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post #601 of 613 Old 11-20-2014, 10:33 PM - Thread Starter
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So here is what I came up with.

Basically use an air exchange system from my mechanical room to my theater room.

1. Install dampers and some kind of elbow next to the take off for the 2 supplies. Then install fans to force air into the supplies from the mechanical room.

2. Possibly install an inline fan on my return system to increase air changes in the room.

I spoke to the HVAC consultant about it and he was hopeful. He is talking to his superior and will get back with me.

Any thoughts?

The mini split is 4K and is out of the question.
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post #602 of 613 Old 11-21-2014, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by jedimastergrant View Post
I did an in room audition with his 212's before I purchased them. I asked a friend to bring his Procella P8's as well. We did a comparison and it was a dramatic win for my ears for the 212's. It was closer for movies but for music the 212's were the clear winner for various reasons. The 212's had incredible dynamics and soundstage the likes of which few speakers I have heard can match.
I had mentioned this in one other thread (perhaps it was the same comparative GTG) that comparing just the head of the P8 without the accompanying bass module is not a true apples-to-apples comparison vs. fuller range speakers. But the P815 @ $10k vs. the JTR 212 @ $2300 is a fantastic value with very comparative reference quality at less than 25% the cost. I think you made a great choice.

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So here is what I came up with as a cheap alternative to a mini split (which isn't going to happen).

Basically use an air exchange system between my mechanical room and my theater room.

1. Install damper at takeoff of 2 supplies.

2. Install an elbow of some kind that can have a fan installed into it or at the mouth to draw air into the supplies.

3. Possibly install a booster fan on my return system to increase air flow and air changes in the room.

Hoping this can work since the temp in my basement with the vents off and just recirculation via the return system is pretty cool. So the air I am putting into the theater (while not being ice cold) will at least be cool instead of hot.

I shared this idea with the HVAC consultant that came over Monday and he was going to talk to his more knowledgable manager about it. He seemed hopeful.

Any thoughts?
If a dedicated system is out, the next step would be to look at modifying the existing system to suit your needs. Without knowing the model number and CFM capabilities of your AHU it is difficult to say what can be done. Ideally you would have a variable speed blower (vs. a normal two-stage of 'low' or 'high' settings) and have zone control to automatically open/close a damper system. You'd also need a low ambient kit for the outside condensing unit so it can operate in cooling modes during the winter months. These mods would probably be more than the cost of a mini-split, so probably not a good option either.

There are a few problems with your proposed plan. First, you can't just shut off that CFM of supply that would normally be going to your room without diverting it somewhere. The CFM in certain supplies will certainly increase because of the increased pressure, but the AHU blower cannot overcome all of the static pressure. In other words, at a minimum you would need to reconfigure your duct takeoff to run a short distance to a diffuser that can be opened to vent all the heated air into your mechanical area AND THEN have the "T" connection with your in-line fan inserted into the supply trunk line.

I agree with the two-fan approach if you go that route, but you must make sure the CFM of return matches the CFM of supply you are providing. My one concern, though, is that if you are dumping the heated air that would normally supply the theater into the mechanical room, your mechanical room is going to be much warmer than normal ambient temps. This warmer air is what will be drawn into your supply fan, so I'm not sure if it will accomplish your end goal. Plus, you'll have to build a sealed box that can accept a panel filter and duct it to the fan so you aren't loading your room with dust. I wasn't sure if you had the ability (space) to do that.

Have you considered adding an ERV to your existing system and running your AHU's fan on 'ON' and using motorized zone dampers to shut off the supply when your system is calling for heat in the other parts of your home?
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post #603 of 613 Old 11-21-2014, 05:44 AM
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The mini split is 4K and is out of the question.

Hi jedimastergrant !

I don't know how handy you might be, but if you can hang a picture and run an electrical outlet, you CAN install a minisplit system! And for $1200 or LESS !

It would work as awesome as your theater looks too !

I installed a minisplit in mine and am so 1-hundy % happy I did.

The pro's of a minisplit are far too numerous to spell out here. The only con's would be the price if you don't have much DIY skills and the fact that they typically do NOT exchange fresh air. THAT'S IT !

Current minisplits are FAR MORE EFFICIENT that whole house forced-air systems. They are far quieter too. Plus, no chance of sound contamination since there is no connection to existing duct-work.

You can install the compressor in the basement too. They are super quiet as well. About the only thing a typical DIY'er can't do is evacuate the lines and charge the system. I paid an HVAC tech less than $200 to do that.

