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Old 03-08-2010, 04:57 PM   #1
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How to automate a seasonally adjusted duct?


My system is currently well balanced for heating. However, for cooling, the master suite does not get enough cooling, even with all dampers open. I'm planning on adding a separate duct to supply the master suite, in addition to the existing ductwork. The plan would be to have a damper in the new "added" duct, and have the damper be fully closed in the winter, and fully open in the summer.

My question is, is there a way to avoid having to go up in the attic twice a year and manually move the damper from closed to open? I looked into some zone (motorized) dampers, which are motorized to either the open or closed position, with spring return. I suppose I could make that work, but it seems like a lot of wasted motion/electricity, as it would cycle the damper every time the system cycles, i.e. many times a day. I only need it to move twice a year.

Does anyone make a damper that is motorized in both directions, so that a call for heating would move it in one direction, and a call for heating would move it in another?

I vaguely recall someone having a similar situation a while back, that was solved cleverly with the use of a thermostat, but for the life of me I cannot recall how that was done.

Any ideas?

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Old 03-08-2010, 06:03 PM   #2
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How to automate a seasonally adjusted duct?


you can use the motorized damper you spoke of only hook it to a toggle switch (and appropriate power supply) switch so you can change the setting to the appropriate season setting.


also, have you tried partially closing the vents to the rest of the house while opening the vents to your bedroom? By partially closing the other vents, it will cause more air to be pushed to the one with the vents fully open.

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Old 03-08-2010, 06:17 PM   #3
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How to automate a seasonally adjusted duct?


Why not skip all that expense and just close the new register in the heating season?
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Old 03-08-2010, 09:27 PM   #4
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How to automate a seasonally adjusted duct?


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Originally Posted by nap View Post
you can use the motorized damper you spoke of only hook it to a toggle switch (and appropriate power supply) switch so you can change the setting to the appropriate season setting.
That makes sense conceptually, but does someone make dampers that can be driven in either direction depending on which way you apply power?


Quote:
also, have you tried partially closing the vents to the rest of the house while opening the vents to your bedroom? By partially closing the other vents, it will cause more air to be pushed to the one with the vents fully open.
That would certainly work, but by closing off other vents, I'd be increasing the system static pressure, which I'd like to avoid doing, since I am already running at fairly high static when on the second stage. That is why I want to add a new duct, rather than close off parts of the existing duct system.
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Old 03-08-2010, 09:28 PM   #5
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How to automate a seasonally adjusted duct?


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Why not skip all that expense and just close the new register in the heating season?
That would be the easiest (cheapest) approach, but I worry about air whistling through the vent when it is closed. At least that has been my experience when closing off vents in the past -are some vents more resistant to the whistling?
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Old 03-08-2010, 09:37 PM   #6
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How to automate a seasonally adjusted duct?


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lyonkster;411857]That makes sense conceptually, but does someone make dampers that can be driven in either direction depending on which way you apply power?
power on, damper drives one way. Switch off, spring moves damper other way




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That would certainly work, but by closing off other vents, I'd be increasing the system static pressure, which I'd like to avoid doing, since I am already running at fairly high static when on the second stage. That is why I want to add a new duct, rather than close off parts of the existing duct system.
It shouldn't since you opened the vents to the bedroom further. Your airflow can be the same with some of the vents closed since you opened the ones in the bedroom fully. It's not like you are trying to change the total open vent area, just redistributing it.
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Old 03-08-2010, 09:48 PM   #7
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How to automate a seasonally adjusted duct?


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Originally Posted by nap View Post
power on, damper drives one way. Switch off, spring moves damper other way
Thanks for clarifying, nap. But with this approach, are you suggesting to have the power be applied whenever the call for cool is made, or by a separate means? I guess what I don't like about this approach, if I understand it correctly, is that the damper will be cycled open every time the cooling system kicks in, which is several times per hour, and then move back every time the cooling is off - seems like lots of unneeded wear and tear. Or did I misunderstand your suggestion?


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It shouldn't since you opened the vents to the bedroom further. Your airflow can be the same with some of the vents closed since you opened the ones in the bedroom fully. It's not like you are trying to change the total open vent area, just redistributing it.
OK, I see what you mean, and this approach would not increase the static, you are right. But it would seem that I would have to do a lot of manipulation of opening and closing the various vents to get the balance right. I'll give it some more thought though, thanks!

I guess I can always forgo this idea of automated dampers, and make my life simpler by having a mechanical damper that I'll reposition twice a year.

Thanks for the suggestions and the thoughts!
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Old 03-08-2010, 09:55 PM   #8
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How to automate a seasonally adjusted duct?


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=lyonkster;411868]Thanks for clarifying, nap. But with this approach, are you suggesting to have the power be applied whenever the call for cool is made, or by a separate means? I guess what I don't like about this approach, if I understand it correctly, is that the damper will be cycled open every time the cooling system kicks in, which is several times per hour, and then move back every time the cooling is off - seems like lots of unneeded wear and tear. Or did I misunderstand your suggestion?
you use a simple toggle switch. one way is summer, the other winter (depending on which way you install the damper drive.) it will remain in what ever position you put it in until you flip the switch for the opposite season. There are damper motors that having power applied constantly (for the season) is not a problem. They are desinged to be powered one way constantly. The other way, they are off so there would be no problem there either.




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OK, I see what you mean, and this approach would not increase the static, you are right. But it would seem that I would have to do a lot of manipulation of opening and closing the various vents to get the balance right. I'll give it some more thought though, thanks!
it does take some trial and error but once you get things set, depending on the type of vents, you may be able to apply some sort of mark on them so the next time you just take a walk around the house and set them all to the new season setting by the mark.
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:51 AM   #9
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How to automate a seasonally adjusted duct?


Thanks nap. Maybe the vent closing/opening is an better approach than the powered damper, I'm going to give it some more thought.

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