Heating cooling problem

My house was built in '72 (3 br, 2 1/2 bath). The original owner added a 2 story addition (top part was addition to the master bedroom). Unfortunately, he didn't put in a new furnace to take care of the extra sq. footage. When we bought the house in '04, we put in a new furnace (1 zone) to take care of the 3100 sq. ft. My problem is that the master bedroom is on the top floor at the end of the house and furtherest away from the furnace (bottom floor, opposite end). It is always the hottest or the coldest room in the house. I've got 2 ceiling fans to help with air flow, but it's darn cold in there in the winter. Oh, and the guy put in 4 skylights in the addition where the bed is. We've replaced 2 of them due to the fact that he didn't put the flashing in correctly and the old ones leaked during Gaston in 04. That's when the repair people found the on-going leaking.
My question is: Considering this guy was a DIYer who had wonderful ideas but his implementation sucked BIG time, what can I do before I call in the pros and spend big bucks? I have a feeling he didn't wire things right or that maybe the duct work isn't right.
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JD wrote:

Instead of "re-designing" the whole shoot'n match, why not consider a ductless? They're realatively easy to have installed, take up little space, solve difficult to heat / cool problems, and are extremely efficient.
You could have one condenser [outside unit] that can have two wall mounted air handler's, one larger size for the master bedroom, and one smaller unit for the walk in closet / bathroom area.
Consider you could just heat / cool off the maters bedroom and let the rest of the house be on it's own. Ask you neighborhood HVAC/R professional for a quote today.
--
Zyp



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Well, the house I'm in now is a dual/split system. Separate heating/ cooling for upstairs versus down stairs. Works great. There is enough heat "leakage" due to rising hot air to preclude actually having to use the heat much in the winter upstairs. Summer, I need the cooling. I'd go for the dual system myself. I had a somewhat similar problem in a previous house where the master BR was over the garage. Not enough heat in winter --- furnace was at the other end of the house. Just added an electric heater to the BR. Closing the doors and use of fans seemed to be Ok for cooling, however. By the time we were done, 3 of the 4 bedrooms had ceiling fans. In the new house, I got the pre- wiring done for the fans by the builder, and put them in myself later.
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My suggestion is to call in the pro. Honestly a good pro will save you money. Not having one is what got you into this problem to begin with. You need someone who will do the "Manual" Calculations to measure the heating and cooling loads as well as the needed distribution system. It is not something that can accurately be done by guessing and certainly not by someone without direct access to the location. If you ask about a "manual" calculation and they say "What?" move on.
After doing the calculations and looking at the equipment you have they can suggest what you might need to get everything working properly.

--
Joseph Meehan

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wrote:

We upped the SEER shortly after we bought the place. The original owner nearly doubled the square footage in all of his additions, but never redid the furnace/ac, so during the home inspection, the inspector brought out that we seriously might want to consult an HVAC pro. We did (3 of them) and all came up with the same answer - the furnace was seriously inadaquate for the square footage of the house. My problem is not only is our bedroom seriously under heated/cooled, my daughter's room, which is right above the furnace, gets way too much heat/ac. It's like it all goes to her room and then there's nothing left by the time it gets to ours. The other 2 bedrooms (on the front side of the house) are fine, but ours (on the back side and out at a right angle, gets very little, if any. I also suspect our duct work that's up in the attic needs to be rewrapped or reinsulated. The wrapping that's on it looks like it's the original and it's coming off.
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That is only part of the problem. Once you have adequate sized furnace and AC there is the problem of getting that heated or cooled air to where it is needed. That appears to be your problem. It may need some serious and expensive duct work or it may be a simple balance issue. There may be other options as well. There are several Manual computations. One of them is for the distribution system. That is the one that you need done. Don't go guessing about the duct system. Have the measurements made and have it installed properly.

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Joseph Meehan

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wrote:

This problem is not unusual. All too frequently you see systems installed that provide inadequate air flow to the far ends. They use ducts that are too small, too long for there to be airflow. This isn't rocket science and you'd think it would be done right.
Fixing the problem in the daughters room is likely a lot easier. Just closing off some of the vents to that room will mean less air is going there and more is available to go upstairs. However, you don't want to cut off too much air flow. And it may not make much difference in the upstairs bedroom.
The mistake here was going with a new system without specifically addressing the core problem. Getttin a higher SEER unit only means it uses less electricity compared to a lower SEER unit, not that it's going to somehow fix a far end problem. The correct solution, as someone already pointed out, may have been to go with 2 systems. If your new system is adequate in capacity, then the solution is to get more airflow into the upstairs bedroom. How hard or easy that is depends on the logistics and why you need a pro.
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JD, Your post is a bit confusing. You looked at the home and had an inspection that revealed serious capacity problems. You had 3 companies look at it and your decision was to buy the home and replace the furnace with a bigger one to handle the total home? What did you do with the duct system? You do know the old saying that you can put 10 lbs of shit in a 5 lb bag, right? Quite honestly, its sounds like you will be living with a problem or getting rid of some serious cash. Get a pro, have it evaluated and make a decision. Bubba
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We upped the SEER to take care of the square footage of the house. The original owner had nearly doubled the size of the house BUT had never replaced the original furnace. So, as the inspector told us, the original furnace was adequate for the original house, but inadequate and inefficent for the house now. We put in a newer, Energy Star furnace to handle the house. Granted, most likely the better idea would have been to put in a 2 zone system, but at the time, we didn't have the $. We have closed 1 of the 2 vents in daughter's room and partly closed the 2nd in order to deal with the excess heat. We also have a ceiling fan in there as well because the room is 17 x 18. Our main problem is the adequate lack of heat/ac in our bedroom. Considering this guy did a lot of the stuff himself (and we've just found out that lo and behold, the guy was a home inspector himself), and we've unfortunately found that he cut a lot of corners (we've had the house nearly 4 years now) that we didn't know about, we're not sure what we're facing, but from what you all are telling me, we're definitely going to get the HVAC people out to give us options. I just wanted to ask questions beforehand so I don't look like a total dufus.
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Doesnt have diddly to do with it so Im afraid you Did indeed make yourself look like a "dufus". :-) The SEER wont do anything for your square footage. BTU's is what takes care of that. Higher SEER only allows the equipment to work more efficiently than something older and lower in efficiency. Bubba

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JD wrote:

Hmmm, What a mess! I never buy a second hand house. Always had my house built from scratch wherever I lived to avoid such problem. Ideally you should have 2 zone system and it'll cost $$$ to do it right the first time. Is the addition properly built? I mean building permit was taken out for the work and official building inspection done properly? Is it of sound structure?
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