advise requested

Hi all, We live in Atlanta and have a 1965 built brick ranch home on a full finished basement. Each floor is about 1850 sq. ft. The central gas heat is an Amana, 80%, 73,000 btu unit and the AC compressor unit is a 3.5 ton 1989 Ruud SEER 9. The AC condensor unit is wrapped so I can't see what it is but it seems the AC was replaced long ago and the heater not so long ago. We bought this home last year. The previous owner finished the basement and in the process cut into the duct work and added three conditioned registars for the basement area but no additional return registars. The problem is that the AC wouldn't cycle if the temp was set below about 82 degrees on a mid 90 degree day. I installed a radiant barrier on the underside of the roof rafters and tinted all the storm windows with a heat reducing window film. Now the system will cycle at about 78 degrees on a mid 90 degree day. The thermostat is in the typical hallway location. The basement is open to the upstairs just like a traditional 2-story home - no way to close them off from one another. During the winter the basement is not adaquately heated. I'm want to contact some contractors for opinions and quotes on correcting the system's inability to heat/cool the home adaquately. Would someone give my guidance on what a good contractor should be doing to diagnose and correct the system? Can anyone recommend a good contractor in the Atlanta area to contact? Should I be considering a second system, maybe an attic installiation for the main floor and turn the current system into one for the basement? Thanks, Robbie
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wrote:

just add a thermostat in every room, that will solve your problem.
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That is dumb suggestion unless it was joke Dido
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Okay. I'm in Atlanta also. There will be a bit of opening your post up and dissecting it.

Probably heat the upstairs well, but not the downstairs. It was designed to heat the upstairs only. 73K isn't a lot, especially for both floors.

Kinda common to replace the furnace and not the outside. Scary, but common. I have no clue what you mean by 'wrapped,' but that may not be good.

See my first paragraph.

So, what do you think gave you the best savings, tinting the windows or the radaint barrier?

to
There is a door to the basement in my house.

It never will be with that system.

You need a complete heat load done (Manual J) on the house.

I'm listed, but you need to go through www.kudzu.com. Find a contractor that will actually do the heat loads.

I'd at the least consider a zoning system, but a second system would probably work better, depending on the layout of the existing system. You could use the zoning system for the basement and the main floor.

Your welcome.
In my house, the heat for the basement comes from ductwork for the upstairs. It doesn't do much good during the real cold days. I'm planning on installing HW baseboard for the basement and that will provide a heat 'barrier' against the cold air infiltration. Yes, that means a boiler soon, too.
Good luck.
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HeatMan wrote:

Heatman, Thanks for the Manual J and zoning suggestions, those are the kinds of ideas I was seeking. I think the radiant barrier offered the more than the tinting in the way of reducing heat intrusion as I only have a few of my windows that get sun and then only for a part of the day. I have a lot of trees surrounding my home which block the sun from the windows but not the roof. My attic temp has dropped about 15 degrees so far...I just finished doing that project and we haven't had a really hot weekend day for me to really tell how much difference it has made on a 90 degree plus day. My condenser is wrapped in an insulated foil material that I'm hesitant to remove and replace just to find an ID tag. Given that the ductwork is exposed or accessable in the basement ceiling it would be easy to re-direct it to serve the basement and my attic has adaquate space to install a horizantal HVAC unit and to run ductwork for ceiling registars and returns. I can also get new gas and electric service there without any problems as well as run a condensation drain to an eve so a second system would be pretty easy to install. Thanks, Robbie
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