Heating in living room very uneven and uncomfortable in winter

We live in a tri level home in the Midwest. About ten years ago we put an addition on the home, a large living room, entry hall, hallway, coat closet, pantry and half bath. We are so uncomfortable in the living room in the winter. The heat is uneven, and it just never seems comfortable in winter. We have a gas fireplace (glass front, no blower, small vent straight out only), but it has proven to be a bit expensive to run all the time. We do not sit on any of the outside walls.
The living room is in the best insulated part of our home. We have Anderson wood insulated windows. The room is completely carpeted. It is 16 1/2' by 24'. It also has a low cathedral ceiling (10' ?) and ceiling fan. It is over a crawl space. The walls of the crawl space are insulated with foam sheet insulation. There is a sliding glass door at one end and an equal width window on the front of the house. Both have curtains, though not insulated drapes. We also have a room humidifier for the winter. The room is separated from the rest of the house by a hallway, the entry hall, the coat closet and the pantry. The entry hall does have a heat register.
We are always cold in this room. I suspect part of the problem is it is too far from the furnace. We installed a new larger gas furnace when we did the addition. It is in the old part of the house. I have really just suffered with the cold every winter until I started babysitting in a home with 22 foot ceilings. I am comfortable in that living room all day long and the thermostat there is set on the same temperature as ours. The house even faces the same direction as ours. It also has windows on each end of the room about equal to the same square footage as ours. That house is older than our addition.
I took an electronic thermometer around to every room, left it about 10-15 minutes and was shocked to find the living room was actually the warmest of all the rooms. The rest of the rooms only varied as little as three degrees. The thermostat is in the lower level of the tri level, in a finished room, in the middle of the old house, by an open staircase and it registers three degrees less than the room it is in. (the temperature was three degrees higher on the thermometer than the thermostat) I was planning on adjusting some of the dampers in the heating ducts with the hope of making the living room warmer.
I am stumped as to what we should do to improve the heat in this room. It has three heat registers in it, two with heat deflectors on them to direct the heat into the room away from the curtains. Only one is blocked by furniture so I keep the table away from it. I would hate to put up insulated drapes, as I planned the room so we would have natural light in the morning and evening.
I need some suggestions on what we should do to make this room more comfortable? Should we insulate the pipes so the heat coming into the room is warmer when it gets here? Should I still try to adjust the dampers to get more heat into the room? I am afraid doing that now that I took the temperature in all the rooms that I would make them too cold. I don't know off hand the R values of the insulation in the walls and ceiling, but the ceiling was about double that in the rest of the house. In the hot summer it is a very comfortable room. Suggestions??
Thank you for the time and help.
Autumn
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I'm no expert, but you didn't mention any cold air returns. Without them, the cold air in a room has nowhere to go and the air just stratifies, with nowhere to go. A room that size seriously needs a good cold air return. If you have celining fans, they might help even it out some but you must have the cold air returns. Sounds like a talk with the contractor was in order a long time ago; maybe it's not too late?
Twayne
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Sorry, YES we do have a cold air return. I thought if it myself after sending my question.
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You said the living room was the warmest room in the house by 3 degrees so there is no problem with the the heat itself and adjusting dampers or anything else with the system will make no difference. Perhaps it's your ceiling fan? Have you verified direction? Winter up, Summer down. Even with the fan going in the proper rotation depending on the build of the room it can cause a draft.
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Ceiling fan is set up for winter, down for summer.

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comfortable air temperature. I once lived in a small uninsulated apartment near Cape Cod and it was often very chilly with the air temperature at 80 degrees. Heat will radiate from your body to the cold surface. Do not allow the room to get too cold when unoccupied or it will take a long time to warm up all the furnishings and surfaces. Check them with an infrared thermometer or by feeling. Insulated drapes would likely help quite a bit.
Don Young
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This might very well be a lot of the problem. I did not think to mention that we have an electronic thermostat that I have set to go to 58 in the daytime when we are at work. I have it turn itself up an hour before we get home. I will play with this and see if an hour earlier (or more) might help. I never thought of this. The pantry and coat closet probably remain at 58 even after the heat increases for the evening and we sit against the wall they are behind. Of course they have no heat in them, only what warms it from the hall, dining room and the living room.
Thank you,
Autumn

