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Air conditioning problem for Blanton Floor plan
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jckt
Mueller Community

Posts: 38
Joined on January 9th, 2008
Air conditioning problem for Blanton Floor plan
by jckt on September 2nd, 2008

Have a question to the Blanton Floor Plan owner.. Do you experience AC problem inside the house, especailly in the living room, the library and the room upstair next to the bathroom?

We had moved in for 3 weeks now. The AC downstair is always an issue especailly for the living room and library. The living room is closed to 300 Sq ft and they only have 2 outlets, the entry had no AC outlet and the library had one. Don't know if we had enough airflow in that area.

On the walk through day before the closing, the thermostat reached 80 (although we set this at 72) and did not go down for 5 hrs.. The supervisor told us that because there are people in and out working and we do not have any window treatment, the house will take longer to cool down.. We actually hire a AC guy to come out to check the unit, they are using a 4 ton unit and suppose to serve up to 2400 sq ft... But the SPH surpervisor explained to me that because it is a green building with good shielding, the unit should have enough horse power to cover the whole house.

We do experience the same issue last Saturday when we had a party, the house temp reached 82 even though we set this at 72, we turned on all the fans downstairs and don't have a way to cool this down....

I wonder if the owners of the other blanton floor plan had the similar issues? In the early design, this house should have 2 AC units but was reduced to one after they said they were asked by the City of Austin to reduce...

I will submit another AC repair ticket to the SPH.

Joey
 
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John Guest
Mueller Community

Posts: 133
Joined on February 2nd, 2008
Air conditioning problem for Blanton Floor plan
by John Guest on September 2nd, 2008

Joey: We have lived in a Blanton for just over five months. I think we've gotten through the hottest part of the year (hopefully) and can give you a sketch of our experience.

Let me first caveat this by admitting that I'm no air conditoning expert. I let my wife manage the thermostat and have managed to last for over 38 years of marriage.

Our house gets a direct blast of afternoon sun every day on the side with our living room and library (which we have made our dining room). We have excellent shutters on the western windows and so light (and heat) are reduced.

In my opinion, our Blanton remains comfortable and efficient. We must have a fan going when the western sun is blazing, but the space is tolerable. I believe the house is minimally supported by one unit, but just adequately so.

We had a crowd of people over on Sunday afternoon and all of us survived in the living room and kitchen areas. I can see, however, that a bigger crowd (there were only 9 visitors and 4 of them were small children) might stress the AC beyond our comfort level.

I hope this helps. If I were in your shoes, I'd make sure I had window covers and that the AC unit is operating as specified. I,too, would submit a repair ticket to SPH.
 
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Richard Craycroft
Mueller Community

Posts: 6
Joined on March 1st, 2009
Air conditioning problem for Blanton Floor plan
by Richard Craycroft on March 1st, 2009

A quick and easy check that anyone can do to guage the operation of an HVAC unit is to take what is called the Delta T, or differential reading.

1. With a long thin kitchen type thermometer that will measure in the 50 degree F. range, check the air temp at the air handler in the attic by inserting the pointed end into the distribution air plenum duct (don't worry about the small hole, it can be filled easily). Note the reading.

2. Check the temp at the return air grill.

3. Subtract to get the difference. If the differential is in a range of about 17-22 degrees, the system is performing adequately.

4. Check all registers in all rooms to ensure adequate air flow. Sometimes ducts get blocked or improperly installed.

Green Building rules aim for HVAC capacity to equal about 600 sqft. per ton of system capacity. In the heat and exposure of summer, it may take awhile to catch up with the heat loading in the structure. Window shades are critical even with the Low E windows.

Most houses are not specifically designed for site orientation and one house may have blank walls facing south and west while another may have nothing but windows. The Manual J calculations in production housing rarely take this into account.

If you are going to have a party with lots of people, cooking, and opening doors, get a head start on the cooling by blasting the system a few hours prior to the party.
 
