Exposed AC duct work?

I am trying to figure out how I can cool my living room.
The living room is about 35' x 20', it has a A-framed roof with a vault ceiling. That looks like this:
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w67/143house/family%20room/M994684_501_22.jpg
This room is very hot due to the fact that it has three sets of glass doors that opens to the pool, and there is only one AC vent from one wall. I think I need to add a few ceiling fans as well as a few additional ac vents.
I think it is logical to hang the ceiling fans off the middle beam that runs across the room.
But how do I go about adding vents? I think there is no solution but to construct some sort of a exposed duct work right? I am not sure it would look right though. Any thoughts?
Yes, carpets and drapes and wood paneling WILL go, soon.
Thanks,
MC
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http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w67/143house/family%20room/M994684_501_22.jpg
Is there any way to knock out the solar gain from the doors? What's behind those walls?
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MichaelB
www.michaelbulatovich.ca
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Three walls are lined with wood panels. The one to the right side with windows is an exterior wall. There is nothing behind the wood panels, no insulation. The exterior wall is a solid poured concrete wall, then furing strips are attached to the wall, then the wood panels on the furing strips. No insulation whatsoever.
Opposite to that exterior wall is a set of sliding glass doors:
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w67/143house/courtyard/P1000549.jpg
On the inside up top is another set of unreachable windows:
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w67/143house/family%20room/P1000536.jpg
I guess I need to see if these windows and doors may be tinted or insulated better.
In any case I believe I need more than one AC vent in this big room.
Thanks!
MC
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You should look at ways of keeping the heat out, too. If you close off the clerestory you'd have a symmetrical room section and a triangular wedge of space to distribute AC. You should talk to a mechanical designer.
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MichaelB
www.michaelbulatovich.ca
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Ever thought of getting rid of that dark wood?
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Yes the wall paneling will go - soon, VERY soon, that is only two projects away.
MC :)
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Nice looking room.
Looks like you have clerestory windows up high. I'd work out a way to make at least some of those operable, so that you aren't trapping hot air up there. Another option is to put some vents and a fan up there - that could help mitigate the heat.
You might also try to push the roof out some in front of those windows, to shade them better and cut solar heat gain while keeping the view to the pool.
The other thing to do is Don's idea. Build a soffit above the windows on the right of the photo, run the duct in that, and put vents on the face of it.
Architecturally I'd back off putting in an exposed duct. It's just not in the language of the room. That's my two cents.
Subject: Exposed AC duct work? Date: Saturday, May 05, 2007 8:39 PM
I am trying to figure out how I can cool my living room.
The living room is about 35' x 20', it has a A-framed roof with a vault ceiling. That looks like this:
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w67/143house/family%20room/M994684_501_22.jpg
This room is very hot due to the fact that it has three sets of glass doors that opens to the pool, and there is only one AC vent from one wall. I think I need to add a few ceiling fans as well as a few additional ac vents.
I think it is logical to hang the ceiling fans off the middle beam that runs across the room.
But how do I go about adding vents? I think there is no solution but to construct some sort of a exposed duct work right? I am not sure it would look right though. Any thoughts?
Yes, carpets and drapes and wood paneling WILL go, soon.
Thanks,
MC
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I agree that exposed duct does not feel right. I was hoping may be there is something that is "rectangular" I can "tuck" above the large beam running across the room, but even that would not look right.
I will be hanging two to three fans from that big beam. I will need to take a look at the windows to see if I can tint it in some way to cut down the heat. Those windows up high and the sliding glass doors below are exposed to the south.
I was thinking about Don's idea of a soffit and that ran into a problem too. I posted that in Don's thread.
Thanks,
MC

http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w67/143house/family%20room/M994684_501_22.jpg
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MiamiCuse wrote:

Hi MiamiCuse,
I'm not an architect, but I play one on alt.architecture...
Scene 1, Take 1:
Adam's idea of possibly extending the roofline over the windows sounds interesting... maybe with some kind of canvas?
I wouldn't necessarily completely rule out an exposed duct, especially if you're going to be changing the nature of the design by taking out the wood walls and carpeting (carpet replaced by what?), etc.. Some exposed vents can really add to the design and style of the place and change the style and language for the better. It depends where you want to go with it. Personally, I love eclectic, but it might be hard to do well. (Are you using some computer visualizations for some answers? I'd recommend that for sure.)
Don mentioned white-walling the ceiling: That would also change the nature of the design and add light and a greater feeling of space and probably extra heat with it. White-walling might actually work better with some kinds of exposed ducts, and bring out, by counterpointing, the chimney's nice stone, but of course, you lose some of the beauty of the wood, but then again, it might also better bring out the beauty of the remaining wood (rafters?) that's left exposed.
Cut!

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MiamiCuse wrote:

http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w67/143house/family%20room/M994684_501_22.jpg
Adding vents would assuredly require upsizing the system. Reworking an old system, running duct, trying to hide the duct...I don't see it. It might work if you have an older AC unit. There are rebates from the utility companies for upgrading to a higher SEER unit.
Look into mini split ACs. They're easy to install, flexible, and could be used to supplement the existing system as needed. Some of the newer interior units, the wall hung part, are about 24" square and project from the wall about five inches. You could hide it with a picture if it bothered you.
If there's no insulation above that wood ceiling, and I'm sure there's not, you really can't cool that room adequately with AC alone. The radiant heat from the ceiling would make you uncomfortable even if the air temperature at people level was acceptable.
Those clerestory windows should certainly be utilized. Swapping out the handles for hooks so you can use an extension wand is a no- brainer. They also make retrofit motorized operators that can be ganged together. Push a button they all open or close. That would take advantage of the natural chimney effect of the cathedral ceiling and might allow you to reduce your AC bill substantially.
It's not an either/or proposition. I think you'd need to use both AC, added insulation and the clerestories whenever possible to make it work.
R
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If you're going to use uncolored aluminum venetians, or even the modern woodens or these "fabric" ones (that slide up instead of down), they might go well with an exposed oversized metal duct with stylish downward-pointing circular vents and make the space look more contemporary and feel more relaxed.

Yes, it seems a little problematic, and why work with something you want to change in other ways anyway?

I wonder how sexy they are though. Who says ventilation can't be sexy?

Which makes sense to insulate the ceiling and drywall it. I'm curious about the rooftop, too, because I hear they can contribute a fair degree to heating the inside, depending on the color and materials, and also heard of people somehow making them a lighter color for less radiation absorption.

Most definitely.

I wonder if the chimeny, itself, could somehow be repurposed for AC, too. I mean, it's yet another route out for air.
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How did you deliver the sex he wants?
MC
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I am planning on a multi-prone approach.
Since I am removing the wood paneling on the walls, I will insulate the walls before I put drywall up.
I am going to find a way to get a few AC vents in there. The AC unit most definitely needs to be upgraded but that's ok, it's 10 years beyond it's useful life and it needs to be replaced anyways.
Two to three ceiling fans will be installed.
I have to take a closer look at the clerestory windows. I may have to make screens for them and I never tried to open them, I will see if a extender wand can be found and make it possible to open them.
I have to tint the sliding glass doors and the windows.
After that I will do an assessment and see. If it's still hot then I have to consider supplemental wall units as well as replacing the sliding glass doors with good quality glass doors.
Thanks!
MC
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