In the pic below, the minisplit can be seen between the two rear channel speakers......
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post #604 of 613 Old 11-21-2014, 06:15 AM - Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=TMcG;29218897]I had mentioned this in one other thread (perhaps it was the same comparative GTG) that comparing just the head of the P8 without the accompanying bass module is not a true apples-to-apples comparison vs. fuller range speakers. But the P815 @ $10k vs. the JTR 212 @ $2300 is a fantastic value with very comparative reference quality at less than 25% the cost. I think you made a great choice.

Yeah, Tim I totally agree. In the original comparison thread wherever it is I did mention this. But I failed to do so here so I'm glad you brought it up here for anyone who is considering speakers such as these. The comparison that we did was really a money to money comparison. I had around 2K per channel to spend and the 212 and P8 came in just a few hundred bucks apart. The owner of the P8's has them set up with mid bass modules and they sound better in his room. He has a good pro calibration as well.

Take this with a grain of salt and I do realize the multitude of problems in stating preferences between rooms and such but......I still prefer the sound of the 212's in my room to the P8's plus modules in his room. Let me also add that the sound of the P8's plus modules in his room is THE thing that pushed me over the edge to doing a dedicated room. They sound that good. The surround field is also fantastic in there with his P6's. It was a seminal moment for me. I was just blown away. So anyway the comparison is really more of a testament to the 212 rather than some kind of bad review of the P8 just to make things clear.
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post #605 of 613 Old 11-21-2014, 06:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TMcG View Post
I had mentioned this in one other thread (perhaps it was the same comparative GTG) that comparing just the head of the P8 without the accompanying bass module is not a true apples-to-apples comparison vs. fuller range speakers. But the P815 @ $10k vs. the JTR 212 @ $2300 is a fantastic value with very comparative reference quality at less than 25% the cost. I think you made a great choice.



If a dedicated system is out, the next step would be to look at modifying the existing system to suit your needs. Without knowing the model number and CFM capabilities of your AHU it is difficult to say what can be done. Ideally you would have a variable speed blower (vs. a normal two-stage of 'low' or 'high' settings) and have zone control to automatically open/close a damper system. You'd also need a low ambient kit for the outside condensing unit so it can operate in cooling modes during the winter months. These mods would probably be more than the cost of a mini-split, so probably not a good option either.

There are a few problems with your proposed plan. First, you can't just shut off that CFM of supply that would normally be going to your room without diverting it somewhere. The CFM in certain supplies will certainly increase because of the increased pressure, but the AHU blower cannot overcome all of the static pressure. In other words, at a minimum you would need to reconfigure your duct takeoff to run a short distance to a diffuser that can be opened to vent all the heated air into your mechanical area AND THEN have the "T" connection with your in-line fan inserted into the supply trunk line.

I agree with the two-fan approach if you go that route, but you must make sure the CFM of return matches the CFM of supply you are providing. My one concern, though, is that if you are dumping the heated air that would normally supply the theater into the mechanical room, your mechanical room is going to be much warmer than normal ambient temps. This warmer air is what will be drawn into your supply fan, so I'm not sure if it will accomplish your end goal. Plus, you'll have to build a sealed box that can accept a panel filter and duct it to the fan so you aren't loading your room with dust. I wasn't sure if you had the ability (space) to do that.

Have you considered adding an ERV to your existing system and running your AHU's fan on 'ON' and using motorized zone dampers to shut off the supply when your system is calling for heat in the other parts of your home?
Ok Tim I have a potential quasi solution to one of your main problems.

There are 2 supplies to the theater.

Supply one simply goes to the theater.

Supply two was actually suppose to go to the kitchen. I made a T intersection into it so I could have the option to divert it into the theater if needed. So I have the option to close it off to the theater and let it go on to the kitchen.

So that would cut the pressure problems in half. Is that enough?
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post #606 of 613 Old 11-21-2014, 06:32 AM
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Was it Randy's system you were referring to? I didn't take your opinion on the P8 as a bad review at all, by the way. I'm not sure what thread it was in or when, but one of the other reviewers had mentioned that the P8 couldn't handle the same power, didn't have as low frequency extension, etc. as the JTR, which is obvious since the JTR has 2 10" drivers and a much bigger.....everything. Whoever that was (can't remember) gave the impression in their post that they were expecting these two speakers to be directly comparative, which they aren't without the matching P15 bass module for the Procella. Had I not had the opportunity to go with Procella, I would definitely be looking at JTR or James Loundspeakers, for sure.
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post #607 of 613 Old 11-21-2014, 06:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rms8 View Post
Hi jedimastergrant !

I don't know how handy you might be, but if you can hang a picture and run an electrical outlet, you CAN install a minisplit system! And for $1200 or LESS !

