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2nd floor heating problem

mark_51 Member Posts: 2
ello all, we have a 5 year old two story colonial. THe second floor only has 2 bedrooms(12x13) and a bath. The rest is open to a family room and foyer below. We have forced hot air heat, the furnace is in the basement. Each bedroom has a heat outlet in the ceiling.
In the winter the bedrooms are really cold. If we don't put a ceramic heater in the room the temp will be 56-58 while it is 70 in the downstairs bedroom. We have two small kids and I don't like them sleep in rooms that chilly. Anyway I need to find some kind of solution for heating these rooms, they are not getting enough heat. By the time the heat travels to the room there is not that much force and on top of that the fact that the heat comes from the ceiling doesn't help. Does anyone have any suggestions? I think the duct work to the upstairs is the issue. The guy who installed it put several 90 degree turns in the basement before it runs up to the attic. I think it is loosing much its its force by the time it makes it to the bedrooms. Also he used flex duct in the attic 8" diameter I believe.


  • EJW
    EJW Member Posts: 321
    Heat prob.

    Do all the heat runs in the house have dampers? If not they should. With dampers you could throttle back the 1st floor runs in order to force more to the 2nd floor. EJW
  • Christian Egli
    Christian Egli Member Posts: 277
    But sleeping in the cold is supposed to be healthy?!?

    Usually, over here, people find their radiators to be too cold and dream that a hot air system should cure their problems. This all seems petty in view of what's going on at your place. 56F is cold, specially with no radiator to go curl up against.

    I would have thought your upstairs rooms would be hotter because of convection. How about in the summer, do you get enough air flow?

    Air trickles in through the ceiling register, but how does it go back to the furnace? Are there return grilles? Does it help to keep the doors open? Good return promotes good supply.

    Long legs of flexible ducting, like more than 5-10 ft can restrict flow. This is very true if the tube is kinked. If what you have is not enough, add another leg and fix the kinks.

    Is there perhaps a balancing damper on the branch that goes upstairs at the point where it leave the main duct? Make sure it is open enough.

    There are little electric blowers -air flow boosters- that fit in the register or in the ductwork. You could try that.

    Is your attic space properly insulated?

    If you plan to stay in this house for a long time, consider installing base board heating. It would make it more comfortable in the winter. Especially since you seem to have high ceilings.
  • mark_51
    mark_51 Member Posts: 2

    I don't think there are any dampers. I assume to install them now would be a lot of work? I was considering adding another duct in the bedrooms. I will look at the duct work in the attic, I don't believe there are any kinks. The runs are about 15' long each, the one to the bathroom up there is probably 25'. There are returns in both rooms and the doors are always open, or else the place is REALLY cold. It is very frustrating as I feel most of the problem is from a terrible install job.
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928

    Do you have returns in the bedrooms?
  • Steve_35
    Steve_35 Member Posts: 546
    You need

    to get someone in that can test your system to resolve your problems. Find someone in your area that is certified in air balancing. The folks at www.nationalcomfortinstitute.com may be able to direct you to someone in your area qualified to help you out.
  • EJW
    EJW Member Posts: 321
    Hot Air

    Mark can you feel a big difference in velocity between the 1st floor registers and the 2nd floor? If so you need to slow down the 1st floor to force more to the 2nd. If you have no dampers it is usually not hard to add them. You should go over this system with someone qualified in your area. Good luck. EJW
  • jeff_51
    jeff_51 Member Posts: 545
    let us know where you are located

    some on the wall may be able to help, I mean by physically coming out
  • Steve_35
    Steve_35 Member Posts: 546

    From his description of the upstairs run and the performance of his system I think it's likely he has additional issues that aren't so obvious. Duct leakage and inadequate return air being at the top of the list. Adding dampers may correct the immediate symptom but won't do anything to cure the underlying problems.
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