Go Back  DoItYourself.com Community Forums > Heating, Cooling, Air Conditioning, Ventilation and T-Stat Controls > Gas and Oil Home Heating Furnaces
Reload this Page >

How to Circulate Heat with Very High Ceilings - Long but please read, need help!

How to Circulate Heat with Very High Ceilings - Long but please read, need help!


  #1  
Old 02-17-14, 01:07 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 1
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Question How to Circulate Heat with Very High Ceilings - Long but please read, need help!

I rent an open loft in frigid Boston, it is about 2000sf on three floors. Each floor is open. Stairs lead to each floor, and each floor has a railing, but that is it. There are no enclosed rooms except for the bathrooms which have ceiling heaters.

The ceiling slopes from about 25 feet on the first level to 45 feet at the very top. Our heating system is some kind of highly efficient HVAC that functions as a heater and air conditioner. Air is forced through an exposed duct system with register vents.

Its a very unique set-up, I may need to post photos to get the best help.

In any case, the ducts and registers on the first floor are about 15 feet up, the ones on the second floor are at about 25 feet. There are no ducts and registers past this point.

You can see the problem already - third floor at 45 feet is boiling, first floor is freezing, second floor is fine.

I've closed all the registers at 25 feet, the only registers open are at 15 feet. The 15 foot area is below the second floor. So part of the first floor is open, part has this 15 foot ceiling/floor of 2nd story. I closed all the registers on the first floor that blow out into the 25 foot space hoping that if I only kept the ones open under the 15 foot space, it would trap the heat somewhat. Did not work.

Because I rent, I am not allowed to install any ceiling fans, and the landlord has denied my request for him to install some at my expense.

I've tried space heaters on the first floor but the area is just too big and open. They're ineffective.

So, thank you for reading this far! How can I push the hot air down from the 45 foot apex of the ceiling back down to warm up the rest of the loft without the use of ceiling fans?
 
  #2  
Old 02-17-14, 04:02 PM
Grady's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Delaware, The First State
Posts: 12,682
Received 41 Upvotes on 39 Posts
Sorry, you are just plain out of luck. With a design such as what you have, you will never be comfortable.
 
  #3  
Old 02-17-14, 05:23 PM
M
Member
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 15
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
You said you were denied the request to install some ceiling fans. How about using a couple portable oscillating fans or maybe an air mover or two? Another thing I have seen is they make clear plastic pieces that go over vents that force air downward.
Another thing that comes to mind in regards to a space heater is you can definitely heat a large area quickly with a propane blast heater. We use kerosene versions on new construction houses. One 100000 btu blast heater can heat 1000+sqft in a matter of minutes.
 
  #4  
Old 02-17-14, 08:52 PM
user 10's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: NA
Posts: 1,830
Received 57 Upvotes on 50 Posts
Was going to say ceiling fans before I finished reading your post - easy to get installed if you already have light fixtures up there. It sounds like you've got a really stubborn landlord though.

Without making changes to the heating system or putting fans, grady's right- you'll never be comfortable.
 
  #5  
Old 02-19-14, 11:19 AM
G
Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 219
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Drum Fan, Shop Fan, Industrial Air Circulator. Vornado might have something too.
 
  #6  
Old 02-19-14, 12:23 PM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 9,460
Received 47 Upvotes on 43 Posts
If you blow air out towards that angled ceiling you might be able to deflect some of it down to the lower levels. Moving warm air down will take some force and if you can't bounce it or blow it directly, then look for a place to add a free standing column of air duct. Install a fan at the bottom and pull the warm air off of the ceiling. Painted sona tubes would have that industrial look.

Don't shut down too much of the hot air flow as the heating system needs a certain volume of air. Where is the return duct located?

Bud
 
  #7  
Old 02-20-14, 08:33 AM
D
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 129
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
"Air is forced through an exposed duct system with register vents."

"In any case, the ducts and registers on the first floor are about 15 feet up, the ones on the second floor are at about 25 feet. There are no ducts and registers past this point. You can see the problem already - third floor at 45 feet is boiling, first floor is freezing, second floor is fine."
=========
Many years ago I lived in Boston for two years when going to university.

I'll bet that you are either the first tenant in the place or there have been a "revolving door" of similarly-uncomfortable, one-winter-only tenants. The problem for you and future tenants is that as long as there is a low vacancy rate and plenty of people looking for liiving accomodation, the landlord will have no economic incentive to modify the heating system.

The space is probably adequately cooled during summer (except for that really hot upper floor), right? So those who have weathered the cold during the previous winter will move out in the fall and the new, very-impressed-with-the-place tenants will move in the day after you move out.

The fact is that with hot air registers discharging hot air downward from 15 or 25 feet up from the floor, unless the landlord allows you to modify or add ductwork so that hot air is discharged close to an outside wall or window near the floor of the first floor, you will never be comfortable on the first floor during cold weather. The duct work must be re-designed for the physical comfort of the tenants, not the economic comfort landlord.

By any chance are you a friend of Boston's equivalent of Tony Soprano? If so, give him a call and see if he can do some attitude-modification on your behalf. If not, Tony may own the place, so chaulk this one up to experience and GTHO of that place as soon as you can.
 
  #8  
Old 02-20-14, 09:30 AM
T
Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 955
Received 31 Upvotes on 25 Posts
You did indicate the install of the fans was at your expense, right?
So therefore, install the ceiling fans and remove them when you decide to move out.
Look around for some fans that can be suspended so min. damage is done to cover up.

Problem solved...
 
 

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