house cooling problem
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  1. #1

    house cooling problem

    I would like to get your professional opinions on how to solve this problem of mine. I have a house where the upstairs gets much hotter than the downstairs in the summer time. The insulation is ok in the house as is the weather stripping. The ac unit in the house is rated to cool the house also. I am guessing it is the ductwork that is messed up. Do you think that if I had some in-line booster fans installed on the ducts that go to the upstairs that it would solve the problem. I should also mention that I have tried to close registers located downstairs but the ac freezes up on me when I do that. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Zelienople, Pa
    Posts
    2,965
    You need mechanical zoning...
    How tall are you Private???!!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,032
    Quote Originally Posted by 951Michael View Post
    I would like to get your professional opinions on how to solve this problem of mine. I have a house where the upstairs gets much hotter than the downstairs in the summer time. I should also mention that I have tried to close registers located downstairs but the ac freezes up on me when I do that. Thanks

    closing register does nothing more then make that room hot, the ducts going upstairs are limited in size, you will only see a small % gain upstairs by doing this, it is a real issue with some on this site.

    upstairs and downstairs with (1) unit means you will never be great. there are zoning systems or seperate units for each floor is the correct way.

    since you cant spend that kind of dough, verify a good 18-20 degree split between supply and return registers with a digital thermometer
    (must run for 10 minutes first), keeep your filter clean and have a tech service you unit before summer starts to make sure it is doing its best.

    check for broken / disconected ducts, this does happen especially when the cable guy is crawling around in there breaking stuff.


    matt

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    68,923
    Sometimes closing off vents does the trick, other times it does bad things to your system. You are not one of the lucky ones.

    We would need to know a lot more about your duct distribution system to be able to make suggestions.

    Are there any return grills on the second floor?

    Are the ducts to the second floor accesable from the basement?
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    68,923
    Quote Originally Posted by Mstrav View Post
    closing register does nothing more then make that room hot, the ducts going upstairs are limited in size, you will only see a small % gain upstairs by doing this, it is a real issue with some on this site.

    upstairs and downstairs with (1) unit means you will never be great. there are zoning systems or seperate units for each floor is the correct way.

    since you cant spend that kind of dough, verify a good 18-20 degree split between supply and return registers with a digital thermometer
    (must run for 10 minutes first), keeep your filter clean and have a tech service you unit before summer starts to make sure it is doing its best.

    check for broken / disconected ducts, this does happen especially when the cable guy is crawling around in there breaking stuff.


    matt
    Maybe I'm missing something in the OP, but;

    How do you know what the duct sizing to the upstairs is?

    How do you know the OP cannot afford zoning?

    What makes you think the ducting is where the cable guy would crawl, and where is it you think the ducting is?
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  6. #6
    Ya, it is an old house. In fact the ac unit was installed after the fact. Ducts are all running along the ceiling of first floor with a wall built around them so I have no access to them. As far as holes or leaks are concerned perhaps I could have a guy come out and pressure check it. That is what you do right, pressure check it.

    There are return grills on the second floor. Considering this is an old house I would imaging having mechanical zoning installed would mean major surgery.

    verify a good 18-20 degree split between supply and return registers with a digital thermometer
    (must run for 10 minutes first),
    Are you asking me for this information? If so what do I do in order to provide it.

    I just heard someone speak of booster fans so thought maybe that might be what I needed. Guess not though? Thanks for helping.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    177
    heat goes up

  8. #8

    house cooling

    Hey how far does heat go up?

  9. #9
    So my three options to fix are Mechanical zoning, mechanical zoning, or mechanical zoning. Drat. I hate these options. Isn't there anything else that could be done? Thanks

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    in my lumpy chair
    Posts
    1,947
    look on the bright side
    xmas is more than 1/2 way here
    sorry
    I dont warranty Tinkeritus

  11. #11
    Have you tried turning the thermostat to the fan on position? That should help some.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    in my lumpy chair
    Posts
    1,947
    Quote Originally Posted by RoBoTeq View Post
    Sometimes closing off vents does the trick, other times it does bad things to your system. You are not one of the lucky ones.

    We would need to know a lot more about your duct distribution system to be able to make suggestions.

    Are there any return grills on the second floor?

    Are the ducts to the second floor accesable from the basement?
    i have been waiting for the two key quetions here
    I dont warranty Tinkeritus

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    327

    comfort

    Heat rises, cold air falls, and it soulnd like your house was built before they put a/c in new homes - the way I explain your problem to my customers is this:

    " Your house is the same square footage upstairs and down, so common sense tells you that both floors need the same ammount of airflow up and down, doesn't it?
    WRONG!
    In winter you need 70% of your heat downstairs, because heat rises to the second floor. In the summer, however, cold air falls, so you need 65% of your cooling upstairs, so we need to make this happen somehow."

    Bottom line is this: your family live in this house 24/7, and you need to decide how important it is to have exceptional home comfort - it is YOUR choice how comfortablel you want it upstairs. Your house is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars now, and dont you think it is worth less than 5% of this value to make it so much more enjoyable to you and your family?

    Options:
    1) turn house upside down in summer (very bad for furniture)
    2) buldoze it and start over from scratch
    3) window units upstairs (buy earplugs to sleep with)
    4) seperate the duct systems into adjustable zones
    5) seperate system for upstaits
    6) sell the house and buy one with 2 zones already there

    Like anything else, you have to decide exactly how much value you place on this.

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