Questions related to Heating and Fan

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Old 01-14-15, 10:56 AM
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Questions related to Heating and Fan

Guys,

Be patient with me as I try to explain the problem.

I have a 3 level townhouse(built in 2004) and during winter and summer months, there is a significant difference in terms of the temperature at the top level(3rd level).

In winter, Master Bedroom and upper level is usually cold and in summer it's hot compared to other two levels. Vent for the Master Bedroom works for AC, but does not seem to work for Heat. I do know, have some leaky windows(not crazy or big leaks) but still area which has Temperature/Thermostat is usually 5 degrees hotter compared to breakfast room on the main/center level.

First of all:

1-How can I make sure all vents are working and have air flow?

2-How can I fix vents which almost have no air flow?

3-I have a fireplace in the breakfast area, how can I make sure no cold air is coming from Windows, as well as fireplace area?

4-Should I keep the Fan at 'ON' (running) or no need for it?

5-How can I make sure that Heat flow/temp is more or less similar at all 3 levels?

I do have IR thermometer and can check temperature on all vents and all.

Any guidance and help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks y'll.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-14-15, 11:16 AM
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Any time you have multiple levels heated or cooled from the same unit you're going to have trouble, especially if there is an open passage like a stairwell between them. Warm air rises and cool air sinks so while it's less expensive to have one unit for three floors you're fighting physics.

1. Put your hand over the vents and feel for the air moving.

2. Simplest is to close other vents that seem to be getting lots of airflow. You can also install registers with fans to help those with poor airflow.

3. Make sure your windows are closed and that they seal well. You can close the damper on your fireplace and close any doors and vents. If the fireplace is not used it can be tightly sealed with a plug in the flue or a cap on the chimney.

4. In a multi story house with open stairwells keeping the fan on all the time will help stir the air and help keep all the floors at a more uniform temperature.

5. See #2 and #4.

Those are all the easy answers and solutions that do not cost much money. To go much further than that I would suggest contacting an HVAC pro and have them examine your system. They can calculate if your ducts are the correct size and could come up with more proper fixes, unfortunately this will be the more expensive approach. Changing duct sizes and adding booster fans to the ducts can be highly variable in cost and that's in addition to the cost of a service call from someone to evaluate your system.
 
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Old 01-14-15, 01:31 PM
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Thanks so much Pilot Dane, much appreciated.

I have enabled the 'Fan' and am going to let it run. I just opened the damper on furnace and also on the furnace, there's another thing says 'Closed for Winter' and I did close it before the start of winter.

I have closed few vents where I do not use the area much.

1- One of the vent in the master bed seems like have very poor air flow, anyway I can increase the flow there? How much does registers with fan cost and are they beneficial?

2-How can I improve the sealing of windows? One of the windows does have a leak, how can I fix it?

Is running the fan all the times going to effect electricity bill a lot? Any other advice which won't cost an arm or a leg? I mean, fixing airflow and all these vents, is it a DIY?

Thanks for your help.
 
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Old 01-14-15, 01:54 PM
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It is possible you have a collapsed duct or the duct to the master bedroom could be disconnected. It's also possible there is a baffle somewhere that is closed. A booster fan will not help much if there is a closed damper or damage to the duct but it can help if it's simply too far from the furnace and not receiving enough oomph. Fans can be installed in the duct or by simply replacing the grill. Just search online or check Amazon but they could be from $30 to several hundred depending on what you choose.




As for your windows it depends on what kind of windows you have and where/how they are leaking. Most home centers sell various weather stripping materials that can fill gaps.

Running the fan continuously will consume electricity. If you know the size of the fan motor in your system you can estimate how much it will cost depending on your utility rates. Then you can decide if the comfort of more even temperatures top to bottom is worth the cost. Without knowing anything about your system I would figure $30 a month to run the fan as a wild guess.
 
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Old 01-14-15, 02:49 PM
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Thank you again.

If it helps, can tell you the size of the fan motor, where can I find it?

Also, how can I locate/find if there is an issue : "It is possible you have a collapsed duct or the duct to the master bedroom could be disconnected. It's also possible there is a baffle somewhere that is closed"
 
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Old 01-15-15, 05:20 AM
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Your system's information should be on a label on the outside of the unit. Depending on the type of system you have it may be all in one package outside or half could be outside and the other half somewhere inside the home, either in the attic a closet or in the basement.
 
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