Upstairs Too Hot & Downstairs Too Cool

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Old 01-04-10, 02:36 PM
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Upstairs Too Hot & Downstairs Too Cool

I think this is a common problem but I need help please. I have a 12 year old Comfortmaker Gas Furnace and live in a split level home with the thermostat on the lower level. In the winter months, the upstairs stays too hot from the furnace and the downstairs stays too cool. It's like the system is over-heating the upper level and under-heating the lower level. My duct work is in good shape. What causes this over & under heating problem and what is the fix? Thanks for the help in advance.
 
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Old 01-04-10, 03:13 PM
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What you want is to deliver 90% of the heat to the downstairs and the rest up. Mother nature will do the rest. When your upstairs is well insulated it doesn't take a lot of heat. However, achieving that balance can bedifficult and unique for every home.

Where are your current supply and return ducts?

Bud
 
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Old 01-04-10, 03:27 PM
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Thanks for the response. I'm way off from the 90 / 10 split. I'm guessing 70% is up and 30% down... the difference in air temp between the two levels is that dramatic. Two return air ducts are located upstairs, the one is downstairs.

I've been thinking that I need to do one of two things:

1. Put in some type of regulator that closes off or restricts how much air gets blown upstairs so that more can be channels downstairs.

2. Modify the entire AC / Heat system from the one AC system we have that cools the entire house to getting to units -- one for the upper level and one for the lower level.

Would I also need an independent thermostat for the upper and lower levels to do either option above?
 
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Old 01-04-10, 03:46 PM
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It sounds like it is balanced more for ac, but check in the furnace area to see if there are in-line dampers. Inside the duct is a damper you can't see. Outside is a handle that normally alligns with the damper si you know how open or closed the adjustment is.

Caution, it can cause problems if you simply close off supply or return ducts as that can reduce the airflow over the heat exchanger in your furnace. If you want to close off some of the heat to the upstairs, you should increase the air flow to the downstairs an equal amount. If you have the in-line dampers, it may be designed to do just that as you switch from summer ac to winter heat.

Bud
 
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Old 01-04-10, 04:31 PM
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Balanced is a good word. Definitely seems over balanced for upstairs. I went in the attic and looked for lever around the unit and its main ducts, didn't see one.

I have a tech coming out Monday to look at things for me. Any tips on what to tell / ask him?
 
  #6  
Old 01-04-10, 04:39 PM
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I keep forgetting about heating/ac systems being in attics, not common way up north. But that doubles the problem of pushing hot air down to the lower levels. You may need some duct work done to eventually solve the problem.

As for what questions to ask, I usually find it best to know less and ask general questions to see what their answers are. Like, how do I make it warmer down here without cooking upstairs .

Bud
 
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