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Thread: Booster fan

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    46
    Just wondering if a booster fan placed in the 12" duct should be wired to stay on continuously or hooked up to a light switch to turn on when needed (in the Spring and summer in FL).

    Too, tell me more about mastic. What happens if connections of ductwork are not closed with mastic.

    Thanks,
    Chip

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    Booster fans can be equiped to run ,whenever the central system fan runs,that would be my recommendation.

    http://www.fantech.net for more info. on fans.


    Mastic is one way to seal all the seams .joints and connections,difficult to do on an existing home.
    You have already mentioned the "thight" space the ducts are in,so I doubt they could be completely sealed.If you hire someone to seal,insist on a "duct blaster" test before and after to see the results.
    For existing homes go here http://www.aeroseal.com ,although there's not a dealer in your area at this time.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    26
    Install a pressure switch.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,326
    Yank out the booster fan and have the airflow restriction removed.

    Get the system back to where it performed when it was brand new. Don't settle for anything less.

    Bandaids never give you what you want from the system.
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    46
    Shophound,

    Wish we could. This company is just saying it's an airflow problem, and it is. We just can't agree on the cause. They think it's always been this way, I tell them it hasn't.

    Someone said going with another company is like playing Russian Roulette, you don't know if they're good or not at finding this problem.

    What this present company had intended to do 1.5 weeks ago was bring a new supply line off the handler to the end part of the house. They then found they couldn't get anything else through that crawl space. (If you can picture trusses, the current supply is in the narrow outer corner of the truss . . . tight I should have my husband crawl up in there and take a picture). So this was what the original $600 was for. Well they found they couldn't do that, so they just cut off the end of the supply at the end of the landing and instead where it dropped down to a 9", they attached a 12". Then they did a new junction box and reattached the existing supplies to the other rooms. This still cost me $600 (seemingly a lot less work). So, that didn't resolve the problem.

    The engineer/owner came out and just thinks the ducts are sized wrong (I told him it was always this way, and though it may not be optimal, worked sufficiently before). He thinks there is a collapse over that landing (of course they can't see in there). If that were the case, the tech told me the booster fan might make the collapse complete. So far that hasn't happened. They tell me all the numbers on the equipment are manufacturer specs. So who am I to know?

    They say just not enough air flow. Well we stick a temporary booster fan up there, and Tuesday was a warm sunny day. Had the booster on all day and the A/C fan all day, and the rooms stayed cool (within 2-3 degrees of rest of house). So what else can we do but go with this fan. I'm hoping they won't charge me for it, as what they did certainly wasn't worth $600.

    You're right, I'd love to find the real problem, but that could takes months or gobs of money, which we just don't have . . . heat is a coming and never enough money

    So we'll see how it goes. You want to come check it out Need a vacation from where ever you are?

    Thanks much!
    Chip

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    Chip,

    Your problem could be due to the air handler they installed versus what you had before.They are not all equal in delivering air flow,we have seen this in several homes.

    That's why I asked ,on another thread ,for you to post the model numbers,don't think you did.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    46
    Dash

    I did post the models, but it was on a smaller thread where they told me not to post same problem twice Anyway, the new handler and compressor were put in spring 2003. The first year, it all worked great. It was spring/summer 2004 (prior to Hurricane Charley) that my two rooms cooled differently. So we're talking about the same equipment.

    My previous equipment was also 3.5 ton HP, and our only complaint was that the back bedroom was a little warm. That resolved with taking the return back to air handler.

    Regarding the equipment working, the only way I guess I would know is to have a "2nd opinion" from another company. They could come out and test all the pressures, etc. If the booster fan takes care of the problem, I guess it will do. Just hoping it doesn't cause any other problems, like mold or short or fire, etc.

    Thanks!
    Chip

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
    Posts
    9,741
    have a duct cleaning company send a camera thru ducts.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    483
    Originally posted by chipper
    Dash

    I did post the models, but it was on a smaller thread where they told me not to post same problem twice Anyway, the new handler and compressor were put in spring 2003. The first year, it all worked great. It was spring/summer 2004 (prior to Hurricane Charley) that my two rooms cooled differently. So we're talking about the same equipment.

    My previous equipment was also 3.5 ton HP, and our only complaint was that the back bedroom was a little warm. That resolved with taking the return back to air handler.

    Regarding the equipment working, the only way I guess I would know is to have a "2nd opinion" from another company. They could come out and test all the pressures, etc. If the booster fan takes care of the problem, I guess it will do. Just hoping it doesn't cause any other problems, like mold or short or fire, etc.

    Thanks!
    Chip
    Chip,

    Relax, a duct booster fan is not gonna start a fire, so long as the electric supply to it is wired correctly. The small shaded pole motors that run these duct boost fans are impedence protected. That means that even if they get stuck and can't spin, they won't heat up to the point of catching on fire. That section of "bad duct" should be able to be replaced, they got it in there after all But maybe the duct was put in during your homes construction. I agree with t527ed, have a camera sent through to find out if it is in fact a duct problem.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    46
    Thanks J,

    Good to hear about the safety of the fan.

    This run of supply which is over the landing had to be put in before the drywall was put up, especially as there are a couple of short supply feeds off the main supply to the great room. It's definitely a poor design, but we bought the house from the guy who built it. Hope he learned from this point

    I like the camera idea, wonder how much that costs?

    Chip

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Zelienople, Pa
    Posts
    2,965
    You will not fix this problem without zoning.

    I find it hard to believe with everything exactly the same that the house cooled differently last year than this.

    I think you just didn't notice the problem.
    How tall are you Private???!!!!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    46
    Y.D.

    The change came last year in 2004 and seems to want to continue now this year. The first year system was put in, cooled okay (not perfect in the warmer end of house, but liveable). The years prior to 2003 with old system, it was similar. I've always used these front rooms, and they always have been slightly warmer than the rest of the house, as they get hit with hard afternoon/evening sun, but I didn't have sweat pouring off of me and feel like I was in a sauna the previous years.

    Last year I put a thermostat in my office. It got up to 86 degrees last summer, when the main part of the house was 75 degrees, and trust me, since I work in there, I would know there was a difference than in previous years. Even my husband realized this. We used to get a box fan out and suck cooler air down the hallway to the two rooms to help. It helped slightly.

    I have another thread that goes more into the details of this weird situation I must admit it is puzzling.

    Chip

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Suppy NC
    Posts
    4,513
    chipper
    the booster fan wont be a problem for you and far as dangerous. although i dont like them i can see your point and i realy hope it does the job. i would recomd since it is going to be used have it wired into the circut board of the unit to come on with the blower. also a switch down stairs so you can turn it off if you need to
    stay cool and be healthly

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