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Old 07-06-2011, 04:36 PM   #1
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Cold air returns ?? My last option


Thx for reading my post. I've been battling for years trying to figure out how to cool my house but to be honest, I've made minimal progress.

Here are my details: I live in Ontario where the winters are cold and summers are hot. My house faces west, therefore I get the sun all afternoon and into the early evening as well. My house built in mid 90's has a cathedral ceiling in front of the house (which is where my issue is). I also have 2 big windows in front of house. One being 6' x 8' high with an oval circular top and another one over front door that is approx 6' x 9' high.

As soon as I moved in during my first summer, I noticed my A/C during those 85-90 degree days would never shut off from say 3 pm till 4 am ! And the house thermostat would never read lower than 79 degrees F. Lucky we don't like it that cold in summer in house but when we would entertain, we would often be asked the question "Is your A/C on ?"

So to help solve my problem I did a number of things over the past 10 years or so:

1. Had my front windows professionally tinted to deflect some of the afternoon heat away

2. Closed all my registers in basement from the main duct work.

3. Purchase a pretty expensive ceiling fan and placed it in highest peak of my cathedral ceiling. Yes, it's turning the right way.

4. Had my duct work professionally cleaned as well as my furnace and A/C unit.

To be honest, the above things really didn't solve the problem.

5. Then this summer I had to get my A/C replaced (originally 2.2 tonne)and I thought "great, now I'll get a bigger unit and my issue will be solved". I purchased a 3 tonne Keeprite unit which I'm very happy with. It's solid and very quiet. But when a hot/humid day came last week, again from 4 pm till about 9 pm the unit did not shut off and the thermostat temperature was 78 degrees. Once the sun went down, it cooled down to 76 within 20 minutes.

6. I moved one of my basement registers (which was in basement ceiling) and turned it up. Worked out perfect because now I have 3 registers in that cathedral ceiling area. I thought this would do the trick. It really didn't. Helped a bit though.

So now I'm thinking about my cold air return. I have one in that cathedral ceiling room which is located near floor. I've heard that it should be located on top of ceiling like my bedroom returns are. Can I make another register up that same wall where the exiting one is and close (for summer) the one that is located near floor ?

Any advise would be appreciated . Sorry for long post but I wanted to be as detailed as possible.

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Old 07-06-2011, 05:10 PM   #2
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Cold air returns ?? My last option


Before replacing the system you did a load calc?

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Old 07-06-2011, 05:52 PM   #3
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Cold air returns ?? My last option


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So now I'm thinking about my cold air return. I have one in that cathedral ceiling room which is located near floor. I've heard that it should be located on top of ceiling like my bedroom returns are. Can I make another register up that same wall where the exiting one is and close (for summer) the one that is located near floor ?

Any advise would be appreciated . Sorry for long post but I wanted to be as detailed as possible.
Yes you can. Before cutting the hole remove the low grill and look up into the wall to make sure it's open.
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:13 PM   #4
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Before replacing the system you did a load calc?
JJboy, not sure what you mean by calc ?
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:29 PM   #5
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Cold air returns ?? My last option


Your problem is the afternoon sun and the big windows. I had the same problem 20 years ago. I spent the first 10 years to battle againt the sun, tell you the truth, I failed. until my front yard trees getting big enough to cover all my windows(10 years later), then my problem was solved.
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:35 PM   #6
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Yes you can. Before cutting the hole remove the low grill and look up into the wall to make sure it's open.
Okay so I removed the lower grill in front room and looked up with a mirror and noticed that probably 8' up there's a 2x4 going across studs. Probably where my 2nd floor is located. Not sure why it has to be fully open ?

I looked up another lower grill I have on main floor (back of house interior wall) and looked up wall on that one too and it has same 2x4 piece probably 8' up wall. Remember, the lower grill in front room is located near floor but directly above this spot is the highest point of my cathedral ceiling. Can't I just follow that shute up and create another grill ? Maybe leave both of them open ?

I did put kleenex against opening of lower grill and it's being sucked in so it seems to be working.
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:36 PM   #7
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Cold air returns ?? My last option


HVAC load calculation means actually calculating what size unit you will need for your size space.

http://www.hvaccomputer.com/


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Old 07-06-2011, 06:58 PM   #8
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Cold air returns ?? My last option


I have to agree with JJboy, if you had done a load calc it would have told you exactly how many BTU's/ CFM you would require for the room in question, this in turn would tell you the size of the ducting feeding the registers.

Additionallly high wall return air would be used during the heating season and low wall would be utilized for cooling. Adding a high wall RA will improve comfort in the winter but will not provide the solution you are looking for with regards to cooling.

By the sounds of it you could really use some external window shades, something to block the sun/UV during the daylight hours. They do make them so they can be retracted and extended electrically. They don't block completely as to the point you can't see through them, but they do stop the pentrating rays of the sun.

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Old 07-06-2011, 08:18 PM   #9
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HVAC load calculation means actually calculating what size unit you will need for your size space.

http://www.hvaccomputer.com/

Thx for the link. Funny thing is the picture of that house with that link is exactly like mine ! Not joking. Only thing it's missing is the big window over the front door..... LOL.

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