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Old 10-10-2008, 10:11 AM   #1
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Revisiting my cold house issues...


So I am back to addressing the cold issues in our home.

We've got forced hot air that is based out of the attic. All of our vents are in the ceiling, both the supplies and returns, with exeption of 1 low return.

First concern is how to make it more comfortable in our living room which has three outside walls. Is there any way of getting a duct low... and would that even help? Would humidifying the air help the hot air sink and would it make it feel more comfortable?

Personally, I'd like to put a wood or gas burning stove (vented of course) in this room, but my wife does not like the idea.

It is the only room where it is really chilly and un-ininviting and of course the only room where we really want to be significantly warmer than the others. Just turning up the heat more will heat up the room, but then it heats the other rooms too hot, and it is still an uncomfortable dry and drafty heat.

Another thought is to either decrease the amount of air going to other rooms, or better yet, increase the amount of air flow to this this one room by adding 1-2 more supplies????

We've got abandoned steam radiators... I think it is going to be too $$$ to think about putting these back into use although I have not gotten any quotes. I would imagine we are talking in the multiple thousands...

Another issue is the basement. As of right now, we have no heat down there, so we don't use it. We don't REALLY need to use it at this time, but I'd like to think about how to heat this space for the future. It's got electric baseboard heaters (not oil filled or anything) that are not hooked up either, due to no room in the electrical box. The basement is finished with no insulation. We are located in Northern NJ where gas is relatively the cheapest fuel source. I was thinking about hooking up a Rinnai 556 WTA there (a 22000 BTU direct vent gas fired heater that I have sitting around not being used) , but concerned about the amount of walls and doorways that would inhibit the air from really getting to all corners of the basement. There are 2 separate rooms divided by the stairs, a separate laundry room and bathroom... don't really want Hot and cold spots... will the centrally located Rinnai work or should I think about replacing those electric baseboard heaters with oil filled ones?

Of course if we put the steam system back in place I would guess that inherently the basement would be "heated" by virtue of the steam pipes running every which way down there... ?

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Old 10-10-2008, 10:19 AM   #2
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Revisiting my cold house issues...


The only comment i have is on the Rinnai. Verify the local codes allow this to be used for heating. Most areas require a heating water or steam system to carry an "H" stamp to be able to be used for heating. Does the Rinnai have an "H" stamp. If so you should see it on the label.

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Old 10-10-2008, 10:21 AM   #3
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Revisiting my cold house issues...


Sorry probably confusing this with a hot water heater. It is a direct vented 22000 BTU Blown hot air space heater. I would put it in our living room, but my wife hates it. It has to be either sold or used in the basement. Somewhere where no visitors would see it.

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Old 10-10-2008, 11:06 AM   #4
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Revisiting my cold house issues...


I suggest you put in baffles in the venting you can control. This would allow you to restrict some air flow to rooms you want to keep cool and more will go to the living room.

HVAC systems need to be balanced with the correct ducting going to each room.

Ceiling vents are the most efficient with wall vents running a close second. Floor vents are the worst because they are covered by furniture and air has a tough time moving around that.

These are easy and cheap to put in and will make a big difference to your situation.
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Old 10-10-2008, 11:16 AM   #5
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Revisiting my cold house issues...


Well our AC works great, I will admit that. But hot air does not sink very well. Rather than baffling the other rooms, wouldn't it make more sense to either add more supplies, or increase the diameter of the supply to the Living room? This would by default decrease air to other rooms (?) without increasing pressure. I am also curious about how a humidifier will help the situation. It is a very dry harsh heat.
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Old 10-10-2008, 12:11 PM   #6
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Revisiting my cold house issues...


Granted hot air does not fall but it if blown into a room it will mix well with the existing air.

You can add another duct to the existing one or put in a bigger duct than the one that is already in place.

And yes your are correct that it should decrease flow to the other rooms. I say "should" because there are situation where it will have little affect due to poor instillation. But more than likely it will do the job.

AC is a different story. Depending on the way the house is laid out it will require more AC on the south side or rooms with more windows. Systems need to be laid out with this consideration and sometimes there needs to be a zone system installed as duct work alone will not solve the problem.
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Old 10-10-2008, 11:39 PM   #7
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Revisiting my cold house issues...


How about a ceiling fan in the living room?
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Old 10-10-2008, 11:55 PM   #8
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Revisiting my cold house issues...


Quote:
Originally Posted by 8 Ball View Post
How about a ceiling fan in the living room?
My sentiments, exactly.

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