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Can't get warm

Golddlocs Member Posts: 1
I am going crazy trying to warm the 1st floor of my house. I have a York 80% efficient forced air furnace it is about 15 years old. I have 2 zones the house is a 2 story that was built in 1925 we gutted the house and put in insulation as well as brand new Anderson windows. We had an energy audit done in December 2010 and they spray foamed down in the unfinished basement on the top of the foundation. The attic is insulated also. But no matter what I do the 1st floor is always cold. I can turn the heat to 70 and it still feels cold it seems all the heat goes upstairs I keep the heat on 60 upstairs because I only sleep up there and when you check the temperature up there it's at 70! What am I doing we made all the changes recommended by the audit we did not cheap out! What can I do I am going crazy?


  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,086
    Define Cold

    You said it feels cold. What is the thermostat reading in the room its in? Is that the room that feels cold or is it another room?
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Getting Warm:

    I assume that the two zones are first floor and second floor.

    Close the doors to the second floor rooms. Don't let the downstairs heat get into the upstairs rooms.

    Where is the first floor return(s)? Be sure it isn't covered up.

    Get a HVAC person that knows what they are doing to look at it. It should have been working from the beginning. If not, it had a problem that wasn't resolved. These things don't just appear for no reason.
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,284
    the thermostats may be

    wired backwards.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • Slimpickins
    Slimpickins Member Posts: 333
    Try running blower

    Try flipping the lever to the fan setting to on, instead of autoand let the blower run constantly to try to balance the levels. This allows the blower to move the hot air on the upper level and distribute through out the duct system and the heat will come on as needed to inject heat into the airflow. If nothing happens when you move the lever it may not be wired to do this. You would need three wires from the furnace to do this,  Red for R, White for W and green for G.  If you do this, the filter will be need to be replaced more often.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265

    How many returns do you have in this system?

    Do you have a separate return for the first and second floor or are they all combined into one? If the one is at the bottom of the second floor stairway, running the first floor could just suck the cold air from the second floor because it is easier for the cold air to fall down the stairs. Close all the doors upstairs and run the first floor and see if it improves. The zone duct dampers may not cover the whole duct and they allow air to pass by.

    There's a lot of really screwed up duct work out there. You may have some.
  • Thorp Thomas
    Thorp Thomas Member Posts: 23
    edited April 2011

    What's the humidity level in the house?  With lower relative humidity, moisture is drawn away from your body thereby activating your evaporative cooling and you'll feel colder than it is.


    A low efficiency hot air furnace will dry and bake the air as it is re-circulated. You need to bring the humidly up to the recommended levels (40%) by whatever means you can: a standalone humidifier, a furnace mounted power model or a high-Tec steam model. You'll be more comfortable, healthier, and your furniture will love you.
  • EddieG
    EddieG Member Posts: 150

    What is the first floor t-stat set at? What is the second floor t-stat set at? Sometimes having the second floor t-stat set low will allow the first floor unit to run more often and because of mother nature, the warm air will just keep rising. Which keeps you cooler on the first floor. Try setting the t-stats the same or set the second floor t-stat a degree higher. There could be a lot more going on and the other posts are full of good suggestions also.
  • Jim Davis_3
    Jim Davis_3 Member Posts: 578
    Typical result

    Since the 80's people have been saying that if you fix the building, the heating and cooling system will perform better.  Wrong!!  Most problems are the heating systems and the duct system not being adjusted for true performance and balance.  Studies have shown that the majority of homes that have supposedly been weatherized and duct systems sealed have seen little or no improvement in their utilities bills.  In one study in Iowa, every home that was weatherized and their duct system sealed saw an increase in their utility bills. 

    You really need someone that is certified in combustion and air balancing to solve your problem.  It is not a requrement for building auditors to know anything about HVAC systems.
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,840
    Please tell us more Jim...

    Having just recently completed a course on energy auditing (BPI), I completely agree with your assessment regarding the lack of knowledge as it pertains to HVAC "systems" .

    They basically do a quick single gas test (CO) and do a worst case scenario for draft hood spillage, but their limits for CO production is going to get them in trouble with the sealed combustion/mod con boilers because they are too low. And they don't even look for combustion chamber spillage...

    To what do you attribute this decrease in efficiency to in the first place? Duct work under sizing or equipment over sizing? I assume this pertained to Forced Error systems only???

    Please share. Inquiring minds want to know.

    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,593
    As I often notice here

    someone posts a question and then disappears. This question was posted March 30 and two weeks later we have not heard from them. We do however have great discussion among ourselves.

    Concerning BPI here locally there is big push to have only BPI graduates do any audits for local jurisdictions. I know that the Home Star thing is dying a quite death but not in my area. I also have issues here locally that they are pushing for only NATE certified persons to do service.

    The low CO nothing above 25 to 30 PPM air free is also causing a lot of equipment to get shut off. I was told by a local inspector that I was way out of touch with modern equipment which does not make CO and that I needed to get up to date. He stated when you get up above 90% eff. all the carbon in the fuel is burned and becomes CO2.
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,840
    Us "Old Timers" gotta stick together...

    I wonder what he'd say if he knew that most modcon manufacturers want to see a CO around 100 ppm...

    Might as well start banning them all :-)

    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Revenge Of The Experts:

    I call this The Revenge of the Experts. They're smart and we're not.

    I also define an "Expert".

    "X" is an unknown quantity and "Spert" is a drip under pressure.

    The old dead trades guys I once worked with had comments for those guys. "Educated Fools" was one and the other, my favorite, "Ive forgotten more than they will ever know".
This discussion has been closed.