DIY Home Improvement Forum banner
1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
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).
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
17,158 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
gregzoll said:
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.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
17,158 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
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.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
17,158 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Nfanelly said:
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.
 

·
I'm Your Huckleberry
Joined
·
5,884 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Doc Holliday said:
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
17,158 Posts
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.
 

·
I'm Your Huckleberry
Joined
·
5,884 Posts
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.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
17,158 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
339 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Greg - you must be able to see the sloppy makeshift hole there... it seems to me like it was absolutely NOT designed correctly.

Is the damper you are talking about the little grate with the little handle that I can open and close?

Or is a damper something completely different that is installed INTO the vent?

I am a super noob here, and don't really care what the absolutely super right design should have been - just with how to solve this immediate issue.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
17,158 Posts
Doc, mine has duct dampers also, but since our home does not have insulation in the walls, only in the attic, it helps with the heat gain, to allow all rooms, including the basement to have air flow. From all appearances, that duct will not handle enough cfm for all three spaces, which is why they are experiencing problems in the other two rooms. My guess also, is that there is more to this can of worms, that they have started to realize at the peak of Summer.
 

·
I'm Your Huckleberry
Joined
·
5,884 Posts
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.
I understand what you're saying, Greg. Why zoned systems and split levels have or should have more than one return. One for each zone or level.

I've personally never had a problem with dampers affecting a system's performance.
 

·
I'm Your Huckleberry
Joined
·
5,884 Posts
Doc, mine has duct dampers also, but since our home does not have insulation in the walls, only in the attic, it helps with the heat gain, to allow all rooms, including the basement to have air flow. From all appearances, that duct will not handle enough cfm for all three spaces, which is why they are experiencing problems in the other two rooms. My guess also, is that there is more to this can of worms, that they have started to realize at the peak of Summer.
I would have to believe that the lack of insulation in your walls say it all about a system having to work harder, with or without dampers, but especially if you close off a room that is on the outter wall.

Yousers!
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top