There are some things we are just not qualified to do... and installing a heating and air conditioning system is one of those things. So, we hired this out to Ray and (with his as always) Garth from the John G. Webster Company. Yes that was a Wayne's World reference! After Garth designed the ducting system to ensure the proper flow of air to each room, the actual equipment started showing up. Here you can see the high eficiency gas furnace (left) and the AC coil (right) before it was installed.
As you all probably know by now, one of our goals has been to make this house as energy efficient as possible. One of the things we have done is insulate the house with expanding spray foam – no more of that pink fiberglass insulation for us! A side effect of spray foaming a house is that the foam completely air seals the house. A “normal” house breathes (read: leaks air) which allows for something called “air exchange rate”. Quite simply, this is a number that quantifies how many times per hour all the air in your house leaks out and is replaced by fresh air from outside. Sounds bad (and it is from an energy efficiency standpoint) however this is what allows you NOT to be breathing stale air all the time. So…long story short….the piece of equipment pictured below is called an ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilator) and runs in conjunction with the HVAC system to pull in air from outside and exhaust stale air from inside, since a spray foamed house like ours will not do this automatically through leakage.
The furnace and air handler were installed horizontally under the eve on the second floor to keep them out of our way. The house isn’t huge so this saved us a bunch of floor space. Here you can see the pan that goes under the furnace/air handler assembly that will catch any water, should it ever leak. After it was installed the guys attached a emergency shut off sensor that detects water in the pan and shuts the whole system down so the pan can't overflow and damage your house.