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Old 07-17-2011, 03:23 PM   #1
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Vent Not getting much air! I am boiling asleep!


Hello everyone.

I have a split level home with central air.

The room downstairs has a really makeshift vent (see photos).

As you can see in the photos, the makeshift opening feeds the downstairs room, and you can see the two other off-shoots for the upstairs bedroom and adjoining room.

There is GREAT airflow when I am standing underneath this opening!

However, the upstairs room has HORRIBLE airflow. We recently had our vents cleaned/vacuumed because we thought maybe there was an obstruction. There was not.

The previous owners of the home have a piece of drywall to cover this makeshift opening and direct more air to the other rooms.

However, there is still nowhere NEAR enough air coming through. The other vents in different areas of the home are fine.

I am really more interested in just getting air up to the Upstairs room. The opening labeled 'other room' is not a priority.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do about this!

I greatly appreciate any and all suggestions.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:20 PM   #2
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Vent Not getting much air! I am boiling asleep!


Split levels are tough. Usually you cannot access any balance damper because of drywall. Trying setting your fan switch on your t-stat to the "on" position. Also if your vents have a damper in them close down the rooms that are unoccupied (bathroom, kitchen, laundry).

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Old 07-17-2011, 06:31 PM   #3
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Vent Not getting much air! I am boiling asleep!


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Originally Posted by Nfanelly View Post
Split levels are tough. Usually you cannot access any balance damper because of drywall. Trying setting your fan switch on your t-stat to the "on" position. Also if your vents have a damper in them close down the rooms that are unoccupied (bathroom, kitchen, laundry).
Not going to help the other person. What it will do is, overheat & over work the air handler. It will do nothing to solve their problem.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:46 PM   #4
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Vent Not getting much air! I am boiling asleep!


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Not going to help the other person. What it will do is, overheat & over work the air handler. It will do nothing to solve their problem.
It will not overheat the air handler. It is very common to close down unoccupied rooms in order to force more air to areas that need it. If too many dampers are closed it is possible to freeze the evaporate coil, but very unlikely as long as the ducts are sized correctly.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:51 PM   #5
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Vent Not getting much air! I am boiling asleep!


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It will not overheat the air handler. It is very common to close down unoccupied rooms in order to force more air to areas that need it. If too many dampers are closed it is possible to freeze the evaporate coil, but very unlikely as long as the ducts are sized correctly.
No, it is not common to close off unoccupied rooms. If the system is sized properly, the airflow will be the same to all rooms, without having to "force" it into those rooms. That goes along with having cold air returns in spaces to help with air flow.
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:00 PM   #6
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Vent Not getting much air! I am boiling asleep!


I feel by you post you are extremely inexperienced in the HVAC field. This is a very common issue. Especially with 2 story homes. What do you suggest then? Just live with the problem.
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:12 PM   #7
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I feel by you post you are extremely inexperienced in the HVAC field. This is a very common issue. Especially with 2 story homes. What do you suggest then? Just live with the problem.
Again, not a common issue with any home. The only thing that causes this, is incorrect installation of the hvac equipment, by not sizing the duct work & equipment properly for the structure, along with incorrect cold air return placement & sizing of cold air returns in rooms. This is a dead horse that has been beaten to death in this forum over and over.
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:34 PM   #8
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Vent Not getting much air! I am boiling asleep!


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Originally Posted by Nfanelly
Split levels are tough. Usually you cannot access any balance damper because of drywall. Trying setting your fan switch on your t-stat to the "on" position. Also if your vents have a damper in them close down the rooms that are unoccupied (bathroom, kitchen, laundry).
Try this if it doesn't work I'll eat my words. I can't believe such a common fix to a common problem is be disputed.
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:35 PM   #9
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Vent Not getting much air! I am boiling asleep!


There would be no point in dampers if not to close them. Certainly there may be slightly higher supply static pressure but closing them off is precisely what they are designed and installed for. It's called air balancing and is very real world and every day in the world of both residential and commercial hvac.

What do you think a zoned system is all about? Dampers, controlled by thermostats.

Sorry gregzoll but you are way, way off base on this one.
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:39 PM   #10
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There would be no point in dampers if not to close them. Certainly there may be slightly higher supply static pressure but closing them off is precisely what they are designed and installed for. It's called air balancing and is very real world and every day in the world of both residential and commercial hvac.

What do you think a zoned system is all about? Dampers, controlled by thermostats.

Sorry gregzoll but you are way, way off base on this one.
Thanks doc.
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:47 PM   #11
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Vent Not getting much air! I am boiling asleep!


I have already closed off the rooms that I dont need.

This has not solved the issue.

The issue is that there is a TON of air flowing to this makeshift hole in the basement, and none of it seems to go to the upper vents.

The problem with this makeshift hole is that it is erratic.

It is not a perfectly sealed hole where I could turn off the damper in that room and have it stop 95% of the air.

The air pours out of it, even with that drywall completely covering the hole.

I need a way to seal that makeshift hole...

Something like glueing in a piece of wood with a cut out hole that I could plug and unplug when needed.

Something that would create a solid seal when I didnt need air in that room.

So in a sense, following the suggestion of 'turning off the damper'...

It's just that I cant seem to do that with this!
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:48 PM   #12
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Vent Not getting much air! I am boiling asleep!


Doc, Dampers are no good, if the system is not designed properly for the install. Yes, they force more static pressure, but in turn, can cause other problems with the air handler, not being able to supply that air elsewhere, if the duct work was not properly designed for the install.

Nfanelly, again, this OP install is not correct, and regardless what you think, closing dampers is not the proper way of balancing air in other rooms of a building. Unless the system was designed with a Zone system in mind, you are circumventing the real issue, closing off rooms, which in turns causes more heat gain in the structure, which also causes the system to work harder to pull that hot air into other spaces to remove through the Cold Air return some where else, either on a different floor, or on the other side of the structure.
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:50 PM   #13
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Vent Not getting much air! I am boiling asleep!


Certainly, you're welcome. And gregzoll, please don't take offense to that as that is not what I was trying to do. Pretty much all homes here in Houston are installed with manual dampers and if they are not already installed and there is an air flow issue than we install them precisely to take care of the situation so it is very common.

That's all.
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:50 PM   #14
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Vent Not getting much air! I am boiling asleep!


LordX, you are going to have to install a duct damper, if you wish to close that room off, when you do not want to have air in it, which defeats the purpose of the design of the system, if properly sized & designed for the structure like it should have been, when originally installed.
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:51 PM   #15
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Vent Not getting much air! I am boiling asleep!


Most home will have this problem. I saw people close down stair vents to force air go upstair all the time. The builder will not consider if your home has a big window, or your home face west, or you have a tree out there or not, or high ceiling, or.... they simply put the same size AC into same size of house. some lucky, their house may be OK, but most of them have this type of problems to certain degree unless you build your own house and design your own AC system, even that you can not sure the system is perfect.

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