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kywoman 02-13-2008 01:02 PM

Cold bedroom
Hi all, just found this forum and I hope you all can provide some info for us. We have an electric heat pump for heat. Recently, we decided to start closing our bedroom door to keep our cats out, and noticed that our room gets very cold, even during the day. As soon as you open the door, the cold air just hits us.

There is air coming out of our vent, but it doesn't feel very warm. The vent is located on the exterior wall, and we have a return vent on the interior wall. We also have a gap between door and the threshhold, which I've read can be important. Where can we start looking to find out what could be causing this? I was thinking about calling in a heating/cooling company, but I'm leery of getting scammed. This is our first house, and I understand a bit about hvac systems, but not enough to feel comfy. I don't want to spend tons of $$ if we can possibly solve the problem ourselves.

Oh, and I should probably add that our room is located above the garage. The heating unit is located in the middle of the house, so our room is not located at an extreme end of the house.

Thanks for any help!!

DIY4EVER 02-13-2008 01:38 PM

kywoman -

I am no pro, but I think that keeping your door closed may be part of the problem. The air in your home should be allowed to "mix" between all parts of the home and when you shut a door it isolates that room from the rest of the home. i would also check to make sure that the heat supply to the bedroom is not baffled closed or partially closed. Check your windows too, for any drafts that could be stopped by adding weatherstripping or caulk.

Also, more interesting, is that you mentioned your bedroom is above the garage. My first thought would be that your garage may not be properly insulated, i.e. between the ceiling of the garage and the floor of the bedroom. If your garage is not properly insulated and is not heated then cold air from the garage will make its way into the room above making it cold. If that is the case, you may need to consider adding insulation to the ceiling of the garage, seeling any air gaps, and maybe even adding drywall to the garage ceiling if not already in place.

i'm sure some of the pro's on here can chime in and add some helpful info.

Good luck!

kywoman 02-13-2008 03:35 PM

Thanks DIY4ever. We have thought that the garage could be the problem as well. The garage is not heated, and the ceiling is finished. We have no way of knowing how much (if any) insulation is between the ceiling and our bedroom floor without making a huge mess in the garage. But I have noticed that when I walk on our bedroom carpet barefoot, it seems colder than in the rest of the house.

There are ductwork runs in the garage (not sure if they are returns or vents) that are insulated. However, there is a section of the insulation that is damaged and ripped. This seems indicative that something was fixed or done to the ducts that could be affecting our room. We planned on simply fixing the insulation, but perhaps we should look at this section closer to see what could have been done.

I'm not sure I know exactly what baffles are, so I will do some research and find out how can inspect these. Thanks!

concretemasonry 02-13-2008 05:08 PM

You do need returns. That is they way to get cold air out of a room and put warm air into it. There some standards that suggest more return area than supply area.

The best thing I did to warm up my basement was to add several cold air returns. Now warm air comes in and everything is fresher and more comfortable (summer and winter).

biggles 02-13-2008 05:20 PM

if your return is in the hallway when you shut the door you are isolating the bedroom from the system on the air being returned to the unit.being over the garage is pulling on what heat comes into the bedroom...if you feel the difference in the floor your heat is going to the colder floor(floor registers...right)you need to get into the garage ceiling to see whats not there.your BAFFLE mentioned is a rod'd damper on the corner where the bedroom take off meets the main trunk..mark the rod with a marker first then push it or pull it to adjust the direction of the air

DIY4EVER 02-13-2008 05:30 PM

I agree with Biggles, especially after what you said about the evedence of some tampering with the insulation in the garage ceiling. You may not want to make a big mess, but if it is what is needed to fix the problem and improve your home and your life then it is worth it.

You could always take a sharp knife and cut a small section of the drywall away in the ceiling of the garage and do some investigating that way. My hunch though is that there either never was enough insulation in there or someone did some "handy" work and never properly replaced insulation.

You may look into getting someone in to blow insulation into your ceiling. I think they can just make some small holes at strategic places, then they stick was is pretty much a big vacuum hose in the holes and blow insulating fibers into the cavity. not a huge mess, probably cheeper than pulling down the ceiling and adding insulation that way.

just my opinion :thumbsup:

kywoman 02-13-2008 08:44 PM

Let me clarify. We do have a return air vent in the room. The vent is on the exterior wall of the house, the return air vent is on the opposing wall which is shared by a bathroom. The vents are in the wall, not the floor.

The damaged insulation is right around one of the take offs from the main trunkline which could be the one for our bedroom. I guess it's possible that the previous owners already messed with the baffle. We will definitely cut some small holes to check into the insulation in the ceiling. What type of professional do we call for the insulation, assuming we need to install more?

We had a $45 jump in our electric bill in one month, even though it was warmer this month and probably wasn't running as much. So that's telling me that we're losing efficiency somewhere. We're anxious to figure this out so we're not throwing away money.

DIY4EVER 02-14-2008 08:28 AM

I would start by checking the yellow pages for your area. Or search online in your area. I would look for an HVAC company or other PROFESSIONAL. Many HVAC comapnies do insualtion. I would imagine there would also be some companies that just do insulation as well. Just make sure they are reputable, and insured. Do your homework on them and get more than 1 estimate for the SAME work. I emphasize SAME because you will need to be very clear about what you want them to do so that one guy isn't quoting you for things that other guys aren't, i.e. removing drywall, replacing drywall, etc.

redline 02-14-2008 02:34 PM

How much insulation is in your attic?

If there is not sufficient insulation in the attic then I would bet that the space above the garage lacks insulation also.

cartoonboy 03-07-2008 10:40 PM

I have the exact same problem. So my question to you is, who do the cats belong to?

In my situation, the cats belong to my wife, and I am looking for every reason under the sun to find a new home for them. Its been over 3 years and they're still here.

I guess the doors will stay closed as I'm not lying down in a bed covered in cat hair.

biggles 03-08-2008 08:04 PM

quick check on the HEAT the heating mode go to the air handle and you see 2 copper lines...1 bare copper(index finger round size)and the other larger diameter with black armaflex sponge insulation.THAT IS...your HOT FREON going into your indoor coil to heat the house you shouldn't be able to touch that copper under the black insulation it is that hot .if you can grab it and say it is warm ...your short on freon that line should be 180F-200F easy:eek: , no matter what the outdoor temp is.get that temp up on that pipe into the air handler to 180F + and you will be cookin!anytime you shut a door all night your isolating the room from the system and the return.

Jane Addams 03-27-2008 01:53 PM

I have a Honeywell TH4210D1005 pro 4000 electric heat pump that works great. Here is a link to it. Hope this helps!


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