For nearly 30 years it stood vacant, an empty reminder of times passed. The old Victorian style home located in Weehawken, N.J. on the banks of the Hudson River, with all its splendor, opulent scroll work, horse-hair plaster, and gorgeous wood floors, was built in the mid 1800s, undoubtedly the home of a wealthy New York businessman.
After remaining vacant for 30 years, the property was purchased and underwent a major renovation from stem to stern. As part of the renovation, SpacePak high velocity air conditioning was installed.
According to Martin Masters, of Martin Masters Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., of Midland Park, N.J., the SpacePak system is ideally suited for this type of home and this type of renovation, because unlike with traditional central air conditioning, the mini-duct systems do not require the use of large ducting systems, and therefore the installation does not involve major construction or renovation.
SpacePak pioneered flexible central air conditioning nearly 30 years ago. The SpacePak system distributes conditioned air through a network of flexible, insulated 2-inch in diameter tubing. This flexible duct work can be installed inside existing 2 x 4 wall structures and around obstructions without requiring extensive construction or renovation to the property. A small air-handler is typically installed in the attic, although it can also be installed in the basement.
For the New Jersey home, two SpacePak units were used to cool the approximately 3,500 square foot home. A 2.5 ton air handling unit was installed in the attic to handle the second and third floors of the home. A smaller, 2 ton unit was installed in the basement to handle the first floor.
SpacePak systems are ultra quite and nearly invisible once installed. All you see in each room is a small round air-outlet about the diameter of a CD. The outlets can be installed through floors, walls or ceilings, and can be painted or covered with wallpaper. There are not any large ductwork systems that consume large amounts of space or the unsightly appearance of space air conditioners inside or outside of the home. Most important, with a SpacePak unit, there is no noisy, drafty operation, and no need to install, remove and store air conditioner units at the end of the season.
One of the really great features of the SpacePak system is a deep coil design that can remove about 30% more moisture from the air than a conventional air conditioner, says Masters. With a lower humidity level, the home will feel more comfortable even at slightly higher thermostat settings.
For the New Jersey installation, Masters and his crew of three men had to be extra careful due to the age of the home. Great care was taken with the horse-hair plaster walls and ceilings, and ornate plaster scrollwork.
It took a bit longer than usual to complete the installation due to the difficulty of working with antique building components. But the home is a showcase property and he wanted to make sure that the installation was flawless. In addition, working with the aged construction materials in the home added a degree of difficulty for the project.
The SpacePak system cools through aspiration, not diffusion and therefore uses less air volume than conventional AC systems. A high velocity air stream gently mixes with the air in the room to provide uniform, draft-free cooling.
In addition, SpacePak offers ElectriPak, an innovative electric heat module that can be added to the standard SpacePak air distribution system. The New Jersey home included this heating option.
The ElectriPak uses the existing SpacePak mini duct system to provide electric heat to the building. While it can be used as the primary heat source, the ElectriPak is often installed as a supplemental heating source. In the case of the New Jersey home, the heating element was installed as a secondary heat source for use before the really cold weather sets in.
When all was said and done, the installation went very well and the crew from Martin Masters did a wonderful job.