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Discussion Starter #1
ok, 3 years ago we replaced a 30+ year old AC and electric furnace with a a Tran XL14i heat pump/AC. the old unit was 3 tons, the HP is 3.5 tons. during the afternoon the new unit cannot keep temps below about 77, we keep the stat at 74 due to the extremely high humidity in my area.

i always thought that it was due to the outdoor temps being over 95 the unit jsut could not cool enough. but at 11AM this morning we were at 101 and the indoor temps were 74! so the only other thing it could be is that in the afternoon the sun shines in the west windows and we get heat gain.

so what are the real world experiences with film tint? anyone here use it? i have 6 windows that total nearly 100 sq ft of glass on the west walls, and no way to replace those old single pane metal frame windows so i need something fast and cheap!
 

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The Magnificent
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I saw the subject "Davidg's house gets hot in the afternoon". Did he hit is head and forget that he lives in MS, I wondered?

You have those old roll out aluminum windows with the big flange underneath the brick? They are darn near impossible without involving a mason.

Anyway, in my childhood home, built like that, my mother tried tinting the windows with car tint. I didn't help. I think your problem is likely the heat gain.
 

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Few, if any, window films I've seen will help a whole lot in your situation. Best method of stopping this kind of solar heat gain is to stop it prior to it's reaching the window. One very quick and reasonably priced method is to hang roll up bamboo or other temporary shades over the outside of the windows. By stopping the sunlight, and the energy it carries, outside the house a noticeable difference in inside heat gain can be achieved.

Depending on the way the sun hits the house it may be possible to achieve nearly as good a results by adding awnings above the windows.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #4
these are jsut regular single pane metal frame windows, but replacement is just not an option. the walls and ceiling are well insulated, the windows don't leak air, but once the sun shines on them they almost act like a magnifying glass. 2 of the windows are 4' tall and 6-8' wide, while the rest are 7' tall by 3' wide. the 2 wide windows seem to be the biggest contributors, the kitchen and laundry room get hot quick even when they are not being used. the den has a vaulted ceiling, and that certainly don't help!

unfortunately the river birch trees in the back yard are not quite tall enough to shade the house yet either. i figure they have 2-3 more years before they shade it good, based on the rate they have grown over the last 5 years we lived here.

i stuck a 12,400 btu window unit in the den the other day and it made all teh difference in the world. BUT it is going to drive my already high electric bill(over 4000 kwh last month) even higher! but i would rather pay the POCO than listen to my wife about the house being hot.
 

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The Admin from... Nowhere!
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Fast and cheap would be the old college dorm aluminum foil trick (shiny-side out, of course)... Might want to TRY it just to see if that does reduce your problem some...Ditto what Tencubed mentioned about blinds, of course, except that outdoor blinds where I live don't last a winter... Awning made a huge difference for us, but not in a good way... We HAD an awning, then replaced our huge single-pane southern exposure front picture window with a PVC window and the awning had to go (can't fasten awnings to PVC frames)... Noticed an immediate increase in our heating during the afternoon, even in winter (... So up went the horizontal blinds on the inside, they spend most of the afternoon in the down/closed position during the summer days when we're not home...
 

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if windows not to big.we pull the shades down.that really helps cut down on solar rad.I don,t know how big they make shades.
 

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Great Site Good People
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Ken I bet that will cut your electric bill down a good bit also.:trink39:
 

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Do the areas that are getting hot have rooms over them? Heat transfer from the roof can also be a problem. The house that I tore down would get super hot, a lot of the heat came through the ceiling, had poor insulation. Electric bills this summer are high, new house is 4500 sq ft, ran almost $400 last month. The wife likes to keep the air around 74-75 also, wish she would raise it up a bit and save some $$$.
 

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dumb question here has the a/c been checked for right amount of freon or maybe a leak?? whats the air temp. ar the resisters?
 

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Citizen of Earth
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I work in a 1960's vintage building with a window approx 6 feet tall by 10 feet wide. It's a double pane window with a third pane poorly applied to the outside and the solar gain in summer is unbearable We have had some success with vertical blinds that are totally closed in the morning. The solar gain in the winter is VERY welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
yeah the ac has been checked, my brother in law is one of the techs who installed it and he has come out a couple times. this house was actually his grandparents house, and he said they used to just put foil on the windows. my wife wants to be able to see outside though, so that is out!
 

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I have done a little hvac work for myself and have a little knowledge and I think it may shed some light on your problem. If I understand it right, you replaced your old unit (3 ton) for a new unit (3.5 ton) and now it seems that you are having trouble cooling your house down? If so here is what I have been told by a friend who works with hvac. It is better to have an undersized unit for ac rather than oversized. The ac unit cools but also removes humidity. If the unit is too large it will not take the humidity out of the air before the temperature drops and shut of the thermostat. So in this case bigger is not better. Possibly by going with the 3.5 ton you are cooling your house down faster, but it is not allowing the unit to remove the humidity from the air so the house does not feel/get cooler. I hope that makes sense. What square footage is your house? 3.5 ton is a large unit. My parents which I am installing the hvac system in is using a 2.5 ton unit and they have approximately 2500 sq ft.
 

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Professional amateur!
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i'd suggest an attic fan and a dehumidifier and solar screen for the west windows.

on my house, i just drop the miniblinds. at the very least it keeps the sun from heating up the floor or whatever it shines on. you don't have to close them, they just have to be tilted enough to caught all of the suns rays.

my house stays pretty cool though, i rarely run the a/c. i'm shaded all morning, the siding and shingles are fairly light colored, i just put in an attic fan, theres 3 layers of insulation in the attic and lots of vents. my latest addition is a maple tree on the west side of the house. it'll grow to be ~35 ft tall, so it will shade a large section of the house from late afternoon until sunset.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
nah, it won't cool it down to set point during the hot days. if i have it set at 74, it will never get below 78-80 during the heat of the day.

attic fans don't cool, they move air out of the house and suck fresh air in. that is a problem when it is 100F and 60% humidity outside! keep in mind our dew points during the summer may only get down to 75 even in the hottest part of the day. we go on vacation to FL to get away from oppressive heat and humidity!
 
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