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aumoon
Mueller Community

Posts: 58
Joined on May 13th, 2008
Air conditioning problem for Blanton Floor plan
by aumoon on June 11th, 2009

All the bedrooms or the library in this floor plan (I guess for other floor plans too) have only the output air outlets and no input air vents. So when the door is
closed, the cool air from the AC doesn't come out. My kids' rooms upstairs
are always warm when I open their doors every morning even the fans
are on all night. An electrician came by yesterday and told us the reason
why the rooms are warm when the doors are closed. He can be hired to install
some vents for air input but I'm not sure if the AC will be powerful enough
to handle all the extra air output. I wish I knew about the problems and
asked for the upgrades when the house was built.
 
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langhugh
Mueller Community

Posts: 1149
Joined on August 18th, 2007
Air conditioning problem for Blanton Floor plan
by langhugh on June 11th, 2009

Infan,

Your Electrician may or may not be talking about Jump Ducts between the upstairs rooms http://www.hgtvpro.com/hpro/dj_construction/article/0,,HPRO_20156_3943258,00.html. These are standard in David Weekley Homes, but I'm not sure about the other bulders here.

I would be leery of someone who is not a certified HVAC technician giving you HVAC advice as well. You are probably still under warranty with the AC installer and you should probably contact them or your builder for a service call.

Dusty
 
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Richard Craycroft
Mueller Community

Posts: 6
Joined on March 1st, 2009
Air conditioning problem for Blanton Floor plan
by Richard Craycroft on June 11th, 2009

I too, would rather have a licensed HVAC tech give advice on A/C issues rather than an electrician, well meaning as he may be. The most expedient way to balance air pressurization in the rooms with out return air vents is to simply under cut the doors to provide about 3/4" clearance to the flooring. This will allow air flow out of the room, reduce negative pressurization, and help keep the rooms more balanced.

For info and a resource list, check out my website:

http://www.hillcountryinspectionsaustin.com http://www.hillcountryinspectionsaustin.com
 
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aumoon
Mueller Community

Posts: 58
Joined on May 13th, 2008
Air conditioning problem for Blanton Floor plan
by aumoon on June 12th, 2009

The guy, sent by Standard Pacific, is actually an AC guy. The main problem
is that there's no air circulation in the secondary bedrooms or the library
when the doors are closed. It doesn't make sense to me that the doors
have to stay open during the night to feel comfortable.
So for those who are still waiting for their houses to be built, it might be
a good idea to ask for a solution to this problem.
 
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jzimm
Mueller Community

Posts: 162
Joined on August 5th, 2008
Air conditioning problem for Blanton Floor plan
by jzimm on June 13th, 2009

This is not a problem for *all* SP houses. We've got a Carothers, and all the bedrooms and the library have both input and output. (In fact, the MBR has too much air blowing into it, but that's a whole other story.)

People with other plans? Let's get some data.
 
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John Guest
Mueller Community

Posts: 133
Joined on February 2nd, 2008
Air conditioning problem for Blanton Floor plan
by John Guest on June 13th, 2009

Hmmmm. I have no expertise in air conditioning or electricity, but that doesn't seem to be a problem here. My comments are historical. The person who started this discussion many moons ago and I both live in Blanton plan SP homes. He was experiencing a lack of cooling and I had no such problem. All kinds of theories were promulgated about the reasons for the problem. My second hand understanding is that after several inspections and attempts to fix the problem by SP, they finally opened the attic access over the living room and found absolutely no insulation! This flaw was remedied and the situation apparently was resolved.

Our Blanton is well airconditioned. We close doors sometimes and sometimes we don't. If we fill the house up with people, I think it will over stress the air conditioning system because I believe the unit is kept at its smallest adequate capacity. We do rely on a fair number of floor fans to keep air flowing, but we've been using these fans in virtually every house we have lived in for decades. Texas gets real hot in the summertime and I'm not sure I've ever been as cool as I'd like during this season.

My main point is that I have a system that seems to work and I don't feel any need to install return air vents anywhere. I hope you find a solution to your dilemma. I find a cold beer or two works wonders.
 
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smlynntx
Mueller Community

Posts: 94
Joined on May 17th, 2009
Air conditioning problem for Blanton Floor plan
by smlynntx on June 13th, 2009

I live in a David Weekley house and my A/C made a humming noise when I moved in. I had to call Christianson (the company that installed it as well as the plumbing) to come out and adjust it. The first guy they sent was not as knowledgeable as the second guy they sent (Dale). Not sure if Christianson is the company that Standard Pacific used, but if so Dale is good.
 
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