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Old 05-24-2014, 01:02 AM   #1
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Need Advice on blocking ducts....


I'm sure some of you were following my others threads about me doing my own Manual J reference my home in Phoenix. Here is my new dilemma.

My home was built in 1992. It has a basement. Entire house is 1700 sq ft.

The home has a package unit on the ground next to the house. The duct work goes in between the floors where the finished basement has registers coming out of the ceiling while the main floor has registers on the floor.

In AZ, having my A/C blow from the ground up on the main level is crazy.

The basement remains cool for most of the year and needs MINIMAL cooling.

It makes no sense to keep one package unit for both the basement and upstairs. I feel I'm wasting MAJOR efficiency by cooling the basement while the main floor is cooled. Both basement and main floor share the same main duct between floors.

My goal is to down size my package unit so it ONLY services the basement. I will add a package unit to the roof for the main floor.

If I use the existing duct for the basement, I would need to somehow block off the registers upstairs. Could I put sheet metal in the upstairs ducts at the registers and seal them up? Or use expanding foam? I have no access to the ducts from below. They are sealed between the floors.

If I block the upstairs ducts, would it affect the size/tonage of the basement unit because more air would be blowing through the basement ducts?

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Old 05-24-2014, 01:14 AM   #2
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Need Advice on blocking ducts....


Your current unit would be grossly over sized for the basement. Plus you wouldn't be able to move enough air for it to work right.

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Old 05-24-2014, 01:22 AM   #3
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Need Advice on blocking ducts....


The goal would be to get a new unit for the basement while still using the same duct work. The new unit would be smaller since it's only servicing the basement. But the existing ductwork if for both basement and upstairs. That's why I thought it would be ok to block off the upstairs ducts while using a smaller unit?
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Old 05-24-2014, 01:27 AM   #4
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Need Advice on blocking ducts....


Doubt your basement will need a 1.5 ton unit. May have extremely short cycles.
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Old 05-24-2014, 01:34 AM   #5
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Need Advice on blocking ducts....


I don't know what size to use yet, but want to know if I'm crazy to use the existing ductwork for the conversion.
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Old 05-24-2014, 01:39 AM   #6
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Need Advice on blocking ducts....


Not crazy. Just a bit unusual to use such a large duct for a very small system.
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Old 05-24-2014, 01:47 AM   #7
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Need Advice on blocking ducts....


How else could I do it? Only other option would be to tear down the basement ceiling to access a new duct. Super expensive.
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Old 05-24-2014, 01:51 AM   #8
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Need Advice on blocking ducts....


I'm not sure what problem your having that you feel you need to have a separate system for the upstairs and basement.
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Old 05-24-2014, 01:56 AM   #9
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Need Advice on blocking ducts....


Being approximately 2/3 of your body, and more during sleep, lives in the first 4 ft. of the ground floor rather than near the ceiling, having ducts in the floor isn't crazy at all.

Down size the one unit you have and block 90 percent of the basement registers. Your utility bill will like it. With your plan and ducting in the attic the utility bill will skyrocket.
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Old 05-24-2014, 02:04 AM   #10
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Need Advice on blocking ducts....


Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
I'm not sure what problem your having that you feel you need to have a separate system for the upstairs and basement.
Living in AZ, there aren't many basements. It seems, having the duct work between the floors makes no sense. Why am I cooling the basement when it doesn't need to be cooled?

Every time the A/C turns on, it's cooling the main floor AND basement. By the time the upstairs cools to 79 degrees, the basement is an ice box! If I had a unit that only cooled the main floor, it would take half the energy cost.

Wouldn't it make more sense to have separate dedicated units for both the basement and main floor?
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Old 05-24-2014, 02:07 AM   #11
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Need Advice on blocking ducts....


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairview View Post
Being approximately 2/3 of your body, and more during sleep, lives in the first 4 ft. of the ground floor rather than near the ceiling, having ducts in the floor isn't crazy at all.

Down size the one unit you have and block 90 percent of the basement registers. Your utility bill will like it. With your plan and ducting in the attic the utility bill will skyrocket.
I like your idea. Wish the cool air didn't blow upward. Seems counter productive.
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Old 05-24-2014, 02:27 AM   #12
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Need Advice on blocking ducts....


Have you tried blocking off the basement supplies. And just cooling the first floor.
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Old 05-24-2014, 10:05 AM   #13
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Need Advice on blocking ducts....


Haven't done that yet.

Another reason I wanted to change it up is because nobody in Arizona has their cooling coming from the floor since cool air drops, not rises. Figured I'd feel a huge difference, but maybe not? I only have 8 foot ceilings.
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Old 05-24-2014, 10:48 AM   #14
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Need Advice on blocking ducts....


If your registers have good throw, it won't matter that they are in the floor.

A change of registers may be what you need. Also, you are probably short on return, which can hinder supply air throw, by decreasing the amount of supply air.
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Old 05-24-2014, 11:08 AM   #15
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Need Advice on blocking ducts....


What do you mean short on return?

I have two returns in the system. One in the basement (original) and one upstairs. The one upstairs, I put in a few months ago. Can't believe there was NO return upstairs! Makes no sense.

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