Only one return air in house.. half is cold, half is hot!


  #1  
Old 08-22-08, 12:30 PM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 2
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Only one return air in house.. half is cold, half is hot!

Hi Everyone! I searched for this and couldn't find anything specific, so I figure I'll throw it out here... I've got a 2 story house on a slab, built about 1997, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, living room, kitchen and dining room upstairs, downstairs has two bedrooms and an unfinished bath. The whole house is fed by one central heat/AC unit in the attic. All of the vents are in the ceilings of each room. There is one large return vent, maybe 24"x24" or so at the end of the hall by the bedrooms.

The problem is that the bedrooms will get nice and cool, but the other end of the house never does. The air feels warm and stale like there's no circulation. The kitchen, entryway, and living room all have vaulted ceilings with ceiling fans in the living room and entryway.

We can set the thermostat on 76, and it runs all day but finally gets down to 76 and kill the AC. I have a thermometer in the living room and it will be closer to 79 there, while the bedrooms are more like 74.

Would installing a return air vent in the living room alleviate part of this problem? If so, should it be high or low? Or somewhere in the middle with the vaulted ceilings?

The prior homeowner finished the basement himself and just tacked onto the air handler in the attic to run a branch down to the downstairs. That probably didn't help anything, because there's very little airflow down there. Eventually I'd like to get a dedicated unit for that level, but it's not feasible right now Should I consider trying to run a return line down there too? I know it won't solve the problem, but it might help!

Thanks for any advice, and sorry for the rambling!
 
  #2  
Old 08-22-08, 12:37 PM
Codyy's Avatar
Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 454
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
The old DIY tack-on job to supply the downstairs raises a flag. Probably stealing precious airflow from a unit sized without the intention of supplying the basement.
 
  #3  
Old 08-22-08, 12:42 PM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 2
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Codyy
The old DIY tack-on job to supply the downstairs raises a flag. Probably stealing precious airflow from a unit sized without the intention of supplying the basement.
That's exactly what I thought too. I hate it that they did that, and I'd love to change it, but it's just not going to happen with our current situation unless I just cut the ducts off at the plenum and seal up the holes. Unfortunately that idea doesn't sound too great either, with the GA Summers the way they are! So I'm kind of screwed as far as that goes and hoping that adding some returns will get me better circulation and at least make it seem nicer!
 
  #4  
Old 08-22-08, 06:42 PM
airman.1994's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: VA
Posts: 5,491
Upvotes: 0
Received 8 Upvotes on 8 Posts
Don't think more returns will help! I think you have a supply duct size problem
 
  #5  
Old 08-22-08, 10:26 PM
M
Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 438
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Air Conditioning Problems

If you are going to go through the trouble of more returns you may as well tak a look at the whole system and do it right or at lest as right as you can get it. Just putting in another return is not going to provide comfort in an underserved area there is a heat load in each pert of your house and that load requires a certain amount of air at a certain temperature to carry it away I am sure you don't have that just as I am sure that load was never determined also if you are conditioning different levels with one control it is physically impossible to have the same temperature sorry for the bad news but I would hate to have you spend the time, energy and money to make improvements to find out they were not effective
 
  #6  
Old 08-23-08, 11:10 PM
Codyy's Avatar
Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 454
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
As was mentioned, this is a bit of a difficult situation if the resources to do an effective fix aren't available at the moment. Maybe you could try detaching/blocking the tack-on job and see if the rest of the house feels noticeably better temperature wise. If that works, then perhaps some auxillary units for heating and cooling would suffice until resources to have a properly sized and designed unit come about. How is the airflow for the supplies and returns in the poorly cooled areas?
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: