The quiet, non-intrusive small-duct HVAC system from Unico is perhaps one of the biggest surprises visitors will see — or more likely not see — at This Old House’s show home near Georgia’s Lookout Mountain. The Unico System is practically invisible in the home due to its small, flexible tubing ducts that weave under floors and inside wall cavities to deliver even, comfortable cooling and heating.
Planners from This Old House Ventures coordinated with Unico, as well as contractors and interior designers, to create a 1,950-square foot, old-fashioned Craftsman-style home. The house is at Cloudland Station, a 450-acre community that makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
Installing the Unico System made perfect sense for this new “old home” that showcases the best of today’s modern materials and technologies yet hearkens back to days of old with its charming architectural features.
A hundred years ago, well before central air systems, homes had no ductwork interfering with the integrity of the design. That’s true of this Cloudland house, too. The architect designed it from the start with The Unico System in mind: it would be the only way to provide modern HVAC in the house without the interference of bulky ductwork and the soffits and drop ceilings to hide it.
Using drawings supplied by the builder, Unico engineers assisted the HVAC contractor with product specifications and installation details. The HVAC products for the project included two iSeries outdoor inverter heat pumps, two Unico air handlers (E.C. with S.M.A.R.T. board), 3.5-inch outer diameter round flexible tubing, and 2-inch inner diameter round outlets. The high SEER iSeries outdoor units offer energy efficiency, and the insulated duct has practically zero leakage, which also increases efficiency.
The Unico System is well hidden, down to the small wooden room outlets that are stained to match the wood floors. Overall, the system takes up less than one-third the space of a traditional system,
making it a great space-saver.
The Cottage at Cloudland Station project team included John Tatum of Firefly Communities, David Martin of D&B Construction, Yvonne McFadden of Y. McFadden Interiors, and landscape design
by Kate Karam of Monrovia.
The cottage was featured in the November/December 2015 issue of This Old House and for a short time was open to the public for tours. Cloudland Station features a village square, stone bridges, treehouses, a swimming hole, a general store, and a large event barn reconstructed from the reclaimed wood of two old Amish barns. Visit www.CloudlandStation.com for more details.