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Old 05-25-2011, 10:46 PM   #1
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Any idea to cool down the 3rd level of my home?


I bought a small 3-level town home (basement, level 1 and level 2), with central AC. The basement is pretty cool these days even without AC. The top floor is kinda warm even with AC on. I heard that hot hair goes up and cold air goes down, and this has to be the cause. Just wonder if any of you guys out there has any good tip to cool down the top floor. Does it help to set up a powerful fan on the top floor to force the air circulate across all 3 levels? Please give me your tips, thanks.

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Old 05-25-2011, 11:55 PM   #2
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Any idea to cool down the 3rd level of my home?


i have the same issue. where in MD are you?

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Old 05-26-2011, 12:09 AM   #3
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Any idea to cool down the 3rd level of my home?


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i have the same issue. where in MD are you?
20878, Mr. Federer, the world number 3. Do you play tennis?
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Old 05-26-2011, 12:25 AM   #4
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Any idea to cool down the 3rd level of my home?


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Originally Posted by homenewbie View Post
I bought a small 3-level town home (basement, level 1 and level 2), with central AC. The basement is pretty cool these days even without AC. The top floor is kinda warm even with AC on. I heard that hot hair goes up and cold air goes down, and this has to be the cause. Just wonder if any of you guys out there has any good tip to cool down the top floor. Does it help to set up a powerful fan on the top floor to force the air circulate across all 3 levels? Please give me your tips, thanks.
There are probably no perfect solutions to this problem - at least not without spending some serious bucks. But here's what I'd suggest trying.

1. Adjust your registers. Close the ones in the basement, restrict main floor registers, and open the upper level ones all the way.

2. Your furnace might have a multi-speed fan. If it does, increased speed will increase circulation.

3. Circulate air with fans.


Probably not much help, but it's the best I've got.
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Old 05-26-2011, 01:32 AM   #5
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Any idea to cool down the 3rd level of my home?


Thermally, the best way to minimize temperature stratification is to insulate and air seal the house more, which may or may not be practical. You are correct in stating that warm air, being less dense than cold air, will rise (heat does NOT; heat goes to cold. Warmer AIR rises, just like warmer water, over most temperature ranges, rises). Were this my problem, I would try to pump the warmer air back down to the basement via ducts instead of pushing it through other air and mixing it. I am certain ducts would be far more efficient.... though maybe not easy to install.
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Old 05-26-2011, 01:43 AM   #6
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Any idea to cool down the 3rd level of my home?


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20878, Mr. Federer, the world number 3. Do you play tennis?
cool. i am 20902. I am the Federer Do you play?
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Old 05-26-2011, 01:45 AM   #7
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Any idea to cool down the 3rd level of my home?


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Thermally, the best way to minimize temperature stratification is to insulate and air seal the house more, which may or may not be practical. You are correct in stating that warm air, being less dense than cold air, will rise (heat does NOT; heat goes to cold. Warmer AIR rises, just like warmer water, over most temperature ranges, rises). Were this my problem, I would try to pump the warmer air back down to the basement via ducts instead of pushing it through other air and mixing it. I am certain ducts would be far more efficient.... though maybe not easy to install.
you are right ducts would be best, but how feasible is that? I imagine the house is already covered in drywall/plaster and requires major demo and rebuild if you are connecting ducts from from 3rd to basement level...
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Old 05-26-2011, 02:05 AM   #8
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Any idea to cool down the 3rd level of my home?


Where is the thermostat located? I had a two story house with similar problem - moved the thermostat to upstairs hallway helped, but was not a total solution.
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Old 05-26-2011, 03:23 AM   #9
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Any idea to cool down the 3rd level of my home?


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... but how feasible is that?
Dunno. The cat hasn't asked us over for dinner yet. I'd sure try to sneak through closets, utility rooms, suspended ceilings, etc.
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:40 AM   #10
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Any idea to cool down the 3rd level of my home?


You can switch your thermostat FAN setting from AUTO (cycles only with AC or Heat) to ON (runs continuously). Downside is re-evaporating moisture back into home in AC mode.

You might also consider a mini-split (non ducted) unit for the upstairs as a kind of retrofit zoning solution.
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Old 05-26-2011, 03:53 PM   #11
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Any idea to cool down the 3rd level of my home?


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cool. i am 20902. I am the Federer Do you play?
Yes, I do. I don't think you will win this French Open. Nole will.
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Old 05-26-2011, 04:45 PM   #12
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Any idea to cool down the 3rd level of my home?


If you own the townhouse, you would be better off with a unit to feed 1/2 the second and the whole third floor. There is no way that a unit in the basement will properly cool or heat a house on the top floor, regardless what you do, or make changes such as putting a in-line duct fan. All a in-line duct fan is going to do, is cause problems later on down the road, not solve the issue with having a unit improper sized for your home.
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Old 05-26-2011, 06:34 PM   #13
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Any idea to cool down the 3rd level of my home?


I would suggest installing a whole house attic fan if you can. Only can be used with AC off and windows open, perfect for cool mornings and nights. Install in upstairs hallway, large fans sucks air from downstairs windows and will pull all up stairs hot air out through the attic. Won't do much when you want to use AC, but for $150 bucks or so, it does wonders. Dropped my house 10 degrees the first night I installed it, dosen't help my home ac unit and windows suck though.
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:26 AM   #14
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Any idea to cool down the 3rd level of my home?


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Yes, I do. I don't think you will win this French Open. Nole will.
Where do you usually hit? I see you hopped on the Nole wagon as well. Long live the Fed! I don't see DelPotro taking Nole out.
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:27 AM   #15
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Any idea to cool down the 3rd level of my home?


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Dunno. The cat hasn't asked us over for dinner yet. I'd sure try to sneak through closets, utility rooms, suspended ceilings, etc.
That's kind of whats in my house. lots of ducting in the closet. so far no use. but they were probably badly installed since it was a DIY thing

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