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Old 08-29-2020, 09:17 AM   #1
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Help with ideas?


Just moved into our new to us beach home. Itís a townhouse that is about 14 yrs old. Had the AC inspected prior to purchase and other than it being an old unit it is still doing as well as it can.

The problem is that the house faces West and gets all of the hot afternoon sun. AC can only do so much and the upstairs stays at about 77 even when turned down to 67! Walls probably have very poor insulation and the windows arenít insulated either!

I am way out of my comfort zone here so Iím looking for suggestions on how to improve cooling unstairs in particular. The upstairs has its own thermostat but it is siphoning off of the main unit since we only have the one. Downstairs gets warmer in the afternoon but we keep the thermostat set at 74 and it seems to work pretty well. Unfortunately canít say that about the upstairs. SC gets a little warm this time of year!

Any help in pointing me in the proper direction would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 08-29-2020, 09:38 AM   #2
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Re: Help with ideas?


Heavy drapes across those windows could help immensely. If that doesn't fit the decor, cellular blinds have a little insulative value that may help.
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Old 08-29-2020, 09:48 AM   #3
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Re: Help with ideas?


Our 2 floor home had that very problem, I know your pain.

Three basic things come to mind.

1. Air filter needs to be replaced, sorry if this is obvious but super common.

2. Not enough or even no return air from the second floor. How many return registers do you have on the second floor? Are the grills clear with no furniture up against them? If there are leaks anywhere in the return ducts this can make a real difference.

3. What type of roof/attic is there? Attic ventilation, insulation and sealing of air movement from conditioned air from home into attic.
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Old 08-29-2020, 10:50 AM   #4
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Re: Help with ideas?


Do you have a zoned system - thermostats connected to panel which controls dampers.

Quote:
other than it being an old unit it is still doing as well as it can.
Not necessarily - units don't loose capacity as they age until the refrigerant leaks out or compressor starts going bad. This is provided the unit is is properly maintained - clean coils/filters/blower wheel, proper airflow.
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Old 08-30-2020, 07:56 AM   #5
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Re: Help with ideas?


Small window ac? Townhouse, does that mean attached houses? If yes, roof fan to remove hot attic air. Also, ducts in the attic? Leaky ducts?

Don't know where you are but in nj and it's been one of the hottest summer.

Last edited by carpdad; 08-30-2020 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 08-30-2020, 08:33 AM   #6
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Re: Help with ideas?


All coins have two sides. With heating and ac the equipment is one side and the house is the other. The benefits of improving the house is those changes are permanent and reduce the bills every year, along with improving comfort.

You didn't mention the attic, is it ventilated and how well is it insulated.

Pictures would help.
Is your house an end unit or central?
Basement, crawlspace, or slab?

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