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Old 03-18-2012, 01:49 PM   #1
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Toddler proof door ideas (pic enclosed)


Ok, my wife and I have been struggling with this for a while now and can't come up with any solid ideas. My son is 3 and his favorite thing to do is jump on his bed and trash his bedroom (when he's up and about and not sleeping/napping).. We normally keep the bedroom door closed (and locked from the other side) ONLY when he's not in the room sleeping. During the day the bedroom is off limits and we would like to keep it that way, however, there is a caveat.

On my drawing is a picture of my upstairs. I'm in a cape cod which doesn't lend itself to the best upstairs airflow as it is.. With nicer weather coming, we'd like the house to breathe to some extent and leave windows open. We have interior 'screens/bars' on the windows to prevent my little ones from accidentally going through a screen and falling out of the window so that base is covered.. My dilemma is this..

In the picture, the room on the left is the bedroom and the room on the right is the play area. If I have the bedroom door closed (to keep him out during the day) the room doesn't exchange any air. With the window open, we don't get sufficient air flow having the door closed. We tried baby gates (even tall ones) but he piles stuff up and climbs over it, then gets mad when he's stuck in the bedroom. With the furnace fan on to recirculate air through the house, if you open the door between the 2 rooms, you can feel that you're pushing against significant pressure (no cold air return in that room).. the cold air return in the center of the total space would suffice, but the door is only 1/2" above the carpet.

Is there some sort of solution here short of installing an exterior storm door between the 2 rooms ? LOL..

There is also (not in the drawing) a cold air return at the top of my staircase on the 2nd step from the top (in case that matters).. I just want my house to breathe.

Any ideas ?
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Last edited by daddymikey1975; 03-18-2012 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:50 AM   #2
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Toddler proof door ideas (pic enclosed)


I'm not an HVAC guru by any means, but based on your description you essentially have two cold air returns for one room and one register and no cold air returns in the other room with a register. Based on what I've researched for my own purposes and heard from other HVAC personnel that I've dealt with, each room should have it's own return. The "best" solution would be to get a cold air return into that room. Since that will require some serious renovation to move the return, a quick and dirty solution could be to cut a hole through the wall (or two depending on how much air flow you need) that separates the two rooms and put a return grill on both sides, essentially making a way for the positive air pressure to leave that bedroom. the downside of that is sound would be able to travel through very easily from the other room(s) then. If your child is a light sleeper, that could be an issue.

EDIT: just re-read your description and the picture. So one big return for the whole space. I think my suggestion may be the way to go unless some of the HVAC gurus have a better solution.

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Old 03-19-2012, 12:00 PM   #3
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Toddler proof door ideas (pic enclosed)


Friends in a similar situation put a Dutch door in. Top half opened so they could keep an eye on their little one when in the room and also keep him out when he was supposed to be doing other things and occupying other space. It looked nice (one was a finish carpenter). It would give you the airflow you need.

I guess you could vent the wall with pass through vents.
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Old 03-19-2012, 05:51 PM   #4
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Toddler proof door ideas (pic enclosed)


thanks for the ideas... I was considering some type of vents in the door (ugly idea) .. maybe a louvered door but again, not good idea..

The return vents in the wall seem plausible.

Dutch door seems like a good idea as well, although, my 3yr old would most likely climb over it.. he piles up boxes, toys, blankets, etc. to climb over a 32" baby gate.. he's only 36" tall :O

I'll hang around and see if there are other ideas..

Thanks for the input though
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