Our new central a/c unit does not do much to cool our second
floor...We live in an old house and the ductwork apparently can't
handle the job too well.
We have an exhaust fan in an upstairs window and ceiling fans in the
1. Is it ok to use these while the a/c is on?
2. can the upstairs windows be open to be able to get a breeze at
night, even thought he a/c is on?
It doesn't make energy-wise sense to run the A/C with exhaust fans
and/or windows open. However, you can turn off the A/C and turn on
the fans which will save you about 90% in kwhrs. Your new central
a/c was not properly sized/installed. Perhaps you can put in a
through-the-wall or window a/c unit upstairs.
Agree. And since it's a new system, what did the installer promise
before they installed it? What do they say now? Are there enough
returns upstairs? If not, that is a common problem. Can any of the
returns be opened up more by cutting drywall and installing a bigger
register grill on the opening? How about the attic? Well ventilated
and insulated? If not, get more ventilation/insulation in there,
which will help and also reduce costs in winter
I'd get after the company that did the work. And there is always
small claims court.
Opening a window to get cool air while running the poor performing AC is a
waste of energy, counterproductive to the AC working properly. You need to
get the AC performance right.
There are a few possibilities with your situation and the installer should
be there to inspect and determine the problem. Unless it was a cheap-o
setup and against the recommendation of the installer.
First is the blower speed. Is it running properly? Next is the ducts, both
supply and return. You already know the ducts are not up to snuff, but it
may be possible to improve or change them. They should both have enough
capacity to handle the needs of each room on each floor and they must be
balanced. One thing you can do to force more cooler air to the second floor
is to cut back the registers on the first floor.
Try closing the 1st floor registers. This should force the cold air to the
2nd floor, where it will drift down and still cool the 1st floor. Of
course, this is just temp solution until you can get it fixed correctly.
They have Ductless Mini-Split Systems whereby one condenser outdoors can
serve several rooms.
Do a google or Yahoo search for Ductless Mini-Split Systems.
Use your imagination and install some kind of an air block at the top of
If not already installed, put dampers on the upstairs ducts & size the
first floor AC to handle that heatload.
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