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Problems managing temperatures on both levels of split level apartment

Problems managing temperatures on both levels of split level apartment


  #1  
Old 12-19-10, 04:24 AM
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Problems managing temperatures on both levels of split level apartment

Hope this is the right section.

This is our second winter in this apartment. It is a split level, with the bathroom and both bedrooms downstairs in a daylight basement, and the living room and kitchen above ground.

Our problem is keeping the downstairs at a decent temperature. We've tried changing up what vents are opened and closed, putting up a blanket to cover the opening at the bottom of the stairs, etc.

It varies from 75 degrees when the heater is running to probably around 60 in between runs.

Any ideas of anything that we can do to equalize the temperature variance? It would really help cut down on our utilities, not to mention making showers more bearable.
 
  #2  
Old 12-19-10, 05:50 AM
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You have to be careful closing vents as forced air systems need air flow to maintain the proper burn (plenum) temperature during a run cycle. Without enough air, the burner will have to cycle off and on (short cycling) as the plenum bounces off of the high limit switch.

Now, the basic problem is that the lower area is losing heat to somewhere faster than the upper area. Some of that heat is probably going upstairs which helps hold the temperature up there while downstairs drops. Air leakage and air flow are always down to up, as warm air rises and leaks out of the top of the building. Replacement cold air is then pulled into the lower areas making them colder. So, any air leakage you eliminate will go in the right direction to resolving your problem, see link below from efficiency Vermont, opens slow but good:

Next would be reducing the heat loss downstairs, although all over is always good. Windows can be covered with the heat shrink plastic. Identifying other insulation issues is difficult without access. This is where an energy auditor with some test equipment would be very useful. As a rule, an energy audit might cost $300 or $400, but the extra money you save by insulating problems you would otherwise have never found will pay that investment back rather quickly.

When your furnace is running, it is drawing combustion air from the house. Replacement air is then pulled from the outside. Check to see if your system can be adapted for an outside air kit or vent located in the furnace room. Also, check the chimney as there is usually a gap (required) around the chimney that allows air to vent all the way to the attic. That gap can be covered with sheet metal (don't stuff with insulation) to eliminated that air leakage and heat loss.

The last I will mention is air leakage from the heating ducts and returns. Leaks and improper balancing of supply and return can waste energy and pull in unwanted cold air. Your HVAC tech or a good auditor can help you decide what needs to be done.

luck
Bud

http://www.efficiencyvermont.com/ste...ide_062507.pdf
 
  #3  
Old 12-19-10, 07:53 AM
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Hot and cold spots are always a duct issue! Have a Manuel j done for the home then have the duct sized properly! You can turn the fan to on this will help some
 
  #4  
Old 12-22-10, 01:57 PM
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I wrap the windows every winter. The only places air could come from downstairs would be the dryer vent and the furnace closet. As for upstairs, there is only a couple spots where cold air could possibly come from. The front door (which isn't used and is covered with a heavy blanket), the sliding door (the door we use) and the range cover. Some cold air is coming from the range cover, so I am going to be checking that out this weekend the best I can. Have to remember, I rent, not own.

-Sky
 
 

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