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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Rochester NY
    Posts
    4,736
    Thanks for taking the pictures. Those pictures are like going to an art gallery and taking a picture of Mona Lisa's nose. LOL. Reminds me of some of the pictures I took when I started this job. Any chance of getting some non-close ups?

    How to define the problem. Hmmm. The better defined, the clearer the solution, right? Can you go deeper than "stuffy in the basement"? Is that the whole and only problem?

    You certainly don't want to cure one problem then "oh yeah, I forgot - we have this problem too". Sometimes multiple problems indicate a whole different course of action.

    Really the house is a system of systems. If you focus the way you took those pictures, you may find yourself going around in circles throwing money at problems.

    You don't list your location in your header, so the advice you get will not be location specific. It's best to step back and get an understanding of the whole house, then drill in on problems. (Ie: sometimes an issue in the basement is caused by a problem in the attic, but if you never leave the basement you'll never figure that out.)

    Some places you can find knowledgeable energy auditors, in other you can find energy raters that can help.
    Which makes more sense to you?
    CONSERVATION - turning your thermostat back and being uncomfortable. Maybe saving 5-10%
    ENERGY EFFICIENCY - leaving your thermostat where everyone is comfortable. Saving 30-70%

    DO THE NUMBERS! Step on a HOMESCALE.
    What is comfort? Well, it AIN'T just TEMPERATURE!

    Energy Obese? An audit is the next step - go to BPI.org, or RESNET, and find an auditor near you.

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Quad-Cities area (midwest).
    Posts
    2,702
    Thank you for the pictures. The return air drop looks funky. What is the size of it? What size is the filter?What is the size of the A/C?

    I need you to step back and take pictures of the rectangle duct off the plenum. From your earlier thread you sorta indicated that you had seperate ducts going to each area. Hopefully this is so, although probably unlikely if your luck is like mine.

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    14
    George2 and all others who responded - thank you! Your expertise is highly appreaciated.

    I had an HVAC contractor look over the furnace and the ducts today. He recommends to install a return specifically for the basement, i.e. hook up the duct from the other side of the furnace (there is already a main return hooked up to the other side). So he recommends to install a dedicated return for the basement as well as repositioning ceiling registers - moving them closer to the exterior basement wall. He also suggested fixing one flex duct that connects adjacent bathroom.

    He did not perform any tests or measurements, but said that according to his experience - there will be some airflow improvement.

    Another option I have is for $$$$ to have a comprehensive energy audit and duct analysis done.

    $$$$ - energy audit per system = $$$$ ($$$$ subsidized by my local utility co.) My cost $$$$
    $$$$ - duct analysis for the downstairs unit/ducts only.

    $$$$ total

    Should I get both done or since this appears to be airflow problem, just get the duct analysis and then, based on the findings, make impovements?

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by jpsmith1cm; 12-07-2012 at 05:57 AM. Reason: pricing

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,296
    Quote Originally Posted by stant_98 View Post
    George2 and all others who responded - thank you! Your expertise is highly appreciated.

    I had an HVAC contractor look over the furnace and the ducts today.
    He recommends to install a return specifically for the basement,
    i.e. hook up the duct from the other side of the furnace
    (there is already a main return hooked up to the other side).

    So he recommends to install a dedicated return for the basement as well as repositioning ceiling registers -
    moving them closer to the exterior basement wall.
    He also suggested fixing one flex duct that connects adjacent bathroom.

    He did not perform any tests or measurements,
    but said that according to his experience - there will be some airflow improvement.

    Another option I have is for $$$ to have a comprehensive energy audit and duct analysis done.

    $0 - energy audit per system = $0 ($350 subsidized by my local utility co.) My cost $0
    $0 - duct analysis for the downstairs unit/ducts only.

    $0 total

    Should I get both done or since this appears to be airflow problem, just get the duct analysis and then,
    based on the findings, make improvements? Thanks again!
    You have Not mentioned
    ________________ size of house,
    ............................ nor what city,
    +++++++++++++ whether there is a temperature issue,
    --------------------- or what the relative humidity is.

    ........................... size of the diffuser (vent)

    AND now you say there are "two" systems. _ ONE Furnace = 1 System.
    I am confused and probably everyone else is probably just not clear on the objectives of an analysis and then a repair actually might be.

    Stuffy and low air flow are not descriptive enough to get a handle on the overall system issues.

    Record Temperature and Humidity 4 times a day for a couple weeks upstairs and each end of basement.
    Lowe's
    AcuRite Digital Weather Station
    Item #: 263101 | Model #: 00609

    Adding a return in the basement does not take an analysis.

    What size vents throughout the residence?
    Air flow velocity for each?

    Home Depot
    Handheld Anemometer
    Model # EA-3010U Internet # 203455797
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,718

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,171
    If pic 6 is of the supply duct for the basement. having turning vanes installed in that ell along with additional return being added for the basement would help a lot.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Quad-Cities area (midwest).
    Posts
    2,702
    Quote Originally Posted by stant_98 View Post
    George2 and all others who responded - thank you! Your expertise is highly appreaciated.

    I had an HVAC contractor look over the furnace and the ducts today. He recommends to install a return specifically for the basement, i.e. hook up the duct from the other side of the furnace (there is already a main return hooked up to the other side). So he recommends to install a dedicated return for the basement as well as repositioning ceiling registers - moving them closer to the exterior basement wall. He also suggested fixing one flex duct that connects adjacent bathroom.

