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Air conditioning problem for Blanton Floor plan
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clintdawson
Mueller Community

Posts: 28
Joined on June 30th, 2008
Air conditioning problem for Blanton Floor plan
by clintdawson on June 27th, 2009

1. We run ceiling fans constantly
2. We had solar protective film put on windows with direct sun.
3. We use the circulation option on the A/C which circulates air through the house.
4. There are only 2 people living in the house, and we both work during the day. We have ventilating fans in the bathrooms and laundry room.
5. We had another company come out and do a complete analysis of the system
and they said it was too small based on the volume of the house and the number of windows.
6. We worked extensively with Big Tex and the builder to correct the problem. We had many conversations with a guy who works for Austin Energy, this was the solution we all came up with. The electric bills are no higher, because the unit doesn't run constantly.
 
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smittyhoo
Mueller Community

Posts: 445
Joined on November 4th, 2008
Air conditioning problem for Blanton Floor plan
by smittyhoo on June 27th, 2009

Which builder and are you on the east or west side of Scales? My guess would be east as you'd get the strongest evening rays there.

It should be noted that putting solar protective film on your windows may void the warranty. You would need to ask your builder. That is one reason I suggested solar screens; the other reasons are that solar screens are more effective than film and can be removed during the winter when you want the heat from the sun. However, screens are more expensive.
 
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jckt
Mueller Community

Posts: 38
Joined on January 9th, 2008
Air conditioning problem for Blanton Floor plan
by jckt on June 27th, 2009

The AC continue to be an issue with Blanton plan. Living in this house for almost a year. I had seen the AC guys at least 6 times. (4 times last summer and 2 times so far this summer). After they had installed back the insulation above my living room,(how can they passed their quality check...sometime I wondered whatelse is missing..) the living room downstair had improved a little bit. We had a party a week ago and the AC downstair was stucked at 80. (last Summer, it stuck at 82! when I had a party) I had turned on all the fans..., after all my friends left, 2 hrs later, the temp drop back to 78. One of the bedroom on the second floor continue to be warm, this is the room above the living room. All the other rooms are OK except this room. I had submitted another ticket to SPH.
It seems to me that when they switched from 2 AC units (original plan) to 1 AC unit in most of the floor plan, they did not do a good job in the detail.

 
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GarrethWilcock
Mueller Community

Posts: 480
Joined on February 23rd, 2008
Air conditioning problem for Blanton Floor plan
by GarrethWilcock on June 27th, 2009

Quote:

*replace incandescent/halogen bulbs with CFLs, as the former produce a ton of heat - also a good way to save on energy costs


This is a great point - for some reason I had foolishly expected my phase I DW home to be decked out with CFLs. I was a little surprised when coming to change a lamp to realize they were all incandescent...
 
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moving
Mueller Community

Posts: 5
Joined on February 4th, 2009
Air conditioning problem for Blanton Floor plan
by moving on June 28th, 2009

I recently moved into a SPH Andrews floor plan and while the AC in the main house works just find, the AC unit in the garage apartment will not get above 80 degrees (even at 1am) and the unit runs the entire day as a result.

I submitted a service request to SPH but the AC "experts" said that the garage apartments never get above 80 which I really find hard to believe especially since the unit runs the entire time.

Is anyone else having the same problems with this floor plan?
 
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smittyhoo
Mueller Community

Posts: 445
Joined on November 4th, 2008
Air conditioning problem for Blanton Floor plan
by smittyhoo on June 28th, 2009

I think you must mean never gets below 80, not above, as that is the only thing that makes sense with regards to a/c. We have a garage apartment and it is cooled to 72 no problem; that is the setting our renter has chosen for night time comfort since SP did not put in any ceiling fans (an unfortunate situation I plan to resolve in the next week). So, what they have told you is false. The A/C should be able to cool to well under 80 degrees even on 100 degree days.

Your performance will of course vary; if your apartment has lots of south, or especially west-facing windows, since the A/C units are consistently sized for all Andrews plans and some have no west-facing windows (like mine) while others have a lot (presumably yours), those in the latter situation will not be able to achieve as good cooling, due to the strong sunlight May-August as the sun sets. I would suggest you put solar screens on the west-facing windows April - October to help alleviate the problem.

To extend my theory to all homes within Mueller, I think the main issue here is that all the builders and Austin Energy took a one-size-fits-all approach to A/C unit sizing per floorplan without considering that the number of windows facing the south and west would drastically change depending on the orientation of the floorplan. This is the simplest explanation for why some people are experiencing these problems while others are not. In the cases where homes have a lot of west-facing windows, the builders should respond to what I consider to be a valid complaint that the unit is undersized.

This is only my theory; if anyone has information to the contrary please contribute to the thread.
 
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dodger
Mueller Community

Posts: 123
Joined on August 2nd, 2008
Air conditioning problem for garage apartment
by dodger on June 29th, 2009

We, too, have an Andrews with a garage apartment. The air conditioner for the apartment works well. We had to have a minor adjustment when we first began to use it. We called the HVAC provider written on the back of the kitchen sink cabinet door. The serviceman said that the ac unit should have been "tagged" by the builder for the routine maintenance the unit needed before being turned on.
 
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chanceruby
Mueller Community

Posts: 27
Joined on May 10th, 2009
Air conditioning problem for Blanton Floor plan
by chanceruby on June 29th, 2009

I know Standard Pacific is restricted in the unit size by the 4 Star Green Program. Its a minimum of 600 square feet per ton. I'm not sure what the guidelines were for the 3 Star but I do know they have had to size their units smaller at Mueller than other places they build. They just closed on their first completed 4 Star and the blown in foam attic insulation to qualify for the 4 star is supposed to make things a lot cooler. Hopefully, with the other suggestions for making the units more efficient, that will be enough to keep things cool. If not, we will have to go to the city to get larger units.
Not sure if the people having trouble have foam attic insulation or not and how to address fixing their cooling needs without installing larger units. I'd also love to know how the one poster was able to get permission from the city to get a larger unit. Was that a three or four star? It seems if they granted permission to one home they'd need to consider others.
 
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moving
Mueller Community

Posts: 5
Joined on February 4th, 2009
Air conditioning problem for Blanton Floor plan
by moving on June 29th, 2009

Getting crazy from the heat... smittyhoo, you are correct and thanks for reading in between the lines. The temperature will not get below 80.

Ironically the windows on the garage apartment are facing both north and east.

I've called the service department and they're coming on Thursday... will keep folks posted on what they say.
 
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R P
Mueller Community

Posts: 5
Joined on August 19th, 2009
Air conditioning problem for Blanton Floor plan
by R P on August 19th, 2009

What's the best solution you all have found to the a/c problem?

In the garage apartment, the only "solution" I have found is to leave all the doors open. The front room cools fine, but if you close any of the interior doors (bedroom, bathroom, closet) for more than a few minutes, those rooms get unpleasantly hot and humid really fast.

Does anybody have any better solutions?
 
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