Cold air/draft coming through registers?

Old 12-06-06, 09:07 AM
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Cold air/draft coming through registers?

I have a three-story townhouse. In the summer, we found that simply closing the registers on the lower levels increased the air flow upstairs, keeping it cool despite the vertical space. The cool air then gradually sunk downstairs and the house was cool. In the winter, the reverse has not worked. We thought it was just a matter of better managing the air flow OR finding some sort of leak.

Our windows are newer and I detect no drafts around the windows nor is there an unusual amount of cold radiating through the panes. Further, our upper level is basically just a hallway and three bedrooms, and the hallway is comfortable while the bedrooms are easily 10-15 degrees colder. Recently, I found that, when the heat is not on and the furnace fan is not blowing, the metal registers are VERY cold to the tough, and I can detect a slight, but definitely present, and very cold draft coming out of the registers.

I don't know the brand of our system, but it is likely original and, thus, about 20 yrs old. It is oil-fired and we have central a/c as well. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated!
Old 12-06-06, 03:10 PM
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If any of the ducts are located outside the living area, you very possibly have duct leakage that can cause the problems you describe. It also dramatically reduces the overall efficiency of the heating/cooling system. There aretests to quantify and locate duct leaks and building deficiencies. Every building is different so it is almost impossible to tell you where to look. You might check for a better description of what causes problems like yours. You may even be able to locate a contractor in your area who could perform the test. Let us know what you find and how things work out.

Old 12-06-06, 07:07 PM
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if your pipes/vent are on the outside wall, you are going to get the cold draft.. Lot of them I've seen had no insuation in the area or behind it..

Air, I think he maybe is counting the basement as floor 1, main floor 2, and upstairs floor 3. 1 unit is very common in avg sized homes in the midwest..
Old 12-06-06, 07:10 PM
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Sounds like you only have one unit! Three story's!!!! You can fix the drafts but you will most likely not fix the temp with one unit!

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