It would work as awesome as your theater looks too !

I installed a minisplit in mine and am so 1-hundy % happy I did.

The pro's of a minisplit are far too numerous to spell out here. The only con's would be the price if you don't have much DIY skills and the fact that they typically do NOT exchange fresh air. THAT'S IT !

Current minisplits are FAR MORE EFFICIENT that whole house forced-air systems. They are far quieter too. Plus, no chance of sound contamination since there is no connection to existing duct-work.

You can install the compressor in the basement too. They are super quiet as well. About the only thing a typical DIY'er can't do is evacuate the lines and charge the system. I paid an HVAC tech less than $200 to do that.

In the pic below, the minisplit can be seen between the two rear channel speakers......
First of all I love the look of your room. Very cool!

The DIY mini split is tempting if it can be done for $1200. What unit would that be?

Putting the condenser in the mechanical area solves the problem of running the lines clear to the other side of the house before getting outside.

Here is a potential problem. Just getting into the theater. Basically every joist if full of something. And I would not be looking forward to tearing into the finished wall/ceiling or whatever. I will take another look at this to see what the options are for getting in there. What size of hole am I looking at?

I still think the unit would stick out in the room since it is a flush panel look. Not much I can do about this.

And the final fear is the noise. I know they claim to be quiet. But, my room is really really quiet. I would be crushed if I could hear the unit after the hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars I put into sound isolation. So I would need several others with sound proofed rooms to tell me they can't hear theirs.

Ok so I have heard there is such a thing as a ducted mini split?????? That way I could put it into the mechanical room. I would then need some kind of inline fan to push the air into the supply bc the run is long and they are not made to push that kind of air. Any ideas about this?
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post #608 of 613 Old 11-21-2014, 06:59 AM
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The DIY mini split is tempting if it can be done for $1200. What unit would that be?
All depends on how large your room is. The current price on the unit I got is $1283 and my room is on the large side.


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Here is a potential problem. Just getting into the theater. Basically every joist if full of something. And I would not be looking forward to tearing into the finished wall/ceiling or whatever. I will take another look at this to see what the options are for getting in there. What size of hole am I looking at?
It's ironic you mention this as I too was sort of in the same boat. I had toyed around with the idea of a minisplit very early on, but eventually decided to tap off the existing HVAC system. Then I got the quotes on how much that would cost. I re-investigated my minisplit idea. Only problem was that I had already finished the part of the basement between the theater and unfinished side where the compressor would go. What I did was make a "fish tape" out of 1.5" PVC pipe. I cut a "V" notch at one end. I attached the line-set and 14awgx4 cable to the end of the PVC and started pushing it from the unfinished side along a beam. Once I got to the end of the 10' pipe, I simply attached another 10' pipe and kept going. I have no idea how your place and joist/beams are positioned, but where there's a will there's a way.


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I still think the unit would stick out in the room since it is a flush panel look. Not much I can do about this.
Yeah, that would be something to very seriously consider. I painted mine flat black. Everyone who has seen my HT assumes it's a speaker. They do make minisplits that look like a picture which you can have anything applied over the "picture" area. This way you could have it match you existing fabric panels.


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And the final fear is the noise. I know they claim to be quiet. But, my room is really really quiet. I would be crushed if I could hear the unit after the hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars I put into sound isolation. So I would need several others with sound proofed rooms to tell me they can't hear theirs.
I was VERY fearful of the noise issue myself. When you put this thing in the "Whisper Mode" it is rated at 19dB. When I turned it on and put it in this mode I literally could not hear it. I had to actually get up on a ladder and place my head with in a foot to actually hear the faint whoosh of air being pushed out. I was so amazed and how really quiet it is! You could call around and see if any local HVAC places have one mounted and demo it. Just make sure if they DO have one to be demo'ed, it's a current generation minisplit with the super quiet fans.


There are several varieties of minisplit air-handler configurations too. You may find one that fits your room just perfectly. They have flush mount units.

In my build thread you can see pics of the compressor in the basement too. If I had know how utterly quiet the compressor was, I would have mounted it on the floor right next to the current HVAC systems. I thought the compressor would be noisy and tried mounting it as far away from the HT as possible, but it is extremely quiet.


