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Old 12-05-09, 02:22 PM   #1
Daox
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Default Heat duct tweaking

With the heating season now in full swing here, I'm wanting to do some tweaking with the heating ducts. My 2nd floor is always quite a bit warmer. Right now as I write this I have a thermometer upstairs and downstairs, its almost 5F warmer up there! This is no surprise as there are only 3 ducts downstairs, and 6 upstairs. On top of that, you have warm air rising which only helps keep the 2nd floor warmer.

Here is the floorplan with vents indicated by red dots. The larger dots are larger vents, the smaller dots are smaller vents.



As you can see, there are waaaay more vents upstairs. Add that to the fact that the kitchen vent is in the ceiling only makes things worse.


So, today I did a bit of tweaking. I figured a diverter that made more air exit the living room vent would be easy to make and keep some heat out of the 2nd floor.

Here is the living room vent.





I popped off the vent cover to see that there already was a deflector in the vent.





I decided to increase the size of the deflector hoping to divert even more air to the living room. To do this, I cut another piece of sheet metal I had and screwed it to the existing deflector.





I reinstalled it in the vent.





Then, I tweaked it to divert roughly 5/8 of air out of this vent. This seems like a lot even to me, but we'll see how it works. I can always adjust it.

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Last edited by Daox; 12-05-09 at 04:47 PM..
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Old 12-06-09, 09:30 AM   #2
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You should get one of them newfangled Ductless heaters.. No more heat losses!



All you have to do, is grab a book, put on a sweater and stand right under it!
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Old 12-06-09, 01:01 PM   #3
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Daox, can you turn off the large vent in the upstairs hall? And maybe partially close some of the others? Are all of the bedrooms in use every day? If not, maybe close the vents and doors in two of them, creating a buffer zone.
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Old 12-06-09, 04:15 PM   #4
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lol Xringer.

I have closed the upstairs hall vent as well as semi closed the two larger southern vents (north is up in the layout). I could probably shut them off entirely, but I have heard of problems with closing too many vents. There becomes too much pressure in the vent system and it can damage your blower fan. So, I haven't gone ahead with that just yet.
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Old 12-06-09, 04:33 PM   #5
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I've heard about some air handlers with variable speed blower motors..
That could be one way to cut the duct pressure without drawing a lot of motor current.
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Old 12-06-09, 08:02 PM   #6
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I usually just progressively close the louvers on the vents in the warmer rooms to force more air into the colder rooms.
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Old 12-07-09, 06:46 AM   #7
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I just double checked the vents this morning. The vent in bedroom 3 is fully shut. The upstairs hall one is fully shut as well. Bedroom 4 vent is open and jammed apparently. I'll need to remove the vent to figure out what is wrong. Bedroom 1 and 2 get very little flow compared to these with the smaller vents. So, besides closing bedroom 4's vent, there isn't much more I can do.

From my initial watching temperatures the rest of the weekend, I found the additional flap I made to not be very useful. It was still up around 5 degrees warmer upstairs a couple of times.
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Old 12-07-09, 10:19 AM   #8
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Here's something I never understood. Why don't they put the shut off's for the vents right as they are coming out of the main vent, instead of halfway down the branch? Wouldn't that stop it from accumulating too much pressure and wouldn't drag heat down one of the branches?

The inline duct fan that I use works great Daox. The one I put in for the living room. You can totally tell the difference when I turn it on, it makes the room liveable. Now I just need to see if I can get the furnace guy in to see if he can hook it up to my furnace so that it turns on when my furnace turns on. Although I'm not sure if that would actually help you. The thing I would do would be to add 2 or 3 more big pipes to the main floor to take away fromt the upstairs ducts. So put a second one in the living room and another in the kitchen. Redirect that heat to your main floor before they go to the upstairs pipes.
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Old 12-07-09, 11:09 AM   #9
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I don't suppose you have a door at the top/bottom of the stairs beween the 1st & 2nd floors.

My mom gets me to open/close the vents at their house every spring/fall:

- close all the upper vents in the fall and open the lowers (heat the lower floor/heat rises);

- open all the upper vents in the spring/summer and close the lowers (cool the upper level (AC) / cool air falls);
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Old 12-09-09, 06:03 PM   #10
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Nope, no door to close.

But, I was able to actually slightly reverse the temperatures. It is now 2.5 degrees cooler upstairs instead of 5 degrees warmer. So, a little bit more tweaking should even them out.

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