register placement...


OK, so it's better to have heating registers under windows (where they'll hopefully combat the cold air coming off the glass) in a home and return vents more central - that makes sense.
What about large picture windows, though? Is it better to have one central register below the middle of the window, or two smaller ones to either side?
I was just thinking that if the curtains are shut, most of the cold air is going to be coming around them at the edges rather than in the middle (and if the curtains are open, two side vents should still hopefully help at least a little)
cheers
Jules
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I've been waiting for a real engineer to answer. I guess I'll take a shot and see if they'd rather correct me than answer you.<g>
I'm picturing a window about 8feet wide. And I think I remember you're in Canada. Much smaller and I'd go with one. South of the snowbelt and I'd probably say one, too.
My preference would be for 2 registers, splitting the ductwork with a wye several feet back from the window.. My rationale is that you have a giant cold spot there- but also a spot that the decorator would like to place a table or some obstruction in the center.

Better to have deflectors on those registers- or plan them to 'wash' the wall/window from in front of the curtain line.
And as much as it is good to have registers placed properly, when I bought this old house [near Albany, NY] it had 3 registers down the center of the house- and a cold air return 2 feet from one of them. In spite of that the fuel usage was pretty good- and the house only felt cold on below zero days. I must say the insulation & windows made the most difference- but relocating the registers helped some in both comfort and economy.
Jim

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On Tue, 15 Dec 2009 06:39:36 -0500, Jim Elbrecht wrote:

:-)
Nearly Canada - northern MN. I can almost sneeze on 'em from here :-) We've got a couple of big windows of about 8' wide (7' high) in the downstairs of the house.

True. The way ductwork naturally falls in the basement would mean I can easily have a duct running parallel to both big windows. Very quick drawing of the front wall of the house and potential layout:
http://www.patooie.com/temp/registers.jpg
... furnace in red, registers in green, windows in light blue. That leaves the furnace reasonably central to the house, where it can service a couple more windows (not shown) along the back wall of the house. I could set the ductwork further back, but it makes it more likely to get in the way down in the basement (I'm insulating all that and turning into habitable space)
I suspect some tuning would be needed to get a nice balanced flow to all vents, of course. Ductwork sizing? No idea yet - not got that far :-)

Yeah, I was thinking setting them maybe 7 or 8" back; the big windows extend right to the floor, which means the curtains do too.

OK, that sounds a bit familiar ;) When we moved in we had three big registers (about 10"x10") in the middle of the house. No return at all - the furnace just sucks in nice cold basement air... (for giggles the previous owners put a vent in the basement door in the kitchen, so the furnace eats return air that way - which means it's running right through the basement, and also getting cold air from the back porch opposite the kitchen door).
It's an "interesting" setup :-)
Our furnace is more or less in a sensible place in the basement, although to add proper ducted return-air I really need to move* the return air feed to the other side of the furnace (or turn it through 180 degrees) - it looks possible, although it's a bit of a pain in the butt.
* the furnace design allows the return air on either side at installation, but I'm not certain yet that it can be easily moved after install/setup. Still looking into that one.
There are no ducts at all upstairs - just electric baseboard. Adding any up there would be really hard, too; I'm thinking of going water-filled radiators up there as I can get plastic pipe in reasonably easily. The baseboards are cheap (they're load controlled so work out cheaper than propane) but I don't like 'em in the kids' rooms just in case they decide to leave toys too close to them.

Yeah, we have a problem with windows; they're all 60 year old wood-framed French-style with lots of little 8x10" panes, and they leak air something rotten. They've all got to go, but it's major $$$ to get the same sort of style in modern materials (and we'd rather do the lot at once just so we don't run into the problem where we change a few and then find the manufacturer discontinues the model). Good, heavy curtains help a lot...
cheers
Jules
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Jules wrote:

With the curtains closed there will a reverse convection current between the curtains and the window with cold air coming out of the bottom. Not a good place for feet! Two smaller registers sound like a good idea for the large window.
Not that you mentioned it, but many people still think that "heavy" or "insulated" draperies hold in heat and save money. That is a long lived old wives tale. They may make a tiny difference, maybe .5%. The only way for insulated drapes to really save in heating demand is if they are sealed to the wall all the way around all sides (and middle).
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On Tue, 15 Dec 2009 23:37:59 -0500, Tony wrote:

OK, two votes for smaller... I need to do some reading to figure out exact sizes (and for ductwork too) I suppose :-)

A lot of it comes from Victorian days and open fireplaces, I think - those would suck combustion air in through whatever gap they could find, so having big curtains acting as screens would divert the cold air away from the room's occupants.
Part psychological too, no doubt - a heavy curtain 'feels' like it should be warmer than one you can see daylight through...

Yeah, that makes sense. For the ones on our big windows I made sure there was a nice overlap (the tracks overlap by a few inches at the top), and I put tie-backs at the sides which are handy as when the curtains are closed I can tuck the sides 'behind' the tie-backs so they're flush with the wall. There are still little gaps at the sides toward the top, of course, and behind the rail, but it's better than a gap down the middle and a 3" wide gap all the way down either side.
cheers
Jules
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