Our house currently has one older gas furnace (40 yrs old) with one set of
ducts that run between the first and second floors. The ducts branch such
that our suite (upstairs) has registers on the floor and the tenant's suite
(downstairs) has registers on the walls. I was interested in dividing the
heating for the house by installing a gas fireplace upstairs, along with
electric heaters in the bedrooms upstairs. We would then close off the
furnace registers such that the furnace only heats the downstairs suite.
I'm wondering if by closing off our registers (either by closing the dampers
or installing something to block the ducts) will we cause problems for the
furnace or for the downstairs suite? By halving the space that the furnace
feeds, will the furnace cycle frequency increase (more on/off cycles) and
thereby cause more wear on the furnace? The cold air return is in our
suite, is this a problem (obviously we won't block off the cold air return)?
What potential issues should I be aware of?
Any other suggestions for how I can create two separate heating zones for
our house? While the above scenario would probably work, it's likely quite
inefficient for the downstairs suite. Probably the best solution would be
to get a new more efficient furnace and install a second run of ducts. This
would be extremely expensive though, I think. If I were to go this route,
are there any required features for the furnace (variable speed fan, dual
You do not provide any information on why this is the course that you want
Call a couple of pros and ask them. The gas fireplace upstairs might be a
problem. Does your local area allow for non vented gas appliances?
Heat rises and damping down the upstairs registers to an point will not
affect the heater. However if you restrict the air to much you can create
Electric heat will cost more than the main heater doing the job.
Zoning the system with automatic dampers could help or be exactly what you
need. I doubt that you would be interested in the cost.
Might be time to look at an new system and have some bids done for your
We would then close off the
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We have two separate suites with tenants downstairs. We should have
separate heating in order to meet code. I'm not sure if individual furnace
registers are considered to be separate controls. There's only one
thermostat which pretty much guarantees only one suite will have enough heat
or not too much heat. In order to ensure that no-one is ever freezing, the
furnace has to be on all the time.
the gas fireplace is okay, we have an existing fireplace. we'd just get a
I've replied to the m.ramsley about this, but one of my big problems is
actually finding a pro to look into this for me. It may sound dumb, but I
don't know where to go for pro advice/bids. I agree that this is what I
should do though.
This might be a stupid question, but where do I look for pros on heating?
I've tried to tap into three resources so far and frankly none of them
seemed terribly pro.
1) yellow pages - Furnaces, Heating: almost all of these listings are for
cleaning and repairing furnaces
2) Furnace retailers: seem to know a bit about heating but interested mostly
in selling me their most expensive systems
3) yellow pages - contractors: general contractors seem to know a little bit
about everything but they're not heating pros
It's been kind of a frustrating experience for me trying to even talk to
someone that really knows their stuff.
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