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Old 10-31-2010, 09:32 AM   #1
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Hot air blown out of recessed light penetration


This morning, I used an infrared thermometer to measure the temperature around a recessed light penetration, and was surprised that it's a couple of degrees higher than the surrounding area (the light was not on for the past several hours). So I removed the bulb and pulled out the cover. What I discovered was wind gashing out from the leakage. But not cold wind. Some further investigation revealed that it only blows wind when the heap pump is on.

This is my bedroom. It is down stair from some second floor living space. I have separate HVAC for upstairs and downstairs, and the upstairs unit isn't turned on. So there is no reason the space between stairs should be heated to the point of hotter than room temperature. More over, apparently either the space between stairs has positive air pressure or the room has negative pressure when the heat pump is on. The air return is in the living room, which is about 40 feet away from this light. Is it still possible for the return to pull air from the bedroom and cause enough negative pressure to pull the wind? The wind is so strong that the recessed light cover that hung there would swing when the HP is on.

If it's positive air in the space between stairs, should I assume this is caused by duct leakage? It looks to me that to check this, I need to either bust the downstairs ceiling or the upstairs floor. Either way it's a lot of work, and more over, I really don't want to get the insulation in the room. Is there any other way that I can check for duct leak (diy of course, not by hiring professionals)?

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Old 10-31-2010, 09:41 AM   #2
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Hot air blown out of recessed light penetration


I do believe that the space between stairs has positive pressure. There is a place in the attic where this space opens into the attic, and I drop tiny pieces of insulation they will be pushed outward.

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Old 10-31-2010, 10:11 AM   #3
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Hot air blown out of recessed light penetration


Probably duct leakage.

It can be sealed. But it won't be cheap.
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:47 AM   #4
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Hot air blown out of recessed light penetration


If I were to fix it, I probably will go with busting the upstairs sub floor, since the upstairs rooms are not occupied for now. How hard it is to remove the sub floor panels? They seem to be interlocked and pretty hard to remove.

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Probably duct leakage.

It can be sealed. But it won't be cheap.
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:58 AM   #5
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Hot air blown out of recessed light penetration


I think the mystery is solved. The wind is not leaking from the penetration. It's from a nearby supply register. I didn't realize that it blows horizontally. I guess the temperature difference is because of the light protrudes from the ceiling and thus get blown more by the hot air from the register.

What a relief. No ceiling or floor need to be busted.
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Old 10-31-2010, 11:54 AM   #6
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Hot air blown out of recessed light penetration


There is a method of sealing called Aeroseal. No floors or ceilings or walls would need to be disturbed.

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