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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    38

    Zoning Issue Need Advice

    Just installed a new Waterfurnace geo unit as a replacement for a worn out LP gas furnace and AC. Home is a single story ranch with full finished basement. During the new install we zoned off the basement using the intellizone 2 system and added a return air register in the basement. We have 2 zones (main floor and basement) Everything working as it should except I am finding that unless we close the door leading to the basement most of my cool air upstairs drops down the stairway into the basement. I think adding the return air in the basement has made it worse. With the door open AC run time increases.

    Any suggestions besides leaving the door closed? When the door is closed it functions great. With it open we get a loop of cold air into the basement. Since the install was finished the basement zone has never called for AC. I was wondering if a zone damper was installed on the return air in the basement which would open with an AC call for that zone.

    I would appreciate any help so that we could leave the basement door open and have the 2 zones close to the same comfort level.

    Thanks
    Jeff

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,179
    Cold air likes to fall. May not be the duct system at fault. Unless you have a considerable amount of return in the basement, the system shouldn't be doing it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    38
    I think that may be the problem. They installed a 17 x 20 return. We are looking to install a grill with dampers so we can throttle that back some. Otherwise great equipment and even better great install.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Northern Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,013
    Make sure you check with the installer before restricting the return in the basement. It's "possible" the size of the basement return was calculated by the installer to insure adequate air flow across the geo unit and restricting it could cause problems.

    It's always easier and less costly to add a large return next to the equipment than it is to modify/add returns and increase the return duct work to the main floor.
    Use the biggest hammer you like, pounding a square peg into a round hole does not equal a proper fit.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    38
    I have adequate return air upstairs for 5 tons. Prior to the new unit all were on a single zone with all returns upstairs. No returns in basement. New geo unit is 4 ton two speed compressor. Old unit was way oversized.

    Had them zone off the basement and add a return which never existed in the past. Spoke with my HVAC installer today and he suggested the damper grill but was going to think about what is best. I wondered if they make a servo damper so we could install it in the basement and it would open with a basement zone called for AC or heat.

    Do they make anything like that?

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