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Old 02-28-2013, 09:02 AM   #1
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Convert to dual zone or add dampers?


My house is 15 years old, 3 BR about 2K SF. My upstairs is always too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. We had an attic fan installed last summer which seems to help a little. It just seems like the air flow never makes it upstairs. So what could be a solution to my problem? How expense would it be to make the house dual zone? Does that mean having 2 A/C units installed and 2 furnaces? Is there also a solution to add dampers to the ducts to direct airflow upstairs? I'm looking for some suggestions. If more info is needed, please let me know. thanks!
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:04 AM   #2
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Convert to dual zone or add dampers?


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Originally Posted by gtothek
My house is 15 years old, 3 BR about 2K SF. My upstairs is always too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. We had an attic fan installed last summer which seems to help a little. It just seems like the air flow never makes it upstairs. So what could be a solution to my problem? How expense would it be to make the house dual zone? Does that mean having 2 A/C units installed and 2 furnaces? Is there also a solution to add dampers to the ducts to direct airflow upstairs? I'm looking for some suggestions. If more info is needed, please let me know. thanks!
I had the same issues. research on the web started with a review of the static pressure within my system. a cheap used manometer from ebay and I found my static pressures within the ducts to be very high. a bunch more research and a cheap anemometer from ebay confirmed that I had poor air flow from the supply and poor return volume also. so what caused all of this? Flex duct caused the high static pressure and poor air flow. additionally, the return was to small for the oversized unit I have.
the solution was to remove the flex. I was lucky and the flex was only used as feed/trunk to all steel ducts in the walls. I also found that the registers were very restrictive, so they too were changed. additionally, I sealed as much of the ducts as I could reach. I think the biggest and best sealing work was a the register, supply duct and wall junction. The gaps there were huge and allowed air to enter the walls, not the room. I also doubled the return by adding a second return of the same size. The air flow to all rooms was vastly increase, something on the order of 2 times. the throw of the air and the comfort in the rooms is now great and I only have about a 1 degree difference from top to bottom. I also rebuilt the returns and made sure they could hold a 4 inch media type filter. the air flow through them is great and the dust in the house is way down and I dont have to change them but twice a year. we did as a result of all of this, find that the bedrooms were stacking up air flow with the doors closed. so I added transfer ducts from the bedrooms to the hallway. bottom line is that I did all the work myself, the cost was minimal, the comfort in the house is a 100 percent better and we realized a 25 percent electric bill reduction. I would be happy to provide pictures or answer any questions you have. btw, I did look into dampeners, zones and even a second ac unit. all of them had high costs and were not efficient for my situation.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:58 AM   #3
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Convert to dual zone or add dampers?


I think my know how is limited with rebuilding ducts, but I'd be happy to see some pictures of what you fixed.
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:07 AM   #4
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Convert to dual zone or add dampers?


Did you ever explain the issues with whoever services your system? Did they have any suggestions? Always a good starting point.

The other option is to ask for quotes from your local HVAC companies. Explain the problem and be there to ask questions when they come to the house to look things over. You may find talking to them that what they say is wrong is something you can do yourself or at the least you'll have a better idea of what the issues are and maybe decide the solution is something you don't want to tackle yourself.

Either way, information is always your friend. Making decisions without it will always cost a lot more in both cash and time.
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:05 PM   #5
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Convert to dual zone or add dampers?


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Originally Posted by old_squid View Post
Did you ever explain the issues with whoever services your system? Did they have any suggestions? Always a good starting point.

The other option is to ask for quotes from your local HVAC companies. Explain the problem and be there to ask questions when they come to the house to look things over. You may find talking to them that what they say is wrong is something you can do yourself or at the least you'll have a better idea of what the issues are and maybe decide the solution is something you don't want to tackle yourself.

Either way, information is always your friend. Making decisions without it will always cost a lot more in both cash and time.
I'm actually having my furnace serviced this weekend, but I'm not sure if the tech would handle problems with air flow, or just service the furnace. Would an energy audit cover air flow problems?
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:54 PM   #6
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Convert to dual zone or add dampers?


a duct blaster and a good tech will tell you more about the exact issue you have. an energy audit will tell you how much your home is leaking air and they will offer to fix it for you...
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:42 AM   #7
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Convert to dual zone or add dampers?


THis was the write up I received from our furnace servicing. I think I may just have the A/C unit replaced this summer, along with a new coil and maybe have them install a humidifier. Can someone give me some insight of the write up I received? I would really appreciate it!

I replaced the 16*25*1 filter. I cleaned all the burners. I cleaned the flame sensor. The heater rise is 79 degrees. That is because your coil is
clogged. The heater amps is at 8 amps. The hot surface ignited is at 98 ohms it has to be replaced. The heater is not producing any co.The
heater is at 80% eff. The humidity was at 27% it should be at least to 35% The static pressure is at 1" w.c. this is because your coil is
clogged. it should he at .25".
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