How to bring cold air from downstairs to hot upstairs?


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Old 04-13-06, 05:40 PM
J
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How to bring cold air from downstairs to hot upstairs?

I live in an old house cut into the top of a hill so that the downstairs is half underground. Since the attic is not insulated and the afternoon sun hits one side of the house directly, it gets very hot upstairs. The downstairs is much cooler and I'd like to find a way to move this cooler air upstairs to attempt to provide some relief.

Today, early spring and not too hot yet...the upstairs was 84 deg and the downstairs 64 deg in the mid afternoon. Later afternoon there was a 15 degree difference. At night only about a 5 degree difference, at least in the winter here in Southern California. The location is up in the Santa Monica Mountains, it's colder in the winter and hotter in the summer than the coastal area.

Can someone suggest different methods for cooling the upstairs with the downstairs air. I'm looking for something simple and inexpensive...there is a open stairway at one end of this small house (40 x 15 feet each floor) that leads to the downstairs. Near the stairway there is also a 16" x 18" opening in the floor, next to the wall with 48 " high metal sides(three sides) incorporated below some shelving. It opens into a room next to the living room. It must have been used for heating or cooling in past years...this house is at least 80 years old.

Is there a particular type of fan I could lay horizontally on top of this opening? Would I also need another suction type of fan to draw this air to the other end of the house where it's most needed.

I'd really like to hear some suggestions as I prepare for summer. With all that cool air downstairs I should be able to make some use of it.

jc
 
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Old 04-15-06, 12:02 PM
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Wink

What is the humidity rate there? If you try what you want, the warm damp air from upstairs comes down or out side air hits the cool walls and floor of the down stairs and the walls will sweat and get wet on you.

ED
 
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Old 04-15-06, 03:00 PM
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Humidity here in S.Calif. is rarely an issue, except when it gets even lower during Santa Ana wind periods. I think humidity is normally 30-40 and can get down to below 10 when the winds blow. But I think you misread my message, I'm trying to get the downstairs cold air to come visit the hot upstairs. Anyway, even if the walls downstairs were to get wet it would be worth it to cool off the upstairs which gets very hot.

What's the best way to move the air?

jc
 
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Old 04-17-06, 03:40 PM
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Without seeing a blueprint of your house, it's really hard to tell you what to do.

Yoiu basically need a fan to push cold air up. If you can find a wall, that is open all the way up to the top, you could use that wall as a plenum to move the air. Then you just install a register at the bottoom of the wall downstaris and another register at the top of the wall upstairs. This will pull the cool air off the lower level floor and push it to the ceiling on the top of the house. Now all you need is a fan to move the air.

I suggest you call a heating contractor--call 3 or 4 of them--and get a free estimate.
 
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Old 04-17-06, 04:06 PM
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As I said, there is an opening between the two floors are one end of the house...probably designed for heating purposes. It's a logical place for a fan but I'm not sure what kind of fan is best at moving air, what blade design, etc... Any suggestions about fans?

And once the cool air is upstairs, how to move it to the other end of the house and into the hottest room, would I put a similiar fan in the doorway? At the top of the doorway or the bottom. How strong a fan would I look for (in cfm?).

jc
 
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Old 04-19-06, 05:45 AM
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Get one of the 3 speed s uirrel cge blowers like found in ir hndlers, nd mount it one end of the house blowing up, nd mke sure there is return pth in the floor t the other end of the house. Use the 3 speed fn switch tht cn be found t hrdwre stores. nd insulte your ttic.
Some of my keys hve uit, excuse the missing letters...
 
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Old 04-19-06, 03:34 PM
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Utah Bill,

I could read most of your message, but what is a "ir handler". Also, will a window to the outdoors function as a return...otherwise I would have to cut a hole in the floor. How about an exhaust fan in a window?

Squirrel cage fans tend to be noisy...are they that much better than regular bladed fans?

Thanks for the suggestion,

John
 
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Old 04-19-06, 04:51 PM
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Wink

Id try a ceiling vent fan into the attic. then open the windows or a door down on that first floor.

ED
 
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Old 04-20-06, 04:45 AM
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JC,
Do you know where this excessive heat is originating from?
Do you have south facing windows?

It would be easier to find a solution if you knew the source of the heat.
 
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Old 04-23-06, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by jbclem
Utah Bill,

I could read most of your message, but what is a "ir handler". Also, will a window to the outdoors function as a return...otherwise I would have to cut a hole in the floor. How about an exhaust fan in a window?

Squirrel cage fans tend to be noisy...are they that much better than regular bladed fans?

Thanks for the suggestion,

John
Got a new keyboard, now I have the letter A again, so it is air handler. You want basement air, which is cool, moved upstairs, so what does a window have to do with it? yes, you will have to cut holes in your floors, but you can do that in places that aren't obvious. You could even do it in closets if the closet doors are the louvered kind that will pass air. Control where the air comes up, and returns, for maximum cooling. It doesn't make sense to have it come up at one end of the house and go back down the center, the other end of the house gets no cooling. Squirrel cage blowers are not noisy unless you go for the cheap ones. The advantge for them is that they can move a lot of air without having to cut large holes in your floor.
 
 

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