I changed my membership info and the thread dropped, sorry to the one respondent ... I am a GC but operate as an "owner-builder" as we buy, remodel and sell homes in and around Palo Alto, CA ... I do not perform work for other clients and only manage my own projects.
I will be remodeling and adding onto an "Eichler" style home in Palo Alto. Eichler homes are built on slab and in most cases have flat roofs. This particular house has a failed radiant slab system and was changed over to base board probably 20 years ago. The base board system is inadequate and there is no AC in the house.
At this moment I am leaning towards a Unico solution (high velocity heat & air via "mini-ducts"). Will be doing a new foam roof with extra thick application of foam to cover duct work. The alternative is to skip AC and go to a new radiant system where I lay out the new lines and pour gypcrete over the old slab and embed the new system in the new slab ... but then AC is no longer an option. "Split" systems are another option, but are not very good looking as they are fairly large "wall ornaments".
I will also upgrade the electrical service to 200a (curently 80!!!) and will also install a solar voltaic system. Besides the extra insulation on the roof via the foam installation, I will be insulating all of the existing exterior walls (can you believe that there is no insulation?) and replacing all existing glazing.
The question is if anyone has had any experience with a Unico installation and can share pro's or con's. Plus if you have any information on "real life" performance, that would be good to know as well.
Luckily the Dura Foam roof contractor has plenty of experience in this department. Can also offer shop drawings for various vents, etc. ... but I'm looking for "objective" information.
I have always been able to install/upgrade conventional forced-air HVAC systems ... these homes either had a basement or crawl space and always an attic. This will be a first time working on an Eichler (slab - no crawl space or attic).
I worked on an Eichler or two, and remember the same defunct radiant slab on the most recent. There are some decent products for installing radiant over the slab if you're inclined to do that. I know nothing about the Unico except that it's been advertised in magazines for years. I am sure you can locate any number of competent mechanical subs in the south bay for help, possibly by talking to Unico and finding out who they are selling to in the area.
I know there are a whole bunch of boxes that say unico sitting in my way on my current project, should be operational in a week . then I will have more feed back. One of my clients is a manager for a large plumbing/heating supplier and he says good things about it
Used the Unico in a large remedel project in NC. I have no good to say. It has been disaster with frequent major breakdowns. Has not performed well. Difficult to know if it is install, equipment or both. Factory replaced unit 2 years ago and it is broken again and non site repairable. Will not use it again.