacity. It uses less energy to maintain a consistent temperature.
Think of it like making spaghetti on a gas range: You turn the heat up to high to get the water boiling. Once it’s bubbling, you can turn it down and the water stays hot. That’s the same concept as a variable compressor.
Dehumidification: Sensible Heat Vs. Latent Heat
The Infinity 26’s advanced sensors track latent heat along with sensible heat to detect rising humidity even when the temperature is steady. Then, it runs at the lowest speed to remove moisture without dropping the temperature too low. The separate whole-house dehumidifier provides additional humidity control.
Standard ACs only address “sensible heat,” which is essentially a change in temperature. The thermostat notices when heat energy causes a room to become hotter.
But the Infinity also tracks “latent heat.” In HVAC, this is when heat energy causes water to evaporate, which adds humidity to the air, instead of making the temperature go up.
When the latent heat rises, the Infinity runs at 20% speed — just enough to remove moisture without making the house too cold.
The APCO-X air purifier uses UV light to neutralize allergens, odors, mold spores, and other contaminants. One UV light targets the coil, where contaminants can build up. Another light in the ductwork cleans the air on its way back out to the house.
These extra steps significantly reduce allergens and improve air quality.
Finally, we fixed some “sweating” ductwork in a few closets to improve energy efficiency and prevent damage to the home.
Moisture collected on the outside of these solid ducts when the system was running. It’s a sign that something’s not sealed or insulated properly. Water vapor in the air was condensing back into liquid when it met the cool air that was supposed to stay in the ductwork.
By reattaching junctions and insulating the ducts, we eliminated the energy loss from cool air seeping out. And, we headed off any possible damage from water building up inside the house.
Better Comfort, Lower Bills
Our homeowners got the enhanced cooling and improved indoor air quality they expected. The reduced energy use was a goal they had also achieved.
Our homeowner reviewed two years of PECO bills and discovered that they used an average of 14% fewer kilowatt hours from May through August after the new AC installation than the previous year.
With all the other improvements that summer, lower energy bills were the icing on the cake.
If the heating or cooling in your Main Line home isn’t working as well as it should, click below or call John Cipollone, Inc. Starting with a free consultation, we’ll make sure your home is as comfortable and energy-efficient as possible.