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I have a challenge that after 12 years in the house, I'd like to resolve.

I live in the Denver metro area, so we aren't in sweltering heat, however after just having a run of some 90 degree days, the top level of my house just doesn't cool in the day.

Here is the scenario. Our house is a 2 story home with 3/4 basement - finished. The main floor and top floor are a total of 2500 sq ft, and the basement is 900 sq ft finished and 50 sq ft unfinished - which is the room that holds the furnace and hot water heater.

The basement has a an office, a bedroom, a kitchenette, a full bath and a media room - we call it the man cave. Mostly because the 2 women in the house can't take the cold down here.

In the summer, with the AC running, temp is in the 50's in the basement while main floor is 75, and upstairs is about 82. The air coming out the vents on the main floor is strong, but upstairs it is just a breath of air - it's there but only just a little.

I have a cold air return on the main-floor by the baseboard - and at the ceiling level on the upstairs.

I've had my vents "monster-vac'ed".

The thing that seems illogical to me, is that in the winter - it's still 50 something in the basement.

If my blower unit was leaking too much air, it would seem to me that the basement would be very warm in the winter when the heat is running - but that is not the case.

My thought is that somewhere between the main floor and top floor I must have some unaligned ductwork, which causes the drop in airflow.

I've tried shutting all of the vents in rooms we don't often use, but that doesn't seem to make a difference. I've put magnetic seals over the vents in the basement - again, not much help.

I recognize this problem is probably above my pay grade - but my concern is getting the "right" professional to my house. I don't want to go through a dozen HVAC companies with all of them not having a good grasp of the situation and just trying to throw more horsepower at the problem. I don't think it's a horsepower issue. I have no clue where to go though, so I'm just looking for things that I just don't know about. Or of course an excellent referral in the Denver area...

Thanks,
Ron
 

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HVAC / Plumbing
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don't know the design of your house.. But, you probably needed 2 systems.. 1 For the upstairs & 1 for the main level
 

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In the summer, with the AC running, temp is in the 50's in the basement while main floor is 75, and upstairs is about 82.
The air coming out the vents on the main floor is strong, but upstairs it is just a breath of air - it's there but only just a little.

The thing that seems illogical to me, is that in the winter - it's still 50 something in the basement.

If my blower unit was leaking too much air, it would seem to me that the basement would be very warm in the winter when the heat is running - but that is not the case.

My thought is that somewhere between the main floor and top floor I must have some unaligned ductwork, which causes the drop in airflow.

I've tried shutting all of the vents in rooms we don't often use, but that doesn't seem to make a difference. I've put magnetic seals over the vents in the basement - again, not much help.
Just like measuring volts and amps in an elec. circuit, I guess with a manometer and air flow meter you could figure out whether the upstairs duct dumps into wall space or is blocked.
The main air handler is the analogy of a voltage or current source and the ductwork are the analogies to resistors branching out to loads (rooms). The returns are like the ground wires in a circuit, returning the current to the source.

Running a duct with its own fan from the basement to the upper floors is probably against fire codes unless you'd use these thermally-operated louver devices that are designed to prevent the spread of fire.
 
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