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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    New Haven county, Connecticut
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    132
    Two floor house, in the first floor great-room, we have a cathedral ceiling over half of it. Basically one half is covered by a regular height (8 ft) ceiling and the other half is open to the cathedral. The 8 ft ceiling is under a hallway upstairs which is also open to the cathedral ceiling (so its almost like a balcony).

    There are 2 returns for the system, one on the floor of the great room area and one in the ceiling of the balcony/hallway upstairs (the balcony area runs half the length of the house, the rest is a normal hallway).

    The issue we're having is that the return in the great room area seems to be sucking air downward from upstairs, and this creates a cool breeze in the great room area (naturally right where the couch is!). Since the upstairs is on a programmable t-stat, I only heat it up when we're up there and about to go to bed. Otherwise it stays around 65, with the living floor being set at 69.

    Any suggestions on minimizing the breeze? I dont really want to heat the upstairs to 69 but if thats the best fix I wont mind doing so. Just interested in saving as much oil as possible

    Thanks!
    -Chris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    How are you keeping the upstairs cooler/Zoning or closing grilles/registers?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    New Haven county, Connecticut
    Posts
    132
    Forgot to mention, house is 2 zone forced air. Upstairs and great-room-floor are separate zones.

    -Chris

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    9,548
    I'd have the static pressure checked on that system, if that return is strong enough to create a breeze.
    If everything was always done "by the book"....the book would never change.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
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    With an open area like that the return air will take the path of least resistance.

    Sounds like the downstairs return is pulling some of the upstairs supply back to it.The upstairs return may be too small,duct size and or grille,or the downstairs one is too large.

    Tell us about the ducts from the unit,size,turns and length,for each return.Digital pictures would be great.

    One solution is to put dampers in each return.This will prevent the upstairs supply from being pulled downstairs when only the upstairs is running.But if both zones are running,it can stll be pulled ,to the downstairs return ,if the returns are not sized properly.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    New Haven county, Connecticut
    Posts
    132
    Ill get digital pics later, but this is what I measured quickly:

    Lower floor return - located on the floor, 8"x12", one 90 right off the return air plenum. Strange thing is that the furnace is just about directly below the return, but the return also runs into the half-finished basement into a soffit (cant track it after that). I dont know if they did that to create a longer run for pressure reasons, or if there is something Im missing). The run to the return grille is about 5', I can only estimate the run *after* the return grille, best guess being about 7' that I can see.

    Upper floor return - located in ceiling of second floor hallway, 7"x14", one 90 off the return air plenum, one 90 to go up to attic, one 90 to get around chimney and one 90 to com straight down into ceiling of hallway (so 4 90s total). I figured there is about 8' of ductwork in the basement, figure about 16' to get up to the attic and just about another 8' up in the attic, so ~32' total for upstairs return.

    Ill get pics up tonight ASAP. Im really in awe now because I never noticed the funkiness with the downstairs return duct (I didnt realize the duct goes past a stairwell, and I know that the return grill is no where past the stairwell).

    Thanks for helping out! This might make my winter a little warmer

    EDIT: pics located here: http://server.chrisandkathy.net:8081/images/house/hvac/

    -Chris

    [Edited by chrisexv6 on 10-28-2005 at 07:31 PM]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
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    The return to the second floor is close in size to the first,and has more equivalent feet, so it looks like part of the problem.Looking at the pictures without "labeling" has this Florida Cracker" a little lost as I never been in a basemnet .

    And what all that metal stuff where the duct board and flex should be??LOL Just kidding a little .Can one of you basement guys chime in with your thoughts?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    New Haven county, Connecticut
    Posts
    132
    Heh, I wouldnt mind being someone who has never been in a basement!

    My parents moved to "whats a basement?"-land last year after being up here for a long time. No more worries about water in the basement!

    BTW, I labelled the pics so which return is which is obvious.

    -Chris

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
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    What are the model numbers so we know the size of the heat and A/C??

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    midwest
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    2,868
    8x12 and 7x14 are the only returns? Dash are you hoping for a system thats small enough for those to work?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
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    That or to let him know they are too small,which we all know ,is often the case.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    New Haven county, Connecticut
    Posts
    132
    Furnace is a Royal Oneida LoBoy 84-3c (I believe the 84 means 84K BTU output) with an Armstrong 10 SEER AC coil and American Standard 10 SEER condensing unit. The AC unit is 3 ton.

    In the case that the upstairs return is too small, would adding a return upstairs help remedy it? Because of the odd configuration of the ceiling, I was thinking maybe a return as high as possible would help take the "wasted" hot air and return it to the system, as well as pulling the upstairs air in before the downstairs return has a chance to take it and make a breeze with it.

    Also, I know its a longshot, but is it possible the system was meant to run completely on one return in the winter and one in the summer?

    -Chris

    [Edited by chrisexv6 on 10-29-2005 at 09:24 AM]

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
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    The return(s),existing or added, upstairs will need to be the same resistance as the downstairs one ,to prevent supply air upstairs from taking "the path of least resistance" thru the open area and down to the first floor return.


    You'll need a Pro well versed in duct design,Manual D ,to redesign the returns,and verify the suppies are correct.When calling tell them that upfront,as many can't or won't do what is needed.

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