Can I add A/C to my existing central heat unit

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Old 05-20-16, 09:00 PM
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Can I add A/C to my existing central heat unit

I have a 99' manufactured home, 16x80 1100 sq. ft. with a down-draft intertherm 80,000 btu central heater. We live in a low humidity desert area at about 7000 feet elevation. We would like to add central air to our heating unit if possible. Is this something I can do myself ?, Im pretty handy with most things. What kind / size of AC unit and Acoil should I look for ? I've seen quite a few used units on craigslist, would this be do-able ? I am fixing to retire and don't want to pay someone $8k to $15k for airconditioning if I don't have to.
 
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Old 05-20-16, 10:55 PM
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Welcome to the best DIY forum on the Internet!

Generally speaking adding air conditioning is NOT a DIY project because the US Environmental Protection Agency requires a person that handles most refrigerants to first have a license/permit that is issued after successfully completing an examination covering the laws and safe usage of refrigerants. Further, there are a lot of specialized tools and machines needed for the refrigerant installations.

However, that does not mean that a competent DIYer could not do much of the installation work that does not require the license and then get a licensed technician to do the work that requires the specialized training and equipment.

Manufactured homes often have heating systems that will only accommodate certain makes and models of A/C equipment. Something else to consider is that in desert (low humidity) areas an evaporative cooler is often more cost effective than is a refrigerated A/C. The evaporative cooler adds humidity to the air in the process of cooling the air but if you are starting with very dry air it can be quite pleasant.
 
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Old 05-20-16, 11:17 PM
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8K-15K would be extremely high for just a condensor and evaporator coil.

Remove the front service door over the burner. You'll see an ID plate on the side wall inside near the burner. Post that full model number here for us.
 
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Old 05-20-16, 11:19 PM
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I agree with Joel this isn't a do it yourself job unless you are licensed to handle refrigerant. The license is not cheap either and it requires many hours of training before you can be certified, I know this because my father was certified. I do agree some things can be done ahead of time but in your case it might be best to leave it to a professional as some places may be very hard to navigate through. I also agree that manufactured homes have certain requirements that other homes don't have as I saw that for myself when I once visited a friends house.

If it were me I would contact the manufacturer of your home and get their advice as to what a.c. unit would be best. I think it would then be possible to get many different bids from different contractors. As to swamp coolers versus a.c. units being better or worse I can't say as I don't have that knowledge and I have never used a swamp cooler.
 
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Old 05-21-16, 08:47 AM
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There is a DIY option for your application.

Install a package unit outside, add a floor grill for the return air duct and tie into the existing supply air duct. I have seen this many times.


A split system (furnace, coil, and condenser) would look better than a package unit.
Outdoor flex duct should be used for this application.
 
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Old 05-21-16, 08:52 AM
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I forgot to post the model number.
M1MC 077A BW Intertherm
 
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Old 05-21-16, 09:09 AM
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I was checking around online.... you can buy the whole package.... furnace, A/C coil, condensor plus installation for under $4500. You don't need the furnace so that price would be considerably lower.
 
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