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Patrick Presti
Entire House AC for Cape???

Hi Guys,

I am in the process of redoing my 1950's Cape. In stages, the house will be brought down to the studs. Does anyone have any recommendations on what type of whole house AC systems that would be good for a cape cod house?



Re: Entire House AC for Cape???

Split systems are a good choice where you do not need A/C for extended periods. Easy to install and flexible in location.

Re: Entire House AC for Cape???

My wife tells me our house is "Georgian", but the layout is like a Cape where the 2nd floor is in the attic (and we have 4 dormers).

The attic location, seems to me, exasberates the temperature difference between 1st and 2nd floors. I have 1-zone duct A/C, and the 4-6 degree difference between the 2 floors is very aggravating which is caused by location of the 2nd floor, improper attic insulation and/or not enough air flow to the 2nd floor rooms -- I don't know, but it does seem, at least to me, a 2nd zone is necessary.

Mini-split A/C is interesting, but I don't know the latest hardware. Previously, I found that you need a handler in each room to simulate the 1-2 registers of duct A/C in order to have uniform cooling -- mini-split are great for large, open areas, but can be expensive to have an air handler for each partitioned room. In some cases, you have no choice because duct work is not possible.

Previously, I've seen handlers with minimum 9,000 BTU which are too much for smaller rooms typical of Capes - - sure, the thermostat will regulate, but it may not run enough to dehumidify or can turn a small room into a meat locker to dehumidify. If you go with mini-split, consider cool & heat for a little more money in hardware (shouldn't affect installation).

Then there is mini-duct/high velocity (e.g. Unico) systems. These are supposed to be versatile systems, but expensive to recoup R&D costs and limited coverage by HVAC installers. TOH has a short video somewhere in its library.

I'm not qualified to say anymore than mentioning mini-split and mini-duct and standard duct. You can talk to a reputable HVAC installer, but you'll find they'll recommend what they sell to be the "solution" to your needs as it is likely no one HVAC firm will do all 3 products well.
You should describe your situation in more detail to get more suggestions from the moderators.

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