Creative HVAC
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Creative HVAC (by James [NC]) Oct 9, 2017 9:02 AM
       Creative HVAC (by Homer [TX]) Oct 9, 2017 10:07 AM
       Creative HVAC (by James [NC]) Oct 9, 2017 10:28 AM
       Creative HVAC (by OKHMBLDR [OK]) Oct 9, 2017 10:40 AM
       Creative HVAC (by Ken [NY]) Oct 9, 2017 11:08 AM
       Creative HVAC (by James [NC]) Oct 9, 2017 12:15 PM
       Creative HVAC (by allin [VA]) Oct 9, 2017 5:47 PM
       Creative HVAC (by Vee [OH]) Oct 9, 2017 6:24 PM
       Creative HVAC (by Robin [WI]) Oct 9, 2017 7:32 PM
       Creative HVAC (by WMH [NC]) Oct 10, 2017 11:19 AM
       Creative HVAC (by James [NC]) Oct 10, 2017 12:01 PM
       Creative HVAC (by WMH [NC]) Oct 10, 2017 12:56 PM
       Creative HVAC (by Pattyk [MO]) Oct 12, 2017 6:00 AM
       Creative HVAC (by James [NC]) Oct 12, 2017 8:02 AM

Creative HVAC (by James [NC]) Posted on: Oct 9, 2017 9:02 AM

Hello all!

I have a very small studio condo unit that is a bit of an oddity (ive posted about it before). It does not have any hvac of its own (its on a shared hvac to common areas), nor any windows. The only ventilation is from the bathroom.

There is an air transfer grill (what would commonly be used as the air return grill on a normal system, that is approximately 16x25. This grill is about 12ft high on a wall and allows air from the hallway to manually transfer into/out of the unit and into the hallway.

I have tried to figure out a way to get a system dedicated to the unit, but it does not appear possible in anyway that makes sense, short of spending more than the value of the entire condo unit. I have tried to find some sort of off the shelf system that would allow me to add a powered vent fan at the transfer grill to try and force additional air circulation. I have not come up with anything that seems like it will work, so I have decided to craft something of my own. I can fit 6 200MM fans in a grid and attach them to the vent. I am thinking that it would make sense to have 3 blowing into the unit and 3 blowing out of the unit. They would be arranged 3 high by 2 wide. Any suggestions as to which 3 I should have go in vs out? I am thinking 1 column in and 1 column out, since this system will be used in winter and summer. Also, what about static pressure? Any idea what amount I would need to overcome if the fans were directly on the transfer grill?

The 200mm fans that I am looking at have 1.04mm H2O of static pressure. There are some smaller 140mm ones that have 4.05mm H20 of static pressure. I know higher is better, but I am not sure if I need that much.

Creative HVAC (by Homer [TX]) Posted on: Oct 9, 2017 10:07 AM

Can't you use a mini split? A small single zone can be purchased for less than 650, DIY appears easy. I

Haven't done one myself but saw several videos

Creative HVAC (by James [NC]) Posted on: Oct 9, 2017 10:28 AM


That is what I would prefer to do, but the biggest issue is that the electric is on the common area as well and only has a 60A of available space for my unit (total, not in addition to what I am already using). I would have to split the unit into my service (which I would prefer to do, if it was not so excessively expensive to do so (about $12k on a unit that rents for $600/month). The install of the mini split is also a bit more complicated, due to the unit being interior on the first floor (slab) of a multi floor building. The nearest exterior wall is 50ft+ away in any direction.

Given those details, thoughts on how to proceed?

Creative HVAC (by OKHMBLDR [OK]) Posted on: Oct 9, 2017 10:40 AM

How about a 10-12,000 btu portable a/c unit? I have a 12,000 that works great. Runs of 110v electric. You could use your vent area to duct the hot air out. My unit has an internal pump that pumps the condensate to the nearest drain. You can pick up used units for under $200.00 from craigslist.

I've used my several times when the central a/c failed at a townhouse. Easy to install, and when the regular air was repaired it was easy to take out. The tenants really appreciate the cool air.

Creative HVAC (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Oct 9, 2017 11:08 AM

How can that unit even be legal with no window in the entire unit?I have a small unit that is heated with a water heater that runs the hot water throughout the unit,would something like that work?

Creative HVAC (by James [NC]) Posted on: Oct 9, 2017 12:15 PM


It is an odd one for sure. I suspect because it is a studio? I am not sure, but it does have a C/O, issued by the city. Heating the unit is typically not a problem, given that space heaters etc can be plugged in (plus running lights etc adds heat to unit). Cooling it down is really the biggest challenge.


I have considered an approach like that, but ended up moving on. You have me reconsidering it again tho. Any ideas how I would attach the vent pipe to the 16x25 grill on the wall? It is about 14 ft in the air, so I would either need to build a shelf for the unit to sit high up on the wall or I would need to get a very long exhaust pipe. Ideally, I would need a unit that is very energy efficient (with a low amp draw) to cool the place down.

Creative HVAC (by allin [VA]) Posted on: Oct 9, 2017 5:47 PM

With the limited amps avaiable check on the smallest mini spilt. If not then leave as is. Maybe you could zone off the main system but that would require connecting into the freon lines. It would give you a thermostat but still on the common power bill.

Creative HVAC (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Oct 9, 2017 6:24 PM

If you have enough power to heat you should have enough to cool with good equipment, Where does this occupant go in the event of a fire?

Creative HVAC (by Robin [WI]) Posted on: Oct 9, 2017 7:32 PM

Do you have ceiling fans?

Creative HVAC (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Oct 10, 2017 11:19 AM

Even if it has a CO, I'm thinking YOU are going to be liable if there was a fire and tenant was trapped in building. Is this room in the middle of a house with no access at to outside, like a former closet??

How is the bathroom ventilated? --173.22.xx.xx

Creative HVAC (by James [NC]) Posted on: Oct 10, 2017 12:01 PM


I had considered a portable before, but crossed it off my list. I think I may try and go down that route again tho.


If I could zone off of the existing system that would be great, but I suspect that the HOA would not be too interested in that. Although they can not force me off of the common power or the common HVAC, they have strongly suggested that I remove the unit from it, so they are unlikely to do anything to help. As much as I would like to be removed from it, they are not willing to contribute anything (either monetarily or idea-wise) that would help make the cost more bearable.


It is a good question. The only option is out the door (only entrance and exit to the unit).


Yes, it has a decent sized fan (on the 18ft ceiling).


It was a warehouse of sorts that was converted to a trendy condo. This unit was built to be a unit (never a closet or anything like that), but I do think it was an after thought of a unit, as it is by far the smallest (only 350sqft) and the only unit that is on the interior, with no dedicated HVAC or electrical of its own. The bathroom vents straight up to 2 floors and out of the roof (or at least that is where I believe it terminates. I can only see it going out of the ceiling of my unit).

Creative HVAC (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Oct 10, 2017 12:56 PM

Can you stick a window AC into the air return grill? --173.22.xx.xx

Creative HVAC (by Pattyk [MO]) Posted on: Oct 12, 2017 6:00 AM

Sounds like the best plan is to address the second fire escape issue first. Can u add a window? Of roof top hatch and ladder... What's your code? --66.87.xx.xx

Creative HVAC (by James [NC]) Posted on: Oct 12, 2017 8:02 AM

Short of cutting a door into one of the walls (10 feet away from where the current door is, exiting into the same hallway as the original door) there is no way to add a second mean of escape. I did some additional digging and I suspect the reason it was given a CO is due to the sprinkler system that is in the hallway and in the unit.

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