warmer up stairs?

Old 07-20-11, 11:06 AM
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warmer up stairs?

Have a client that I think is being talked into costs that I do not think is the issue.......and since you people represent many years of experience, I would like to run this by you. House was built in the 60's two levels, was set up for a/c when built (with the air returns at the top of the wall) and air was added a couple years later. The current furnace is maybe 11 years old and it is always warmer up stairs than down by maybe five plus degrees. Understand that hot air rises and cold air falls....cold air is coming throught all the ducts but there shouldn't be (at least I do not think) that much difference.
She had a roof fan that had crapped out and a contractor said that in this case the fan would do little, you need extra insulation which she invested in and it really made no real change. Now somone is telling her she needs a new furnace..........and I think there are some reasons that she is having this problem other than the furnace. What can we look for......air works fine, just does not have something that allows the second floor to cool off like the first floor.
Any ideas, suggestions? Always appreicate your input.
Old 07-20-11, 11:14 AM
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I have to keep the door to my lower level closed with most of the vents closed down there as well or I can't cool my upper floor effectively and I have a relatively new (2001) house with lots of insulation and, I believe, the proper HVAC system in place.
Old 07-20-11, 04:23 PM
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most homes have poorly designed duct work for cooling the 2nd floor..... Most homes on average have a 5 degree differential or more. Solution install a second system for the upstairs only or reconfigure the duct work properly.
Old 07-20-11, 06:11 PM
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Hi David,
Pushing cold air up and pulling warm air down makes it more difficult to move the needed air. You can check the temperature of the supply to see if it is arriving as cold as it should.

Duct sealing is a fix that should be applied to all systems for both heating and cooling efficiency, especially if there are any ducts passing through that hot attic. Air sealing the attic floor should have been done before extra insulation was added. If someone can check vent stacks or chimney penetrations and appropriately air seal at least the big leaks.

There is a lot to evaluating the heat loss/gain of a building, and perhaps that would be a good next step, an energy audit. By knowing where the fixes are needed, one avoids adding insulation where it didn't help.

Old 07-20-11, 07:03 PM
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Yep it's the duct. See it in 90% of jobs

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