California Title 24 Requirements for Window Air Conditoners

I’ve been trying to satisfy Title 24 requirements for energy conservation while remodelling. I’ve had a consultant performa a Title 24 analysis. I wamted to install inexpensive window air conditioners in the bedrooms to keep temperatures cool during those hot summer days and nights.

Is it possible to use window air conditioners and still satisfy Title 24 requirements? My Title 24 consultant says that he doesn’t think window air conditioners are allowed. This seems bogus that he can’t answer this straight off the top of his head. I was thinking about running a 3 zone air conditioner/heating system using a single condenser and 3 mini-split cooling/heating units in each of the two bedrooms and the living room.

This is very ezpensive to install, and also uses electricity which will probably cost more money than a natural gas forced air furnace. However, for air conditioning (cooling), this is very efficient and allows for independent zones. It is also very elegant as the units will work for both heating and cooling, plus the added benefit of not havingto run duct work in the attic. I am the only one living here, so I really only have to air condition one room to use as an office, but it would be nice to cool down the other bedroom on those hot August nights in case someone else is staying here. I would also like to have the option of having a roommate.

The gas furnace is cheaper, but requires complex duct work. I’m here in Santa Barbara and it never gets all that hot or cold. In fact, I’ve never heated the place in probaly 15 years, even though the house tracks the outside ambient temperature due to humongous gaps in windows and doors.

In any case, I’m replacing all the windows with dual glazed tinted windows and insulating the hell out of the attic with icynene.

An easy and relatively inexpensive solution would be run with the gas forced air furnace and run thru-wall window air conditioners in the bedrooms. Will I be allowed do this under Title 24 regulations?

In any case, people are telling me with the gnarly insulation and all brand new windows, my house will stay cool enough without air conditioning, but I want to be able to make sure the bedrooms stay a cool temperature even during the hottest days of summer. Hell, it’s hit 100°F even during the spring.

The window units I’m familiar with have poor sealing/blocking for the part of the window opening that the air conditioning unit doesn’t fill. Usually thin plastic panels. Bottom line is that it defeats the superior sealing that your brand new windows will provide. Makes little sense to do that.

The multi zone mini split system would be what I would probably do in your situation. A quality unit like those from Mitsubishi from a reputable contractor should easily meet Title 24 requirements.

Also, the Mitsubishi units should be fairly simple to install as the interior units are powered by the outside unit with a 24V connection, plus the thermostats are wireless. The mini splits will be much quieter than a window unit too.

Yeah, mini splits are better. But if you can’t swing the cost, just install window units after the inspection. They just sit in the window, they’re not permanent.

Get a few more quotes on installing the minisplits though. They shouldn’t be that bad, I looked into them for our new ICF build and I was going to install them myself. Did some research, and it looked very doable. We decided to go forced air, but it was a close call.

What part of CA do you live in? Is your house 1 or 2 stories? If 2 stories, yeah, A/C is probably needed.

But you should look at whole house fans. Unless you live in the Central Valley, it usually gets cool enough at night in CA that you can use a WHF to cool things down. Then, with good insulation and new windows. leave the windows shut the next day and your house should stay pretty cool until evening except on the hottest days.

This is my thoughts, I don’t know anything about title 24 but it seems to make sense it does not include stuff like window a/c’s because they are not considered permanent. You might pass inspection even with them in the windows.

This could also the the reason your title 24 consultant didn’t know, it might not have anything to say about it.

Thanks for the responses.

I’ve been told that air conditioning is not a concern for title 24 and that I could probably get away with window air conditioners. They are lousy for efficiency plus a hole in the wall kind of defeats the expensive insulation and dual glazed windows.

The mini-splits are a lot more expensive, but may be a reasonable compromise. I’m thinking about solar panels and a Tesla Powerwall so this may mitigate the electricity expenses. People have said that it only takes $20 a month to heat a small house in a mild climate. I suspect that just replacing my decades old fridge and/or getting rid of the hot tub would more then compensate for any heating expenses.

I’m in Santa Barbara, which has very mild climate, but we no longer get “June Gloom” and it gets uncomfortably hot on occasion. My house is a hobo one story ranch style which is probably ill suited for a whole house fan. My sister has a two story house with a whole house fan and it works great in the silicon valley. I’m putting in a ceiling fan and a openable skylight in the living room which should considerably cool things down.

I know it doesn’t affect the heating, cooling or Title 24, but ditching that hot tub will save you anywhere from $35-70 a month, depending on what tier you’re paying for electricity. (assuming the spa has electric heat. If it’s got a gas heater, the pump is only taking about five bucks a month.)

Kill the old fridge as well. There’s a reason PG&E pays a $50 bounty on them. People don’t realize how much power that old “garage fridge” is eating until it’s gone and the electric bill drops by $20-30 a month.

My read on the mini-splits is that they are specifically geared to the do-it-yourself market.

The refrigerant is pre-installed, the tubes are pre-fabbed, and I even saw a plastic pad designed to support the compressor - you don’t even need the concrete pad.

Find place along the outside wall, install pad, drill 3" hole through wall above pad. Biggest thing is getting a wire heavy enough carrying enough amps.

If you want to address A/C after the State goes away, look into mini-splits.

Last I heard, the HVAC pro’s hated the things and were determined to make as much on a min-split install as they could make on a central system. Having an EPA license does not insure intelligence.

It takes about 2 seconds to add a little foam to seal the area taken up by the plastic pull out panels. Window units make it easy to cool only the room in question instead of the whole house.

I put window ACs in every summer. My method inovlves a lot of foam and some rubber insulation.

  1. Measure the width of the window and cut two lengths of window AC insulation. This is usually the white rubbery stuff and fairly dense.
  2. Measure the height of the AC and cut two lengths of the lighter gray foam to approximately this length plus an inch or so.
  3. Lay down one strip of the white insulation on the bottom of the window. Have the second strip handy laid over an arm, tapped to the wall, someplace where you can reach it immediately.
  4. Set the AC on the bottom strip and as you set it into place, grab the second strip and lay it on the top tray. Close the window to secure the ac in place.
  5. Put the lighter gray foam on the sides of the window and extend the panels of the AC.
  6. You will now need a roll of blue painters tape.
  7. Tape up all the gaps around the AC. If you don’t, bugs will get in.
  8. Stuff the gray foam into the space between the bottom window and the top window. Tape it up to keep the bugs out
  9. I then have a 10 inch wide self adhesive roll of heavy duty insulation (for hot water pipes I think). I cut it to fit over the side panels, peel off the aluminum foil and seal it over the side panels.
    You will now have a nicely insulated, bug proof window AC.

That blue painters tape is your friend in keeping the bugs out.

Also, if you have a tree near a window, don’t put an AC in the window, or the bugs will come in through the openings.