No return air on 2nd floor

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Old 06-14-07, 05:07 AM
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No return air on 2nd floor

Just moved in to an older 2 story house with a new furnace & AC system, that was hooked up to existing forced air ducts.Have found no return air ducts on second floor. Needless to say, this causes a bit of a temp difference in winter, but it really shows now that it's hot. Very cool downstairs, but still quite warm upstairs, even though a fair bit of cool air is expelled from floor registers upstairs. We are currently renovating so adding a return air in the upstairs hallway wouldn't be too much of a problem, plus I was considering installing a couple of "In duct booster fans" (6") . Is this a beneficial idea, or is it all in vain? I also was considering trying some reversible window fans in the 2 bedrooms affected by the lack of air flow, just to see if it will draw out some of that hot air, and replace it with incoming cool air from ducts in other areas. Right now, I have nothing drawing out any warm air upstairs. ( 2 rear bedrooms have 6" duct to floor registers with good flow, but 2 front bedrooms share a 6" located in the hall between the 2 rooms, which has less flow than either one of the rear bedroom registers.)
 
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Old 06-14-07, 08:28 AM
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Mike, I think you're in the same situation as myself. Look at my thread 2 down for yours. Think about it, cold air blows out the vents, pushing the warm air up, but with nowhere to go, the cold air just spills down the stairs to the returns.

I think the best solution is a properly balanced system of vents and returns on both floors.
 
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Old 06-15-07, 05:14 AM
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I agree with you Jon, balance is the key. I've got some ideas on a return system that will allow me to draw cold off floor level in winter, and the warm air at ceiling level in the summer. Logic tells me this would be the ideal set-up. Forced air in one corner of the room, and return in the opposite, with one high, and one low intake/return that is adjustable depending on the season.
I'm just waiting for a HVAC specialist to tell me why not, or if it would be a waste of time. I know the mobile home (12ft x 40ft.) that I redesigned for a customer who couldn't get real good cooling from his basement AC unit, due to manufacturers placing return air under the bed, near 2 forced registers. I cut up under in the floor, in a corner where it allowed me to use 2 walls for ducts, and I installed return grilles high up the walls in hallway & bedroom, and now this system runs much better than the ones from factory with return under the bed. Identical units, but the one under the bed will run all day when very hot & humid out, while the other with return up high on walls,will cycle on/off as it should.
 
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Old 07-09-07, 08:33 PM
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More Q's

I hate to start a new thread when there are already 5 on the first page with a similar issue. My question: My 55 yr old two story 2000 sq ft home is like many others - upstairs does not get nearly as cool as the downstairs w/ central A/C. I do have returns on the second floor but they ar eon the wall at floor level.

Can I simply "punch" a hole in the wall above the returns on the second floor (close to the ceiling) and get better air movement? What could I run into? I will finish nicely but what will be inthe wall? They are inner walls so I'm guessing no insulation. Is it this easy? I'm assuming I do not need a duct as the channel between the 2x4's will work.

Anyone?
 
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Old 07-10-07, 06:01 AM
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Guys you have some good thoughts but their not going to work. The system is not sized correctly. Duct needs to be resized for cooling load on 2nd floor or best solution is 2nd unit for 2nd floor.
 
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Old 07-10-07, 07:33 AM
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i believe in both situations (brian and mine) the unit is sized correctly. i know mine was sized for the square footage of the home. i have 3 or 4 return ducts on my second floor - will it really tax the system if i just add an opening in the wall above the current return vent? i could even close of the existing vent so that only the air near the ceiling gets pulled in.
 
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Old 07-10-07, 07:20 PM
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unit could be sized for the home but is the duct?
 
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