zoning questions

Hello everyone, I have a 2 story home with a basement approx 3/4 finished. Each level is approx 1500 sq ft. My hvac unit is a Trane XV 80 ( gas ) that was installed about 5 yrs ago by the previuos owners. The house is about 15 yrs old so I dont think the insulation is all that bad. My problem is that about 30% of the first floor which is the family/tv room has a vaulted ceiling and the master bedroom on the 2nd floor sits directly above a 2 car garage. I am going to assume ( yes I do know the ass out of you and me saying ) that the unit that was installed is sufficent. I did do some homework and found that the 2nd stage wasnt even hooked up, not even a jumper, so I jumped the terminals and the 2nd stage comes on after a delay of about 10 min. There was a big difference in the fan speed and made somewhat of a difference. It still gets extremely cold in the master bedroom, I guess
from the garage ( We live in NJ so it can get pretty cold ). I had installed an R-30 in the attic on top of the existing R-19, so the combination of the two should be good. I am also going to remove the ceiling in the garage and do the same (this should help with the bedroom), and go for 2 new and well insulated garage doors. Would it be
worth putting the 1st and 2nd floors on two zones.With the heating prices rising, I am not all that that comfortable for the price we are paying, wouldnt be so bad if we were comfortable. We keep all the vents
in the basement closed because that space is rarely used. I have all the access to both main feeds in the unfinished portion in the basement
and I can "do it myself", also would wrapping the ductwork also be worth it. Sorry for the long story, but I wanted you to have all the information to base your answer. Thanks for any info on this subject
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On 3 Apr 2006 12:46:50 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Other than "we are not all that comfortable", you haven't described what problem you're trying to solve.
(I'm guessing, although you don't ever say, that you're using forced hot air, are are talking about your heating system)
During cold days, is the furnace running more or less continuously? If not, then you have reserve heating capacity.
Which rooms are too cold, and are any too hot? The basic principle is pretty easy: You want more air into and out of the rooms that are too cold, and less air into and out of the rooms that are too hot. If you have a space with much wider temperature swings than the others, (in other words, it gets too hot while the heat is running, and then gets cold before the other rooms) then you need to restrict the amount of air that moves through that room when the heat isn't on. (Stairs are a frequent problem), insulate it better, or put that space on a separate zone. If you have a space that you want heated on a different schedule than the rest of the house, (That rarely used basement, and possibly bedrooms) then again, they want a separate zone. I dunno how easy it is to zone forced air, though.
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I would like to put the upstairs on one zone and lower the temp during the day and put the downstairs on another zone and lower that temp at night. A friend of mine just put in electric dampers and another therm. and says that is o.k. But I have read that you have to either bleed some pressure through the damper or recycle it back into the return so the pressure in and out of the unit is balanced correctly.Would it really make a difference in cost and or comfort.Any comments good or bad would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again for your time.
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