My central AC unit is on the 3rd floor and we get no relief on the first
floor. The only intake is in the ceiling of the second floor and the
HVAC specialist tells me that that's the problem. His proposed solution
is a second AC system for the first floor.
I'm thinking: why not take one of the outlet ducts and convert them to
an intake? Crazy enough to work?
Far too little info to even guess. It depends on the layout of the
the location and number of all the returns and outlets, if the
system is of sufficient capacity for the house, etc. If the existing
system is large enough and it's possible to add significant return
to the first floor, that will help. If the system is undersize or
marginal, then a seperate system for the first floor sounds
I can tell you that turning one outlet duct into a return is unlikely
to make a material difference. You have no returns on the
first floor. Just taking one outlet and making it into a return is
not going to have enough duct capacity to do much. And you
will obviously loose that outlet, which isn't what you want to do
Without knowing more it's difficult to provide advice for this one.
Where are you located? Is this an older house or a new house? Does
the system provide heat as well as cool? Was the system originally
sized to service the whole house? Did it ever cool the bottom floor?
Does it have zone controls or is it just one thermostat?
Generally if the house has a fairly open floor plan having one return
on the 2nd floor is not automatically a bad thing. There should be
dampers on the unit that would allow you to cut back the air going to
the upper floors forcing more air to the bottom. If the system
provides heat and cooling you will need to adjust the dampers at the
beginning of each summer and winter.
On Sun, 10 Jul 2011 19:24:31 -0400, Sam Takoy wrote:
That would only allow enough air flow in as this small duct would allow,
assuming you could find this duct and reroute it properly. The inlet needs
to be larger than the outputs. Three floors is a lot to cover with one AC
unit and one return air. It doesn't sound like it was installed correctly.
All 3 floors need return air and an oversized inlet and fan to cover that
Is the third fllor an attic unit or usable living space? Where are
the present outlets and returns? If it is working well, the cold air
from the second floor should settle down to the first floor. Is this
a new problem or has it always been this way??? Too many questions,
too little information provided.
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