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For even heat put it at 70 or whatever you like, leave fan ON all the time, and get a furnace humidifier, April Air has one that tracks outside temp,
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You get home and sit in a cold chair, of course you are cold the furniture and wall might take 6 hrs to heat up. Do a 1f setback and put fan to On. You dont save as much as you think with the setback.
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Autumn wrote:

When your thermostat was installed, was the hole in the wall behind the thermostat sealed with insulation to keep cold air inside the wall from affecting the thermostat? Whenever I place a thermostat, I always install it on an interior wall by the return air if possible. It would surprise you how something so simple could have such a great effect on your HVAC performance.
TDD
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I really dont understand completely, you say the living room is cold but you say its the hottest room. You say the thermostat temp is not thermometer temp, so one is uncalibrated. If it is the warmest room and you are cold are you not cold in the colder rooms. You said the humidifier in in the living room, move that to the middle of the house, Although humidity will make a home more comfortable the room it is in will give an effect on air temp if its a big humidifier since it takes heat to evaporate water, you may not believe this but try it. I put a 5 galon per day unit infront of a radiator where the thermostat was, When we run it continualy we have to lower the thermostat 2-3f degrees it cools the hall so much at near 0f outside.
Ducts should all be sealed and insulated, sealed with mastic and insulated with thick duct fiberglasss insulation, this stops leaks, gets your heat and AC where you want it and will lower your utility bill.
Take off the registers in the living room, more air should flow, dont block ducts, deflectors are good
If you cut other ducts to much, or maybe at all it can raise the air furnaces temperature higher than its safe design temp, a heat pro needs to check the high output temp just at the Top of the furnace before you cut things alot.
Get a few more good digital thermometers and turn up the heat.
Uneven heat is probably a poor duct design issue, you say the furnace is larger so you need someone else to check things to see if it was done right, it probably was not. Get curtains insulated, you will save money with AC and heat, close them at night. Cellular shades that seal well are almost equal to R3.5" or an inch of fiberglass insulation
I still am confused you say its warmer in the living room but its the warmest room, maybe the heating contractor did not do things right on duct placement but you need someone to insulate ducts so get a pro out.
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I believe he said the room "feels" colder, even though it's the warmest room according to the thermometer.
One thing I bet is that this is the only room that they just sit in. A room will feel warmer when you're moving around, or have just finished with an activity. When you sit there, your body cools off and then the room starts to feel cold.
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On Jan 12, 10:46am, snipped-for-privacy@rochester.rr.com wrote:

The body doesn't feel absolute temperature but heat flow.
Heat is flowing out of the body faster than it likes.
Since you have proven via thermometer that the air is warm enough, the heat is not flowing from body to air.
Therefore it is flowing via radiation from body to cold surface. Either it is flowing to cold walls, or more likely right through your windows to the cold outside.
Making the air warmer is not going to help. You have two options: block the flow (drapes on the windows, tapestries on the wall; or supply an additional warm heat source that will radiate to your body without heating the air. That 22 foot ceiling in your neighbor's house is doing #2. Hot air is stratifying up at the ceiling. That heat is radiating down to your body. You can't make your ceiling higher. You could theoretically add a radiator or two. But I'll bet you could significantly improve comfort by pulling drapes.
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On Jan 12, 9:46am, snipped-for-privacy@rochester.rr.com wrote:

Temp should be read where she sits and compared to other rooms at different levels, maybe there are drafts, big windows dont help unless sun is shining in. My tenants apt is 74, his bed in on the floor with no frame or spring set under the window and he complained he is cold at night, its 10f out at night new thermal pane windows, I told him move his bed, pay rent, and wake up, of course its cold under a window on the floor.
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On Sun, 11 Jan 2009 20:06:23 -0500, "Autumn"

measurements needed do the numbers, using the proper "manual" formats, and then make suggestions for your specific situation. Clearly the first tech did not do it right or he just did as someone told him.
    In any case it is rather difficult for someone who can't see and measure and who may not have local knowledge to make good recommendations in this situation. There is not one size fits all cure.
    You should be congratulated for providing more information than most people provide.

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