Heating the air and not losing the air


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Old 01-13-15, 05:29 AM
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Heating the air and not losing the air

Sorry everyone. I wasn't sure where to put this. My boiler is working great and one thing I do to keep warm air in the house is put a cut-to-size piece of foil insulation in my air return of my central air and I tape 11 x 11 sheets of aluminum onto my ceiling registers. Even closed, I still cover them. My thought is to keep the warm air in the house and not seeping into the attic through the air return and registers. I never see anything about this anywhere but I do it.

Two things: when my boiler comes on in the basement, I am up on the second floor of the house and I can hear it come on (bedroom side of the house next to the chimney) and I also see the sheet of aluminum drawn up for a second. When anyone comes in through the front door or the side garage door leading to the garage, any and every aluminum sheet gets drawn up/pushed up for a second.

This tells me a house really is pressurized and when there is a draw of air for the boiler or a change of air pressure because a door opens...warm air really does get sucked out of the house. This also reminds me air leaks are always important to deal with and based on the movement of the second floor aluminum sheets covering the registers when a door opens (even when the bedroom door is closed) to the outside, there really is a loss of air through central air registers, even when slid shut. The basement is insulated, there is a poured slab wall, and just a wall on the heater room side is not. The boiler does not soot up and at the annual cleaning it looks good inside. I am just surprised that there can be such air movement with the central air registers closed, and covered, when a bedroom door is closed and a first floor door opens. I "see" it with the sheet of aluminum moving. My thought is if we all have central air, we are losing a lot of heat if we do not cover the air return and ceiling air registers for the winter. I do this around Thanksgiving until second week of April. Anyone have any thoughts about this? Am I wrong about air pressure in the house and loss of heat up the air conditioning system?
 
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Old 01-13-15, 06:30 AM
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I close my ac vents and cover the return also. I also had a home energy audit done 2 years ago. It's amazing what you see with the blower door test and infrared heat gun. It's helped me pinpoint a lot of air leaks, including ceiling light boxes and bath exhaust fans. It sounds like you've got a pretty tight house. See if there are any local or state funded energy audit programs in your area. That will really show you exactly what's going on within your home.
 
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Old 01-13-15, 07:31 AM
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Energy audit

Yes there is a NYSERDA energy audit program that if you make up to $88,000 a year it is free and under $200,000 it is $50. A certified contractor comes and does the things you described. I saw it in Sunday's paper and I applied. They are coming Thursday. They are not doing it then but looking at the house. I guess they have to measure or take pictures or whatever because they have to open up a file on the NYSERDA database and then do the testing and all that. It seems to be a serious undertaking. The repairs or suggestions are not obligatory meaning I am not obligated to do any repairs or upgrades but it will be great to have that report. I have done chalking around electrical boxes in the ceiling via the attic, around pipes, switched to LED bulbs, etc. and some things will be obvious...replace a 15 year old refrigerator, get rid of the remaining old box TV, replace this and that, and so on. I did the sill plate years ago, too, with chalk. It is amazing how much less the heater cycled after that. Sorry everyone if I am getting off track and this is the wrong thread.
 
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Old 01-13-15, 07:32 AM
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Not loosing

I think if you check your stack temp you will find that if you restrict the air flow through your system you will loose some of the heat exchange because the air slows down, and can't absorb all the heat in the exchanger so it goes up the stack, as a loss. Just my opinion.
Sid
 
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Old 01-13-15, 07:45 AM
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Yeah, not exactly the right place... but you are talking about a hot water heating system...

Sid, I think you are under the impression that he's using hot air furnace? I believe he's got hot water baseboard heat and ductwork for the A/C only...
 
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Old 01-14-15, 07:25 AM
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My bad. I have a reading problem.
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