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  1. #1
    Heating Vents Open or Closed??
    I have a three story home, heated by a heat pump, with auxiliary boiler which kicks in at low outside temperatures.

    The floor plan is a-typical then one would traditionally think where by the link to each floor is typically only the stairwell.

    The top floor overlooks the second and first floor, the second floor over looks the first floor. The third floor, has two bedroom and an open den which over looks the other floors as described above. The ceiling is flat, yet slopes down to the second floor.

    The main open link between the floors is the living room located on the first floor, whereby the windows go all the way to the third floor and hence it is open to each floor above.

    As you can imagine the heat rises directly to the top floors. The set back thermostat is located on the second floor. It is generally cooler on the first floor.

    My question is whether or not to keep the third floor vents open or closed. There is one vent in each of the bedrooms, one in the bathroom and two in the den.

    By closing them am I making the system work harder, or is it better to keep them open. Obviously it gets warmer on the top floor, however I am more interested in knowing if this makes the system run harder etc.

    We keep the stat at 73 during occupied hours and set it back while away and asleep.

    (In the summer I generally do not run the AC, however same question in the reverse goes for closing the vent down stairs and keeping them open on the second and third floors??)

    Thanks and regards,
    Pierce.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    1,478
    Heat pumps are airflow critical. I wouldn't start closing supply vents unless you are sure that the rest of the ductwork can handle the required system airflow. You might consider a zoning system that can control the heat distribution. There are several systems out there that can help you dial in your seperate floors. These systems have controls to cycle the equiptment or modulate airflow to ensure even heating and cooling. Your boiler may complicate things depending if it is a radiator system or a forced air hot water coil, but you may be able to design a control system to integrate it as well. You need a set of experienced eyes on the home and existing system to recommend the correct kind of control system.

    To answer your question directly, you can close the 3rd floor supply vents to reduce heating up there, but that may cause the heat pump to lock out on high pressure if overall airflow is reduced below what is required for the system.

  3. #3
    thank you for your reply. i agree on the experienced eyes as this goes beyond my knowledge base.

    i may have mis-spoke or perhaps i am not understanding your reply with regards to blocking the vents.

    ""supply vents to reduce heating up there, but that may cause the heat pump to lock out on high pressure if overall airflow is reduced below what is required for the system.""

    i am not looking to block the air intake/returns vent (there is one on the top floor and another 5 or 6 in the rest of the house) only close off the register vents where the warm air blows out on the top floor.

    i just didnt know if by closing them that would make the system run longer or not. i thought that by closing those registers it would force more airflow out on the first and second floors, whereby the heat would obviously rise to the third. but my thoughts now are that perhaps the vents should be open so that overall heat would "settle" due to high amouts comming from the third floor and thus not make the system run as much.?????

    frankly i dont know.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    1,478
    If you close the 3rd floor supply vents (hot air blows out) you will redure the heating on that floor, but you can only fit so much air through so much ductwork. If you close the supply ducts, you reduce the overall airflow of the system. You can have a 4 lane highway leading into a tunnel, but if it reduces to two lanes, you have a traffic jam. Same way with airflow.

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