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Thread: Hot Upstairs

  1. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    327

    Builder Responsibility

    This is a newly constructed house, and there should be some kind of warranty involved. The installing contractor should take full responsibility and make this right. The homeowner bought a new home with a new heating and cooling system that
    the builder said would do a good job, and now he should make it right.

    JMN, I apologize for someone in our industry giving you an unsatisfactory product (whatever the reason).
    1) Complain to the builder and don't back down - keep at them
    2) Go to your city inspectors and make them aware of the poor performance
    3)Complain to Better Business Bureau
    4) Do the legal thing if necessary

    I know I am gonna get hit because builders force us to take the cheap way, but the basics HAVE to be followed.



  2. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
    Posts
    9,765
    builders dont force us to do anything. it's the whores who are willing to do the cheap junk the builders want that screw the home buyer and service companies that follow them.

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Tampa, Florida
    Posts
    1,634
    I fail to see how "more thermostats" is going to fix the problem... sure, it'll call for cooling faster for the upstairs, at the expense of overcooling the downstairs. AND, if you're going to go through the hassle of pulling wire for an upstairs stat, you might as well throw a couple of dampers on there as well.

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Wadsworth, OH
    Posts
    316
    crt- I could not have said it better myself.
    Thank You!

  5. #18

    insulation & returns

    As an earlier poster pointed out, you might need more insulation. If the insulation in the attic is fiberglass, it would be a good idea to blow about 6 inches of cellulose on top. Fiberglass insulating capacity is degraded via convenction current passing through it. Cellulose will make the fiberglass more air-tight.


    Also, is there an air return upstairs or is it only on the first floor?

  6. #19
    when are builders going to realize its time to install a decent system? New home buyers need to realize they are buying a beautiful expensive new home with a system installed by the contractor with the lowset price. How do you think they come up with the cheapest price? They install the cheapest system. Since this is a new home it SHOULD have the proper insulation. If you can get to your ductwork go for the mechanical zoning system. Tell all your friends to avoid your mistake and choose a builder who is willing to discuss and sell you HVAC system options. Buying Energy Star isn't a bas idea either.

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    San Luis Obispo County, CA
    Posts
    215
    This is a new house, and should have lots of attic insulation.

    The OP didn't say where he was located, but I would expect it to be an area that uses more heat than cooling.

    What he has is typical of many homes in cool climates. the system is designed to work with the heating, and the air is an afterthought.

    Zoning or two systems is the only answer. Hard to say which would be less expensive without seeing the house.

  8. #21
    sorry t527ed. i have to disagree. if you are going to work for builders there are going to be compromises made on the perfect system we would all love to put in every time and never have to go back to. designing and estimating the perfect system would leave my company without a lot of builder work. i would love to meet a few builders who are more interested in a good system rather that the bottom line. i wish a few more would be willing to give us a little duct chase or maybe double a wall. best builder i have seen in the new jersey area for hvac designs (they engineer their own) is pulte homes. all you have to do is beat their low numbers and you get to put them in.

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    21
    I have got the same problem. I have a 20 year old 2000 sq ft house with 4 bedrooms upstairs and fairly new Trane heat pump (xr11). Tried attic exhaust fan but that was not much help. I am located in mideastern region which can be hot and humid in summer. Have original blown fiberglass insulation in attic and would be willing to try cellulose on top. What is involved in zoning and is it usually expensive to add on ? Does it require two separate heat pump systems or just two thermostats ?

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
    Posts
    9,765
    Chris, that is the reason my company never has and never will do work for tract housing. only new constuction we have ever done is custom houses for people we have worked for before or been referred to. we were hooked up with a small builder doing a few houses a year but he became the same as the others and we cut him loose. did not spend 35 years building reputation to compromise it for new construction.

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    San Luis Obispo County, CA
    Posts
    215
    Originally posted by seabreeze
    I have got the same problem. I have a 20 year old 2000 sq ft house with 4 bedrooms upstairs and fairly new Trane heat pump (xr11). Tried attic exhaust fan but that was not much help. I am located in mideastern region which can be hot and humid in summer. Have original blown fiberglass insulation in attic and would be willing to try cellulose on top. What is involved in zoning and is it usually expensive to add on ? Does it require two separate heat pump systems or just two thermostats ?
    All "zoning" is is the abiliity to control the temperature of several areas of the house, thus "zones".

    This can be done a number of ways, but the most common ones are:
    1 installing motorized dampers in the ductwork to divert the air to where it is most needed.

    2 adding a second system to take care of the problem area independent frrom the main system.

    Zoning using dampers requires that you have ductwork that can handle the changes in airflow. If your ductwork has problems, then your zoning will have problems.
    Many homes have inadequate return and supply ductwork. Expecting to fix their problems with a zoning system is unrealistic.

    Zoning using a second system is just that, a complete new system is sized and installed to heat/cool the problem areas. This would typically be a unit for the second floor, or one for a new addition. It requires having the space to install the equipment, and new ductwork.

    As far as expense, only a contractor who does a lot of zoning on existing houses can give you the correct answer. It can often go either way.

    It depends on how the existing system is set up, how easy it is to get to the ductwork, and if the system has the capability to handle the changes.

    Likewise with a second system, how hard is it going to be to install.

    Insulating your house and making it weather tight is always the first place to start.

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    21
    Dave, thanks for the info. I am going take your advice and start with adding insulation. Then for the heck of it, I am going to contact my installer about the motorized dampers.

  13. #26
    thats probably the best way to do it. i would love to cut loose a few of ours.

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