Author Topic: Air Conditioning Question  (Read 3244 times)

sassy1234

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Air Conditioning Question
« on: May 27, 2014, 08:41:13 AM »
I turn my air conditioning on when it get above 85 degrees.  I cannot stand sweeting while I sleep. 

The problem that I am having is that my first floor is freezing, while my second floor (where my bedroom is), it still extremely hot.  I only want 2 bedrooms air-conditioned.  There is a hallway in between the rooms, and my family moves between those rooms a lot during the evening and morning. 

Should I consider 2 window units?  I have concerns because the upfront cost is high, and because we are in and out of those rooms a lot, and have concerns over loosing the cool air. 

Or is there a way to redirect air from the first floor to the second?

Any thoughts?  Thanks! 

innkeeper77

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Re: Air Conditioning Question
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2014, 08:54:53 AM »
When my apartment had this issue (a 3 story townhouse with lots of students..) we went farther than simply closing off the downstairs vents, we actually did things like put books on top of the vents so that no air pressure at all could escape downstairs, since only upstairs vents were open. If you have wall or ceiling vents, and the normal closing action still lets too much air through, try taping something over it to fully seal it off.

Unless you have a leak, redirecting air should be easy. You just have to be sure you find every single vent! (or most at least)

Greg

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Re: Air Conditioning Question
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2014, 09:10:08 AM »
In addition, depending on how your system is designed, you may be able to set the recirculation fan to "on" (continuous run) at night so that the air in the home is more evenly distributed, spreading out the cool and hot air evenly.  Depending on how your system is set up, this might help a lot.

workathomedad

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Re: Air Conditioning Question
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2014, 09:20:52 AM »
Do you have a intake vent in the basement or near cold areas?

My house was designed primarily to combat cold, so unfortunately (for summer) the intake vents are mostly upstairs, near the ceiling (i.e., pulling in the hottest air possible).

nereo

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Re: Air Conditioning Question
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2014, 09:28:58 AM »
I turn my air conditioning on when it get above 85 degrees.  I cannot stand sweeting while I sleep. 

The problem that I am having is that my first floor is freezing, while my second floor (where my bedroom is), it still extremely hot.

Or is there a way to redirect air from the first floor to the second?
It sounds like your problem is one of air circulation ("my first floor is freezing, while my second floor [is] extremely hot").  A much cheaper solution is to solve the air circulation problem by using fans, which will be much cheaper and effective than air conditioning. Remember, warm air will want to rise and cold air will want to sink.  To start, you'll want to chase down any air leaks like innkeeper77 suggestion.
First, what are your night-time temps?  If they are comfortable (say low 70s)  the easiest solution may be to put a simple $20 box-fan in one of the upper windows set to push air *out*, and crack a window in the bottom floor.  That will draw the cold air up through the house and into the bedrooms.  This is what I did when I lived in Virginia and it worked very well, except when nighttime temps went into the 80s.
Another approach is to set up paths to have the air recirculate.  If your home has good ductwork you can either use the recirculation fans (if they have them) to pull air from the top floors and deliver it to the bottom floor.  Or you can set up a simple fan on the ducts to set up a convection cell.  Placing a high-volume fan at the base of each staircase pointing up will help force the cold air up.

geekette

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Re: Air Conditioning Question
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2014, 10:27:40 AM »
We found that our ductwork had dampers installed in the big ducts in the crawlspace.  Adjusting those so more air went upstairs made a big difference.

furrychickens

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Re: Air Conditioning Question
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2014, 11:13:56 AM »
Plugging some of the ducts downstairs should help a lot. That's what my parents have always done in a tall, narrow 2-story.

I'd try that and running the furnace fan always on first. Add one supplemental air conditioner upstairs if need be.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Air Conditioning Question
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2014, 11:21:11 AM »
I'm confused as to whether you are talking about central air or window units.

If you are talking about window units, you need a low powered window unit in each bedroom.  When they are running, you keep the respective bedroom doors closed at all times.  This way, you are only cooling the areas you need to cool and are protecting the bedrooms from the warmer air that comes upstairs through the stairs and hallway.  When everyone is asleep, you either turn the air off downstairs or leave the thermostat at a warmer setting.  If you are talking about central air, there are a multitude of issues that might cause this.


sassy1234

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Re: Air Conditioning Question
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2014, 09:04:44 AM »
Thanks everyone.  Closing the vents on the first floor has made a difference. 

I have 2 vents that will not close however.  What is the best way to seal it?   

I will try running the fan in a few days if necessary. 

furrychickens

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Re: Air Conditioning Question
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2014, 09:07:18 AM »
Stuff an old pillow or towel in it. Cut a stiff piece of cardboard. Lots of ways, just look around the house and see what works.