Safe Way / Material To Purposefully Restrict Air Flow - HVAC - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


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Old 10-12-2011, 07:25 PM   #1
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Safe way / material to purposefully restrict air flow


Hi! I am hoping I can get some help. I will explain my situation below. (Sorry for the long story, I believe it will help explain why I need what I need.)

This summer we bought a quad-level house. This will be our first winter with it and we've had the heat on already and noticed a big problem. The east side of the house is getting about 95% of the heat / airflow from the furnace. This happens even with the supply vents on the east side of the house "closed" (they only truly close about 50% of the way, still allowing plenty of air flow, and not a lot of pressure build-up.) There is no obstruction to the west-side of the house, either, as we just had the whole duct work cleaned. I will do my best to describe why I think the west side has almost no pressure.

Directly off the furnace is the main, rectangular source (sorry, I don't know the proper HVAC words here), which goes from the furnace to the ceiling. From there, a rectangular supply continues, and feeds the east side of the house. The air only needs to make a 90 degree turn to do so. Also, back at the top is a 1-foot diameter circular source that feeds the west side of the house. However, for the air to travel in that direction it needs to make a 180 degree turn, and head back down almost to the floor before heading off to the west side of the house.

I called my HVAC buddy and he had me switch some of the blower wires around so the blower would run on "high" to increase the pressure in the system, but the blower was already on high and switching the wires caused the blower to run slower.

So, even with the blower on high, and ALL the vents on the east side of the house "closed" (as described above), the east side still gets about 95% of the air pressure, causing the west side of the house to be quite cold. Other important info: the east side of the house has 5 supplies: 2 in the living room, 1 in the dining, 1 in the kitchen, and 1 in the basement. The West side of the house, the side that gets almost no heat, has 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a family room with 2 more supplies.

And it all boils down to this: Is there something I can stick, safely, in the main trunk going to the east side of the house (I have access to that truck through a vent) that will cause the airflow on that side to be restricted, thus increasing the pressure / air supply to the west side of the house? Please help!

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Old 10-12-2011, 08:00 PM   #2
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Safe way / material to purposefully restrict air flow


Is there a lever or some sort of actuator on the supply plenum (source) that moves back and forth?

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Old 10-12-2011, 08:05 PM   #3
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Safe way / material to purposefully restrict air flow


There is a lever on the round supply to the west (cold) side of the house, and it has been moved to the "full open" position. I have also confirmed it is fully open by actually unscrewing the connectors and looking directly inside that source. There is no lever for the east side of the house.
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:12 PM   #4
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Safe way / material to purposefully restrict air flow


Is it possible to post a pic of this?
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:14 PM   #5
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Safe way / material to purposefully restrict air flow


Well doggone it! You asked, so I had to check (I had never noticed one before). There IS a lever on the east side. It was hiding in the shadows behind a water pipe. Lever actuated. Pressure increased to west-side of the house. Problem solved.

Thanks!
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:19 PM   #6
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Safe way / material to purposefully restrict air flow


A lot of times in the field, it helps to have a second set of eyes look it the issue.
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:25 PM   #7
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Safe way / material to purposefully restrict air flow


On the off chance you REALLY wanted to see the picture - here it is for you viewing pleasure Thanks again!

Safe way / material to purposefully restrict air flow-img_20111012_201628.jpg
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:36 PM   #8
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Safe way / material to purposefully restrict air flow


Your welcome.

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