Hot upper level on tri-level home

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  #1  
Old 06-23-06, 09:37 AM
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Hot upper level on tri-level home

I am not too sure if this is in the correct forum but I thought that I would give it a shot. I'm not sure if my problem is with my air conditioner/vent set up or if it has to deal more with insulation.

Okay, a little information about the house. My home is approximately 1500sqft, built in 1957, and as stated in the title it's a tri-level. I purchased the house a little over a year ago and have continually tried updating it. My main concern currently is being able to keep the upper level (bedrooms) cooler during the summer. I was hoping that by replacing the large downstairs windows that it would help (which I did with triple pane windows). I have also replaced the weather stripping around all of the doors. The attic that is just over the upper bedrooms is just barely enough to crouch down in. I have a fan with a thermostat at one end of the roof line along with 2 vents spaced equally throughout. The attic has about 3'' of blown in cellulose insulation right now which I plan on adding to here shortly. The air coming from the vents seems to be around 20 degrees cooler than the outside temp, which seems suffice.

Okay now that is out of the way here are my questions. My home seems to be 10 degrees warmer upstairs in the bedrooms than downstairs. I know that heat rises, but I'm trying to figure out how to keep it cooler.

1. I have central heating and air conditioning in the house. In each of the bedrooms there is a vent. I have one return upstairs, but it is in the hallway. It seems that, even after closing some of the downstairs vents, there is very little air coming from the vents. I though that it might possibly be due to being so far away from the blower? Not too sure though. I was wondering if it would help by placing a blower inline with the duct that distributes the air to those rooms.

2. The 3'' of cellulose doesn't seem like much, what is the recommended depth for sufficient insulation. Also, since there are no returns in the bedrooms what is the best way to allow heat to escape the bedrooms?

If there are any general tips that someone can give me that would be great. Thanks for all the help!
 
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Old 06-25-06, 05:40 AM
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hmmm not much help? not even a pointer to start out at?
 
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Old 06-25-06, 06:41 AM
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You no yon need more insulation! The issue is your HVAC system! Get a contractor to do a mannuel D and J.
 
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Old 06-25-06, 04:16 PM
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d and j? What is that?
 
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Old 06-25-06, 07:23 PM
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Manuel D is for sizing DUCT AND manuel J is for sizing equipment
 
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Old 06-28-06, 05:14 PM
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So, what would I be looking at for someone to come and even take a look at the unti. What exactly can they do with out knocking down walls and tearing all sorts of stuff out. thanks!
 
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Old 06-29-06, 07:39 PM
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It appears that the closing of the vents downstairs is causing the air flow in your ducts to slow down. A HVAC person would probably look to adjust dampers inside your ductwork to send more cooling upstairs. This usually works alot better than closing vents in individual rooms and will have little affect on the air flow inside the ducts.
 
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Old 06-30-06, 04:02 PM
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thanks for the explaining it a little more for me. I think that I need to have the system looked at anyways. I'm not too sure at what the cost is that I'm looking at. I usually like doing my own work around the house, but I think this time I need to have some professional help. Unfortuantely the house had not been kept up really well before I bought it. I guess that's all part of the fun. haha
 
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Old 07-02-06, 02:39 PM
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So, does anyone think that adding more blown in insulation it might help keep the upper floor cooler? Currently thereis only about 3'' of insulation in the attic.
 
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Old 07-03-06, 07:28 AM
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Insulation does nothing for radent heat which is what you will have on 2nd story! So it will not help the heat. It will help to same on AC and Heat demand.
 
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Old 07-03-06, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by airman.1994
Insulation does nothing for radent heat which is what you will have on 2nd story! So it will not help the heat. It will help to same on AC and Heat demand.

Can you explain the last sentence please?


so, what would be the best way to prevent radiant heat? I see the foil all over the place, is that really the only way?
 
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Old 07-04-06, 09:14 AM
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The best way is to have 3 inch of spray foam on roof deck, rafters and side walls of attic (all out side walls). This will keep you from having to ventalate. Foil is next best thing but you still have to ventalate.
 
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Old 07-11-06, 04:35 PM
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one last question regarding this issue before I get some serious help. I have fans in all the 3 upstairs bedrooms. What way should they be blowing to try and maximize the cooler airflow to the upper part of the house?
 
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Old 07-21-06, 12:59 AM
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Radiant heat and ceramic insulation

I just finished doing a job for the local playhouse in White Rock, BC. The customer was concerned about heat loading up on the new south facing concrete block wall which is where the patrons would sit inside. We applied a ceramic insulation coating on the exterior surface to stop heat migration. We have done the same for steel building ice arenas with excellent results. You can actually feel the difference. In the direct summer sun the bare uncoated surface is very warm to hot. The coated surface is cool as the ceramics in the coating never take on heat. The obvious difference here is you are able to apply this product on the outside and can control heat transfer before it enters the structure. You are trying to control heat that is already inside. I am surprised that little is mentioned about this type of insulation as the technology has been around for more than 15 years. Also, keep in mind that reflective foils are limited in their ability to reflect heat when they are covered.
 
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