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post #609 of 613 Old 11-21-2014, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Was it Randy's system you were referring to? I didn't take your opinion on the P8 as a bad review at all, by the way. I'm not sure what thread it was in or when, but one of the other reviewers had mentioned that the P8 couldn't handle the same power, didn't have as low frequency extension, etc. as the JTR, which is obvious since the JTR has 2 10" drivers and a much bigger.....everything. Whoever that was (can't remember) gave the impression in their post that they were expecting these two speakers to be directly comparative, which they aren't without the matching P15 bass module for the Procella. Had I not had the opportunity to go with Procella, I would definitely be looking at JTR or James Loundspeakers, for sure.
Yeah, it was Randy's. I think he has 2 P10's that he is using but I would have to check again. He also has a P18. The bass is very tight in his room. Everything is seamless. I specifically remember during the Master and Commander scene the bass literally travelled through the room with the cannon shot. Very cool. It is not quite enough bass for some of the more extreme here in KC but it is plenty for me.

The 212 has 2 12'' drivers btw. I am sure the mid bass was a factor but it was the soundstage and 3 dimensionality that really did it for me.
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post #610 of 613 Old 11-21-2014, 08:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TMcG View Post
I had mentioned this in one other thread (perhaps it was the same comparative GTG) that comparing just the head of the P8 without the accompanying bass module is not a true apples-to-apples comparison vs. fuller range speakers. But the P815 @ $10k vs. the JTR 212 @ $2300 is a fantastic value with very comparative reference quality at less than 25% the cost. I think you made a great choice.



If a dedicated system is out, the next step would be to look at modifying the existing system to suit your needs. Without knowing the model number and CFM capabilities of your AHU it is difficult to say what can be done. Ideally you would have a variable speed blower (vs. a normal two-stage of 'low' or 'high' settings) and have zone control to automatically open/close a damper system. You'd also need a low ambient kit for the outside condensing unit so it can operate in cooling modes during the winter months. These mods would probably be more than the cost of a mini-split, so probably not a good option either.

There are a few problems with your proposed plan. First, you can't just shut off that CFM of supply that would normally be going to your room without diverting it somewhere. The CFM in certain supplies will certainly increase because of the increased pressure, but the AHU blower cannot overcome all of the static pressure. In other words, at a minimum you would need to reconfigure your duct takeoff to run a short distance to a diffuser that can be opened to vent all the heated air into your mechanical area AND THEN have the "T" connection with your in-line fan inserted into the supply trunk line.

I agree with the two-fan approach if you go that route, but you must make sure the CFM of return matches the CFM of supply you are providing. My one concern, though, is that if you are dumping the heated air that would normally supply the theater into the mechanical room, your mechanical room is going to be much warmer than normal ambient temps. This warmer air is what will be drawn into your supply fan, so I'm not sure if it will accomplish your end goal. Plus, you'll have to build a sealed box that can accept a panel filter and duct it to the fan so you aren't loading your room with dust. I wasn't sure if you had the ability (space) to do that.

Have you considered adding an ERV to your existing system and running your AHU's fan on 'ON' and using motorized zone dampers to shut off the supply when your system is calling for heat in the other parts of your home?
Ok now about using the ERV. That sounds similar to what I was originally considering. I installed electronic dampers in both of my supplies and thought about hooking them up to my heating cycle somehow so that they shut off during the heat cycle and open when the heater is not cycling. My fan is left on all of the time currently so the room would still get circulation.

But I'm not very familiar with an ERV. My rudimentary understanding is that it somehow acts as a heat exchanger between 2 lines? And I am a bit confused about the difference btwn an ERV and HRV. Is it just the humidity exchanger?

Can you explain how the ERV would work in my system and where it would be installed??
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post #611 of 613 Old 11-21-2014, 09:06 AM - Thread Starter
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All depends on how large your room is. The current price on the unit I got is $1283 and my room is on the large side.

My room is 15x19x8. That price is reasonable.


It's ironic you mention this as I too was sort of in the same boat. I had toyed around with the idea of a minisplit very early on, but eventually decided to tap off the existing HVAC system. Then I got the quotes on how much that would cost. I re-investigated my minisplit idea. Only problem was that I had already finished the part of the basement between the theater and unfinished side where the compressor would go. What I did was make a "fish tape" out of 1.5" PVC pipe. I cut a "V" notch at one end. I attached the line-set and 14awgx4 cable to the end of the PVC and started pushing it from the unfinished side along a beam. Once I got to the end of the 10' pipe, I simply attached another 10' pipe and kept going. I have no idea how your place and joist/beams are positioned, but where there's a will there's a way.

So how big does the hole need to be? Surely bigger than the 1.5'' pvc.


Yeah, that would be something to very seriously consider. I painted mine flat black. Everyone who has seen my HT assumes it's a speaker. They do make minisplits that look like a picture which you can have anything applied over the "picture" area. This way you could have it match you existing fabric panels.