    He did not perform any tests or measurements, but said that according to his experience - there will be some airflow improvement.

    Another option I have is for $$$$ to have a comprehensive energy audit and duct analysis done.

    $$$$ - energy audit per system = $$$$ ($$$$ subsidized by my local utility co.) My cost $$$$
    $$$$ - duct analysis for the downstairs unit/ducts only.

    $$$$ total

    Should I get both done or since this appears to be airflow problem, just get the duct analysis and then, based on the findings, make impovements?

    Thanks again!
    Like Darling (design) Dan, I,m confussed. But, what intriques me most is this post. I don't know how to highlight these points so I'll have to re-type them:

    Energy audit per system $$$$...what is this? Is this a simple furnace-A/C check? Subsidized by the utility company (really)?

    Here's the best one......duct(work) analysis $$$$? Someone charges money for
    this? Who does the "analysis"? Please write soon........I gotta know!

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    East Grand Forks, MN
    Posts
    1,373
    Pictures are unnecessary unless I'm the contractor bidding the job.

    You need advise, then take dan sw fl advise. That would be the most logical way of determining proper air flow.

    The airflow requirement needs to be determine first (Heat Load), than readings of actual airflow needs to be measured, then compared.
    Anything else is just a guest; even pictures!!

    Godspeed.

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,296
    Quote Originally Posted by George2 View Post
    Like Dan, I,m confused.

    But, what intrigues me most is this post.
    I don't know how to highlight these points so I'll have to re-type them:

    Energy audit per system $$$$...what is this?
    Is this a simple furnace-A/C check?
    Subsidized by the utility company (really)?

    Here's the best one......duct(work) analysis $$$$?
    Someone charges money for this? Who does the "analysis"?
    Please write soon........I gotta know!
    Since other -fiscal cliff- things from the small-minded boys in Washington DC
    already got me " Really torqued up" this AM,
    let's simply tell it like it is.

    Post #16, if accurately written, describes the actions of a less-than-honest contractor.
    _ OP { stant_98} obviously needs to "help himself" by moving on and continuing to learn of an appropriate path to BOTH DESCRIBE and resolve
    _ whatever issues he has with comfort in his "new" residence.

    I could use a much, much stronger [editable ] words but I think
    I have used them All in blasting off a letter
    to my Senator$ and congre$$man
    who wish to $teal-my-wallet.

    From a normally calm , thoughtful person.
    Sorry.
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    6,470
    p
    Quote Originally Posted by stant_98 View Post
    My family and I moved into our new home 3 months ago. Turned on the heat and the end of October and my wife who stays home with our toddler age kids noticed the stuffy air in the basement. I reached up with my hand against registers and the airflow is really low - probably less than half of what it feels like on the main level.

    We had a heating tune-up, seasonal checkup done yesterday and were told the furnace runs well - no issues. The filters are clean.

    We also had a contractor today who inspected the ducts - the main supply duct and the return down in the utility room. He said that he could not see any dampers on the main supply duct (that goes up from the furnace leading up to the main level and branches off horizontally to the basement). He also said that he thought there may be registers that have been sealed off inside the drywalls; or some other problem that's restricting airflow velocity. He did not perform additional in-depth testing.

    This is a Winchester Homes colonial type SFH built in 1999. The basement was finished by the previous owner after they initially bought the house.

    Is there a cost-effective way to repair this problem without opening up drywalls to locate a potential area of air leakage or airflow being restricted?
    Do you know of any specific tests or equipment that can be used/installed to troubleshoot this problem?

    Your advise is much appreciated!

    Rheem gas furnace 75000 BTU's/hr. 80 AFUE.

    Thank you very much!
    Most basements are a little stuffy at the end of a summer unless they have a dehumidifier that is able to maintain <50%RH. Also most most homes need enough fresh air to purge indoor pollutants in 4-5 hours. The remains of a little mold growth throughout the summer could be described as stuffy. This odor will slowly subside as the space dries out. It is not a air circulation but rather a matter of +65%RH in the basement through the summer. The moisture level decline as the outside air dew point declines.
    HOw much fresh air are you putting into your home? A good measure is the inside dew point of your home compared to the outside dew point. Is this home in a green grass climate? Measure the temp/%RH in the home and tell us where you live, how many occupants, and humidifier. Fresh air infiltration can be estimated. During cold windy weather, most homes get more fresh air naturally. During the summer, basements should be <50%RH to avoid the stuffy smell.
    Regards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,296
    Quote Originally Posted by teddy bear View Post
    p

    Most basements are a little stuffy at the end of a summer unless they have a dehumidifier that is able to maintain <50%RH. Also most most homes need enough fresh air to purge indoor pollutants in 4-5 hours. The remains of a little mold growth throughout the summer could be described as stuffy. This odor will slowly subside as the space dries out. It is not a air circulation but rather a matter of +65%RH in the basement through the summer. The moisture level decline as the outside air dew point declines.

    How much fresh air are you putting into your home?
    A good measure is the inside dew point of your home compared to the outside dew point.
    Is this home in a green grass climate?
    Measure the temp/%RH in the home and tell us where you live, how many occupants, and humidifier.
    Fresh air infiltration can be estimated.

    During cold windy weather, most homes get more fresh air naturally. During the summer, basements should be <50%RH to avoid the stuffy smell.

    Regards TB
    I was thinking lack of air distribution based on statements.

    Thanks for the clarification of - stuffy -. I definitely understand - basement odor -.
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

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