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  1. #1

    Hmm Advice on attic conversion

    Ok, so a home owner decided to convert a small portion of his attic to a finished room. it's actually not a bad size and it looks really nice... However, he is finding it impossible to get it coolo enough in the summer for obvious reasons.

    So in the unfinished portion of the attic he has a RUUD air handler with a RUUD air conditioner. He ran several flex ducts to the rooms below the attic and then decided to run two 4x10 registers using 6' flex r6 to the attic conversion for the supply, he then ran two return air lines using 6" flex but used the attic ceiling chase for both to get them as high as possible. the problem with this is when it's 95 degrees outside, it's most likely 130 degrees in those returns from residule heat from the roof.

    Now the obvious way to fix this problem is for me to reinstall the entire system properly with insulated chases and so on. But the guy has just purchased the home and he's looking for a less expensive way to get a cooler temperature in there.

    So I was wondering if I took some reflectix and lined the inside of the return to help with the temperature of the air being pulled to the unit. OBVIOUSLY this isn't the best idea but i wanted to get a few opinions on the matter. typically he cannot get the temperature below 85 degrees, anything below 80 is acceptable for him to do his work, so i'm not looking to bring the temperature down to 72 degrees. if anyone has an idea, please let me know. Something inexpensive....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Northern Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,032
    Lining the returns is going to lower the return air temp....... how much in your estimation?

    The problem seems, as you describe it, to be that too much load from the returns is being introduced and the AC can't cope. Cheapest way may be to disconnect the returns as long as there is sufficent returns still left and try just supplying air to the space. Of course this will mean having to have a return air path to the other existing returns somehow via ..... open doors?

    Don't see from here any way other than the right way like you mentioned.

    Of course he could always put a window shaker in.
    Use the biggest hammer you like, pounding a square peg into a round hole does not equal a proper fit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    4,385
    How about a minisplit?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Joplin,Missouri
    Posts
    310
    What size unit is in the attic and how many cfm off that unit is going to the area below the attic it will take alot to cool that attic room maybe a ton and a half to two tons depending on the square footage and r value of the insulation a mini split might be the way to go

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Joplin,Missouri
    Posts
    310
    Insulating the returns will have very little effect if you ask me

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Sonora, California, United States
    Posts
    1,072
    why cant you cut in a new return in the wall of this new room run r6 or r8 to return. and just disconnect the chase runs to return plenum? what is the temp of supply air going to room? before I did any adjustments I would check supply air temp with returns open in that room and then tape them off or whatever you can do to block them and check supply air temp again. if it is indeed the reutrns that are causing the problem then blocking them off should change the supply air temp.

  7. #7
    A minisplit was actually my first thought, however, He is on one gable end and it has a huge window. So, unfortunately there is no room for the evaporator.

  8. #8
    Well, None of the return air chases in the attic are covered with insulation, the panning metal is completely exposed to the attic temperatures, So, the first thing I have to do is insulate with r-30. the insulating of the return air coming back to the unit isn't going to make a huge differnce, I do know that but I'm trying anything i can to help with the problem. it's a 3.5 ton system, The size is completely adequate, It's just a severly flawed installation Design. one other thing I need to do is install an attice fan, that will be a tremendous help. i just wanted to get another opinion on the matter.
    If you think of anything else, let me know.
    thanks guys.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,367
    If it was the returns causing the problem, then the rest of the areas the A/C serves should have cooling problems also. Do they?
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