Another thing is it should probably really go in my ceiling since it is SO much hotter up there. If I got ceiling version and could put it into my ceiling joist that would be awesome. But space is limited so it may not work and just getting the lines there could be next to impossible.


I was VERY fearful of the noise issue myself. When you put this thing in the "Whisper Mode" it is rated at 19dB. When I turned it on and put it in this mode I literally could not hear it. I had to actually get up on a ladder and place my head with in a foot to actually hear the faint whoosh of air being pushed out. I was so amazed and how really quiet it is! You could call around and see if any local HVAC places have one mounted and demo it. Just make sure if they DO have one to be demo'ed, it's a current generation minisplit with the super quiet fans.

Good to know. You did sound isolation in your room then and you can't hear it from more than 1 foot away? Can it always be in the whisper mode? How loud are the other modes?

There are several varieties of minisplit air-handler configurations too. You may find one that fits your room just perfectly. They have flush mount units.

In my build thread you can see pics of the compressor in the basement too. If I had know how utterly quiet the compressor was, I would have mounted it on the floor right next to the current HVAC systems. I thought the compressor would be noisy and tried mounting it as far away from the HT as possible, but it is extremely quiet.
I could put it almost anywhere in the mechanical room. My HVAC system is in there and you can't hear it in the theater.
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post #612 of 613 Old 11-21-2014, 09:56 AM
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But I'm not very familiar with an ERV. My rudimentary understanding is that it somehow acts as a heat exchanger between 2 lines? And I am a bit confused about the difference btwn an ERV and HRV. Is it just the humidity exchanger?

Can you explain how the ERV would work in my system and where it would be installed??
ERV stands for Energy Recovery Ventilator and it is designed to bring fresh air in from outside in a controlled fashion (internal heat exchanger) while maintaining a high energy efficiency. These are normally attached to your main AHU to the main return trunk line to feed in the fresh air prior to conditioning by the AHU. Over the winter months the outside humidity is naturally very, very low. So just the fact that you are running the fan and the ERV will mean that you are pulling in cooler air than indoor ambient (because the heat exchange process is not 100% efficient) and also bringing in fresh air that is lower in humidity. There are different settings for these things based on your climate zones and whether your unit is calling for heating or cooling. I've not hooked one up, so I am a bit out of my depth for all installation considerations. For example, if you were to damper off the theater supply several feet from the main unit and put the ERV output just past the damper to 'supply' just your theater room. But my guess is this won't work for two reasons - you're not pulling any air out of the theater and the ERVs are designed to supply an entire house with fresh air, not one relatively small room. I only asked if you were considering it.
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post #613 of 613 Old 11-21-2014, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Just got off the phone with my HVAC guy. His engineer suggested something that I thought of about a year ago. In fact I think I posted about it in the thread somewhere.

First of all they don't like the room air exchange idea. They are afraid it won't be enough of a temperature gradient. I am not so sure about that but anyway.......

They want to bring in outside air directly into the theater. The idea is to make an access point from my mechanical room right to the outside and attach a 6'' duct to it to bring in cold outside fresh air. The access point would have a metal grate and screen of some sort to keep critters out.

Then the 6'' duct would have an inline fan to force air into the theater. And also a damper to close it off when we don't want outside air.

Another damper would be installed at the takeoff. A thermostat would be installed inside the theater and when cool air is called for the damper at the main takeoff would close and the damper on the outside air duct would open and the inline fan would turn on.

I think someone had poo poo'd this idea awhile back but I don't remember why.


The engineer claims that he used to work in Denver and installed several such systems in home theaters with these kind of problems there. That would be a similar climate to ours here in KC.

They are coming by on Monday with the engineer to make sure it will work and give a final quote. He said "less than $1500". That sounds high to me and if it is not less than 1000 I may just do it myself. I would think the equipment to buy would be the following:
-Metal grate for outside with screen
-6'' duct. about 10ft
-6'' inline fan
-damper for outside air duct
-elbow to go from takeoff to existing duct with a damper
-thermostat

There is some labor involved with cutting through the concrete. I don't have the tools to do that and it makes me a bit nervous. Any ideas there? Hmm maybe it is better to let them do it but we will see. And ya know that equipment I just listed isn't free so that isn't just all labor costs.

Depending on the quote I would consider a DIY mini split but it looks like it would be close to 2K to do that and a heck of a lot of work bc of how hard it would be to get into my room and then finish it off again. I just don't think I can bring myself to do it unless it is a last resort.

(Tim thanks for the ERV lesson and I will mention it to them to see what they say just in case)

Alright so tell me why this is a terrible idea
jedimastergrant is online now  
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