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  1. #1

    Need help troubleshoot walkout basement Heating Vents?

    we just moved in to this tri-level home approx 1300 sqf. which faces north. Below are the register distributions per floor:


    1st Floor:
    - Living Room (2 registers + 1 return)
    - dining room/kitchen (1 register, 1 return)

    Walkout Basement Level:
    -Family room (2 ceiling registers that connect towards main truck line in the middle of the garage which is on the same level as family room). Note: These are the two registers that blow very little to no air

    2nd Floor: (Note: These registers connect to the main truck line that runs westbound through the garage which travels eastbound below the stairs that connect the 2nd/1st floors and down to the crawlspace below the living room.

    All Bedrooms - 1 register 1 air return each
    2 baths - 1 register, 1 return each


    So, I had a guy come out, check for leaks, etc. He noticed that if we covered all upstair registers, there were some air blowing in the family room after the fact. The repair person's proposal was to cut out the ceiling drywall in the garage and then proceed to reconnect both lines with 45 degree elbow so as the air could flow more easily out to these registers. He is wanting approx $$$ for parts and labor, but thought I checked for 2nd opinions and thoughts. Thanks!
    Last edited by jpsmith1cm; 01-04-2013 at 05:43 AM. Reason: pricing

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Western PA
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
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    67,712
    Good chance that doing that alone won't be enough of an improvement to heat the family room. No returns in the family room?
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Good chance that doing that alone won't be enough of an improvement to heat the family room. No returns in the family room?
    Sorry, there is one return in the family room...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central Fla.
    Posts
    311
    Has anyone tried to look in the ductwork for blockages(esp. if flex is used)? That would be better than exploritive surgery on the sheet rock.They have "snake" type cameras that can be fed into the ductwork to view it.Just sayin.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    3,422
    Just bear in mind that heat rises, and therefore the upper levels will heat much more easily. A cold basement during winter is very common complaint if the system is not either zoned or two units were installed. As previously mentioned, you can close or nearly close the upper floors registers in winter and hopefully force more air from the lower floor outlets. And do just the opposite in summer as the lower floor will cool more than upper floors. Remember heat rises, but cold falls. You need about one outlet for every 100 sq. ft. of basement area using 6" pipe and then manually "zone" the system by closing and opening registers. If your basement is shy on air flow due to poor duct design or you are trying to heat an unfinished basement, then you've got more problems. We see a lot of these complaints in new construction, especially if installed by the lowest bidder! We are working on a new home of about 5500 sq. ft. that has a variable speed blower, two stage heat pump connected to a 3 zone control system so the bedroom areas, main living areas, and basement will each have their own thermostat and zone. This was NOT a "cheapest bidder" job, just someone who wanted a quality system installed. Sadly, this is NOT the usual case in new construction.. Cheapest is seldom the best system.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Northern Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,976
    If the first person/company you had come out didn't actually measure the air flows other than with their hand, you need to call around and find someone that has the necessary testing equipment that can give you some factual answers and suggestions. Having someone tear open your ceilings to "try" a fix isn't who you want.

    First thing you need to know is how much heat is needed in that room to keep it warm. This information will dictate how much air needs to be circulated through the room to deliver that required amount of heat.

    If the end result you're looking for is to spend X amount of money to make the room comfortable then I suggest you find someone that suggests doing a heating load calculation to determine the area's heating requirements. They should then explain that the required amount of heat (that was calculated) demands X amount of air movement. They should then do the required calculations to determine if the system you have in place can deliver what's needed. This may or may not require exposing the existing ductwork.
    Use the biggest hammer you like, pounding a square peg into a round hole does not equal a proper fit.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by firecontrol View Post
    If the first person/company you had come out didn't actually measure the air flows other than with their hand, you need to call around and find someone that has the necessary testing equipment that can give you some factual answers and suggestions. Having someone tear open your ceilings to "try" a fix isn't who you want.

    First thing you need to know is how much heat is needed in that room to keep it warm. This information will dictate how much air needs to be circulated through the room to deliver that required amount of heat.

    If the end result you're looking for is to spend X amount of money to make the room comfortable then I suggest you find someone that suggests doing a heating load calculation to determine the area's heating requirements. They should then explain that the required amount of heat (that was calculated) demands X amount of air movement. They should then do the required calculations to determine if the system you have in place can deliver what's needed. This may or may not require exposing the existing ductwork.
    great, awesome explanation!

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