It's cold upstairs

Discussion in 'HVAC' started by swimmer_spe, Dec 10, 2018.

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  1. Dec 10, 2018 #1

    swimmer_spe

    swimmer_spe

    swimmer_spe

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    I live in a 2 story semi detached house that is heated by a single stage NG forced air furnace.

    I have the Ecobee 3 Lite installed in my home. It is on the main floor.
    I have a digital thermometer that I have in my bedroom. There seems to be a 1 degree Celsius difference between the main floor and the upstairs with the upstairs being cooler.

    Now before you tell me that I need more insulation in my attic. I need to inform you that my home inspector when I bought the house that there is about 40 inches of blown in and batten fiberglass insulation.

    The house is almost 50 years old. Could the wall insulation have settled enough that it is causing it to be cooler? Other thoughts?
     
  2. Dec 10, 2018 #2

    Steve123

    Steve123

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    Close the dampers on the downstairs heat registers a little.

    But one degree is not much. You could spend a lot of time chasing adjustments trying to get perfect balance. I hope you determined this one degree difference by moving the one digital thermometer upstairs then downstairs, rather than using two devices. One degree is probably the accuracy level of the digital thermometer or thermostat, on a good day.
     
  3. Dec 10, 2018 #3

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    It has nothing to do with insulation and everything to do with zoning and balancing.


    You only have one point in the house that’s controlling the whole house and the system tries to keep that point the right temp.


    As an example I also have a 2 story home with a single T-stat on the first floor. When I wake up in the morning and our bedroom feels warm I know it is extra cold outside and the furnace has been cycled a lot over night. When I wake up and the bedroom feels cool I know the temp outside has warmed and the house held its heat from the day before and the furnace didn’t run much over night. I mess around with the ducts and adjust them to try and balance the heat but it is next to imposable to get it correct for both conditions, so I find a happy spot in the middle. The only fix would be two furnaces or a supplemental upstairs furnace and two T-stats or separate T-stats and some kind of adjustable control on the duct work.


    I just live with it as that’s the simplest and we are only talking a couple degrees.
     
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  4. Dec 13, 2018 #4

    pjones

    pjones

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    Return air could be playing a large factor in this. Of the rooms door is not undercut or does not have a return air register in it, and the door remains closed then you will have a hard time heating the room.

    Closing the middle floor registers a little on the second floor can help also but be aware that closing off too much can cause premature failure of your heat exchanger and in extreme cases it will cause your unit to lock out on a safety device. Little bits should be ok. All top floor registers should be full open if all the rooms are experiencing this same lower tempura tire. If they are closed them you found your problem and you don't need to restrict the air at the lower floor registers.

    If you have AC then you will find the balancing of the system will almost never be spot on like you are trying to do. Heat gain and heat loss will be a little different in the different seasons, without redesigning the whole system you will need to settle for "good enough" or expect to make the changes seasonally.

    If your upstairs thermometer is mounted on the outside wall or placed near a window then you should move it to a position that is not going to be affected by those conditions.

    And as mentioned before. Use the same thermometer to measure both locations.

    Hope that helps.
     
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  5. Dec 14, 2018 #5

    swimmer_spe

    swimmer_spe

    swimmer_spe

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    A few things:
    1) thermostat is on an inside wall.
    2) No ac, it's winter after all.
    3) Door to cold room is left open.
     
  6. Dec 14, 2018 #6

    pjones

    pjones

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    I wasn't suggesting that you were using AC at this time but rather that it is going to mean the air balancing may be off from your preferences come summer time if you manage to get it perfect for winter. Not the end of the world but just to make you aware. Since that's not the case here then it's not of concern.
     
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  7. Dec 19, 2018 #7

    EdInKentucky

    EdInKentucky

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    If your upstairs bedroom is only 1 degree different from the 1st floor, your system is balanced pretty well.
     
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  8. Jan 10, 2019 #8

    Diehard

    Diehard

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    That's 1 degree C difference, which is 1.8 degrees F, difference.

    What's a "semi detached house" look like?
    Does the first floor heat not rise to the 2nd floor?
     

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