electronic dampers or no dampers???


Old 06-08-04, 08:27 AM
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electronic dampers or no dampers???

We are replacing our 35 year old gas forced air furnace (heat/ac) and have been getting different stories concerning the use of electronic dampers.

Have ranch w/ full finished basement 1/2 below grade. Furnace is in basement. Currently have 2 heating zones with dampers to control air flow to upstairs and down.
System is very old and not working well. Removed downstairs thermostat this winter as we did some remodelling and only used 1 zone. Upstairs was comfortable and freezing downstairs if not for spaceheaters.
Could be 5-10 degress colder downstairs.

1 HVAC says dampers are not good for the system, will break, and he will not install.

1 HVAC says he can do dampers.

I would like to avoid having to turn up the upstairs thermostat higher than normal in order to be comfortable downstairs but want a realiable setup.
Old furnace is old and inefficient and don't know if new 1 zone updated system will solve all problems.

HVAC recommended Trane 120,000 BTU 2 stage w/ 5 ton A-Coil.
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Old 06-08-04, 11:13 AM
Ed Imeduc's Avatar
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As it sounds like you have the dampers in there now. I dont see why you cant work them manual. from winter to summer. close the upstairs some in the winter. Close the down stairs some in the summer. It would also help to let the blower run 24/7.

If you do have two duct setup there now Why not go for two furnace and AC.
I dont like electric dampers in a home at all. Just think about the relief or bypass damper in there that just lets the hot or cold air go round and round in the duct and not into the home

Old 06-09-04, 01:39 PM
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i agree with ed, use manual volume dampers on the runs to the downstairs. easily adjusted, you know where they are, and easy to blance airflow
Old 06-09-04, 03:37 PM
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Thank you for your responses.
Are you saying that I should only use one thermostat upstairs with manual dampers to control the flow of air?
If I keep one thermostat upstairs as the HVAC suggests, what happens when it 72 upstairs (bedrooms/kitchen) and 62 downstairs den/office.
I think I need 2 independant thermostats but can;t imagine how they would work together with a manual damper. The manual, instead of electric, dampers would just be one less thing to break.

I never thought heating a home could be so complicated and appreciate your help.
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