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Installation of packaged HVAC System

Hey All,

My 1950 original boiler is probably on its last leg, and as we're about to do some serious renovation to the house, I figured its a good time to switch over to a good forced air system. I live in SE Michigan and the boilers / hydronic heating are not common (seemingly) around here any more. I don't mind putting the ductwork in at this point.

I'm interested in the packaged "all-in-one" solutions. For example this one from Trane (click me). Can I install this sytem in the SE Michigan climate? It installs outdoors, and with the harsh winters, I'm wondering if this is even a possibility.

This type of system is particularly appealing as I don't have a basement, and the space I can save by having the install be largely outside is definitely worth paying the extra for a system like this one.

Many Thanks!


Re: Installation of packaged HVAC System


IMHO the best way to handle this decision is to consult the Yellow Pages under "Heating Contractors" and have at least 3 contractors come over the house & for each of them to give you their objective opinion as to what's the best way to go; they will also be able to tell you if the packaged unit is appropriate for your Southeast Michigan location.

Do you now have natural gas lines going to your house, or must you depend on fuel oil, or propane???

Natural gas is the preferred fuel, as fuel oil keeps going up as lots of fuel oil comes from the Middle East, which is volatile.

Will your new rehab include a new outbuilding/small garage which could double as a storage area for your utilities??

During the rehab, don't ignore TOPPING OFF THE INSULATION on all exterior walls & attic (blown-in cellulose from a local insulation company) & replace any single pane or old windows with 2-pane glass that will keep all the heat in during winter & the cool in during summer---this will save you a ton of $$$ on heating & cooling bills.

Having a hydronic system myself in northern New England, I wouldn't be without it---cozy warm all winter, especially with the several zone valves & separate T-stats; since you already have the piping distribution system in place, it would be an easy, low-cost option to simply change-out to a new hydronic boiler, which will be much more fuel-efficient.

Re: Installation of packaged HVAC System

I see how a package unit can save you space, but you need to ask local a/c contractors if these units are used in a place like Michigan. I see no problem in the spring-summer-fall time, but the winter? Having the furnace out there in the snow may not be such a great idea.

I have 4 homes with packaged units (Goodman and Rheem) - but the homes are located near Los Angeles. The package units are terrific in space saving, they are mounted on the roofs and they are easy to service. They can be mounted on the ground too, in which case the ducting system has to be modified.

Find out and let us know.

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