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Thread: Hot Upstairs

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    9
    I have a newly constructed two-story house with a Lennox system. It's been fairly hot lately, in the high 80s. The system keeps downstairs at demand temperature. As you climb the stairs to the scond floor, you can feel a temperature change about half way up the stairs. The bedrooms upstairs are very warm. There is a return upstairs and the vents are blowing good cold air, but it is still too warm there. Should vents be closed downstairs? What's the solution?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Mississippi
    Posts
    102
    Sounds like you simply dont have enough air up there, or a serious balancing problem. I design 99% large commercial systems, but do several residences on the side for 2 builders in the area and I never put a multi-story residence on a single system. Although it is possible to balance one out, it just doesnt make sense to do it that way, at least in the South, too much problem in the summer season.

    Need more info to give an "opinion".

    Size of house, size of system, Amount of air going upstairs?
    Is the upstairs, more of a bonus room situation where the ceiling is at the underside of the roof rafters, & how big is the house, first and second floor. And lastly, where do you live.



    [Edited by biscuitnt on 05-13-2005 at 08:20 AM]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Zelienople, Pa
    Posts
    2,965
    You need a mechanical zoning system.

    1 system for 2 floors? You will NEVER be happy without one...
    How tall are you Private???!!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Wilmington, NC
    Posts
    66
    Yellowdot has got it right. Put a mechanical 2 - zone zoning system in so you can have a seperate thermostat to control the 2nd floor. It's code now in my area...A long time coming.

  5. #5
    a 2 zone system is your only solution. they will reduce your utility bills are cheaper to install than adding another system which would also raise your utilities.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Vancouver Canada
    Posts
    996
    Good advice to install a 2 zone system, only problem is we don't know how the ductwork is installed. Zone system is no problem if there are 2 seperate runs of ductwork, one fir upstairs and one for downstairs. On most installations that is not the situation, instead there will be individual runs going upstairs in wall stacks. If that is the case zoning will be a very expensive proposition.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
    Posts
    9,765
    2 zone system in perfect world.... in the mean time try closing down on first floor registers, make sure air filter is clean, try running fan in on position. look at having attic exhaust fan put in to take load off second floor.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    9

    Thanks

    I'd love to go with a second zone but it would be a mess putting one in the way the current system is installed. The house is what they call a one and a half story. There are only 2 rooms upstairs. 1700 square feet with a 3 ton system. 417 square feet upstairs. I will try adding insulation in attic, closing down registers on first floor, and install ceiling fans up there. Hope for the best! Thanks.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Northern Virginia, Fairfax County
    Posts
    641
    You could still have a problem if the ducts upstairs are too small, that is designed for heat only when the house was built, and the A/C was added later as an afterthought. A couple more ideas, if your "one and a half story" house is what I would call a "cape cod."

    Find a way to run one more supply duct up into the attic and branch to the ceilings of the two rooms from there. Close the low mounted ducts in summer, but keep them available for winter heat. Years ago I did this in a two story with four bedrooms upstairs. Ran the new duct up through a closet. Worked like a champ.

    I hate this, but a small, window, room airconditioner in one or both rooms???

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    2,868
    Why don't I work for people like you all the time? If it was one of my installations the home owner would be after me to fix the problem. I deal with homes like yours all the time and will always put two systems or one zoned system in a two story house. Another contractor in my area will install one system like yours with no way to add zone dampers and the home owner will call me to add another small split system upstairs. Why don't you call the guy that installed it and tell him that you paid good money for the system in a new house and expected him to know what he was doing and please fix it. It is no different than the painters only painting the first floor and not the second. Did the HVAC contractor not think you would want to cool the upstairs when he gave you a price and told you all the reasons to choose him over all others.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Welland, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    68
    Seems to me a lot more attic insulation would be the cheapest bet. I live in old 2 storey and it made a huge difference for me.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    108
    Another vote for more attic insulation.

  13. #13
    Without installing a zoning system or a second unit in the attic, which is also a zoning system, you are only treating the symptoms not the problem. The second floor will always be warmer than the first floor winter and summer. Hot air rises and cold air is heavier and falls. Very simple problem add in the fact that the sun heats the roof area all of the daylight hours. DAH!!!!!! Added insulation, attic exhaust fans, air balancing all make some difference, but none of them cure the total problem. The problem is loads vary during the daylight hours and night time hours, during winter days and winter nights, depending on appliance use and numbers of people, cooking, I could go on and on. If the light hasn't gone on by now, it never will. To solve this age old problem, the system has to vary. That is what the thermostat is supposed to do. Right one thermostat isn't enough and especially located in the central hallway on the first floor. The solution to comfort is very simple, Install MORE THERMOSTATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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