No flow upstairs


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Old 05-09-06, 12:53 PM
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No flow upstairs

I recently purchased a 2 story condo with a single unit a/c. The first floor gets plenty of air and is similar to living in an ice box. The second floor has little to no air coming out of the registers and is hotter than mexico in the middle of summer. Can anyone recommend a cheap and easy way to restrict (is that what I want to do?) the flow downstairs to force it upstairs?
 
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Old 05-09-06, 03:31 PM
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I don't have an answer for you but I posted a similar question as a follow-up to one of my posts on another board (gas and oil furnaces).

We built a 2-story house with a finished basement in 2003. We have super strong airflow in the basement (where the furnace is located) and no, well very weak, airflow on the 2nd floor. In winter when the heat is running the basement is super hot (even with the vents closed) and the upstairs is super cold. The difference in temperature causes a noticable cold draft down the staricase from the 2nd floor to the main level.

Debbie
 
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Old 05-10-06, 06:54 PM
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Spider and Debbie:
Have you ascertained that there is no blockage in the duct that provides air to the upstairs?

Does any portion of the upstairs supply duct run through the attic? If so, is that portion insulated and well sealed?

I know you want to simply block off some the downstairs registers, thinking that it will force that portion of air upstairs. Unfortunately airflow in ducts isn't quite that simple. The duct diameter, length, number of turns it makes and material it is made of (metal ducts or plastic "tube" ducts) all conspire to affect how much air you can move thru the duct. Closing off some of them might give you "some" increase, but probably not as much as you would like.

You might be able to mount a fan in the upstairs supply duct to force some more air up there, but this would totally change the airflow throughout the rest of your condo; so beware.

You could also possibly cut a hole in the downstairs ceiling and another directly over it in the upstairs floor and mount a fan that would take air from first floor directly into second floor. Best location to do this would be where you have the most unneeded downstairs cold air (and definately in an untravelled corner; not in the center of a room or hallway). Hopefully where you need cold air the most (upstairs) is directly above where you have an excess (downstairs). Personally I haven't seen any type of fan specifically designed for this application, but you won't know until you check around.

One other thing to check is to make sure the existing upstairs air supply has an easy "return". If the only return you have (with bedroom doors closed) is that tiny 1/4" gap at the bottom of the door, then you aren't going to get much air "flow". If that is the case, leave the doors open and see if that helps. If you just have to close the doors, then install a transfer grille in the area above the door. You can read about them at buildingscience.com.

good luck
 
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Old 05-11-06, 05:43 AM
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Thanks for the information.

I have several different HVAC contractors scheduled to come out over the next week to take a look at things and give me a report on their findings. I'll take their findings to the builder and have them take a closer look at things. Hopefully they can fix things.

Debbie
 
  #5  
Old 05-29-06, 06:21 AM
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Debbie,
What did your contractors tell you?
I have a home in a similar situation to yours...it is 5 degrees hotter in the summer (using AC) and 4 degrees colder in the winter upstairs compared to downstairs.

I just had my ducts cleaned...and that has not helped.

Just curious if you had any luck!

Thanks,
Chris
 
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Old 06-08-06, 02:14 PM
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This is similiar to my problem as well. Let us know what you learned please.
 
  #7  
Old 06-08-06, 04:48 PM
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Best way Not the cheap way is two have two units! Sorry
 
 

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