HVAC back on track?

Met with the builder, sub, and manufacturer rep today to talk HVAC, and it was a hoot. We met at the manufacturer rep's office in the training room where they had a fully functional variable speed compressor unit set up.  Sweet! The first thought that popped into my (and the builder's) head was "Hot dang, that thing's BIG!!!" And it was only the two-ton unit (in my excitement I didn't realize I hadn't taken a photo of the unit until I was 10 minutes down the road...).

I couldn't find a photo online of it with a human (or a large forest cat) next to it, so here's shot of it with it's board [ahem] exposed:

And in case you still doubt it has a variable speed compressor, here's a cut-away:

[fist pumps; high fives]

The builder was concerned that the unit was so big that it would have to be moved to the back yard; however, the architects designed a nifty little (big, actually) place to put the unit:

Given that the house moved over a foot, there's 11 feet by 10.5 feet area for it. Plenty of space.

So here are the (paraphrased) answers to the questions I had:

  • Why does the sub have a fresh air damper as well as an ERV?
"oops! Should only be an ERV."
  • Why does the sub have a Honeywell ERV instead of the Bryant ERV?
"Can get a deal on them."
  • What is the model number on the Honeywell ERV?
"I'll get you that."
  • How much does that ERV cost?
[forgot to ask this; will ask after researching the Honeywell.]
  • Will the ERV have a sensor shut off for high temperatures and high humidity?
  • How many zones are in our system?
"Zones? What zones?" [will put three in]
  • What is the filtration in our system?
"What you wanted."
  • What's the SEER of the system? Why is it less than the 20.5 the manufacturer says it is (although to be fair, the manufacturer says "up to 20.5")?
"18; less because it's a bigger unit; bigger the unit, lower the SEER."
  • How many thermostats are required for a three-zone system?
"Depends what you want; can do one thermostat with two distant temperature sensors."
  • Why are there vents with lights on the bid when there are no vents with lights on the plans
  • Why are there five bathroom vents on the bid when there are only four bathroom vents in the house?
"Like to put a vent in the laundry." [cool]
  • Will joints be mastic'd?
  • Will flex duct be longer than 8 feet? 

[forgot to ask]

At the end of the meeting, the builder said "The typical homeowner doesn't really care about this stuff." He then patted me on the back: "You are not the typical homeowner."

The other thing I learned at the meeting was that the framing sub tore his Achilles playing squash over the weekend. He had surgery yesterday. The builder said that he was still directing activity on site, but that progress would be slower...

post within a post!

With the bride out of town on bidness and me with a late-ish meeting this evening, I wasn't able to get out to the house during daylight and nearly didn't go due to the expected lack of progress. Regardless, I went and was surprisingly greeted with a nearly completed second story. With damp soil beneath my feet, a sickle moon hung above, and the blistering brightness of the neighbors' flood lights, I savored the first feel of the nearly complete volume of the house.

Paint thinner couldn't have taken the smile off my face. 

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