Two Story Home - Second Level Temperature

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by rpcyclone2013, Apr 7, 2020.

  1. rpcyclone2013

    rpcyclone2013 Member

    Jan 4, 2017
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    Hey Fanatics. The warm temperatureS today and working in the southern facing bedroom got me thinking. How do you cool your second level? I know having zones is the way to go, but we don’t have that at this point in time. What other alternatives do you use? Portable air conditioners? Fans? Blackout shades?

    TIA
     
  2. lionnusmb

    lionnusmb Active Member

    Dec 30, 2008
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    Blackout shades for one. Second, I close all the vents in the basement and first floor. This makes all the cold air release on the second floor and keeps the thermostat from recognizing the colder temp of the first floor without cooling the second floor.

    Some would recommend against closing all but the second floor vents because the air conditioner might freeze the cooler fins. Thinking there might not be enough airflow through system because of the restriction. We have never had a problem however.
     
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  3. CyTwins

    CyTwins Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2010
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    This is what I do and have no issues. It's still warmer on the second floor but way better than it would be if I didn't do it
     
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  4. CyCrazy

    CyCrazy Well-Known Member

    Dec 17, 2008
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    I tried the closing vents in my 1st house, and it was old as hell but froze the fins like a rock. It was comical.

    I do have blackout shades in my bedrooms now and they are great but in an office would probably suck.
     
  5. AgronAlum

    AgronAlum Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2014
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    We’ve got a portable AC unit that sits on the floor. It’s just our master bedroom, not any of the other upper level rooms. We’ve got a goofy split level and the longest run is to our bedroom, so it’s to be expected.

    We replaced the AC unit the end of last summer and it hasn’t really been tested in the hot weather yet. Hopefully the need for the portable AC unit will change.
     
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  6. rpcyclone2013

    rpcyclone2013 Member

    Jan 4, 2017
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    Does the portable AC unit work well? If it does, what brand do you have?
     
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  7. Stewo

    Stewo Well-Known Member

    Oct 29, 2008
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    Our previous house was a newer build, 2 story and we always had issues with the upstairs being significantly warmer. Now, we live in a 90 year old house and the registers come out of the floor opposed to the ceiling and don't have near the issues. And this house is 1,000 more square feet. I really think having the longer runs in the HVAC system kills that efficiency.
     
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  8. Macloney

    Macloney Well-Known Member

    Feb 28, 2014
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    We have a Honeywell in the room above our garage that gets absolutely beaten on by the afternoon and evening sun.

    It works really well and really helps cool our entire upstairs. We rarely run it overnight, it's just getting past the hottest part of the day.

    This is also the front side of our house and we didn't want a window unit.
     
  9. tman24

    tman24 Well-Known Member

    Feb 6, 2008
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    Anyone have luck using/installing a whole house fan? The one that sucks all the air out of the house. Have been thinking about getting one.
     
  10. cydsho

    cydsho Well-Known Member
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    Apr 10, 2006
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    We actually have the opposite problem. Too much warm air from the furnace goes upstairs and it naturally stays there. Closed off some of the upstairs vents but the back pressure caused the furnace to get to warm it automatically kicked off. Not good on a 25 degree day and no one at home.
    Point is, be careful closing vents. As others point it can freeze AC lines but also cause problems with heating. Overall problem could be from poorly designed vent systems which I think is part of my issue.
    We run the fan almost all the time now and it helps even things out. Both in warm and cold temps.
     
  11. CysRage

    CysRage Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2009
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    I rented a house that had a whole house fan, it was the most efficient way to cool down a house that isn't air conditioning. It essentially cycles the hot air out through the top of the house in minutes.
     
  12. 2020cy

    2020cy Well-Known Member

    Aug 7, 2006
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    Ceiling fans help as well.
     
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  13. alarson

    alarson Well-Known Member

    Mar 15, 2006
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    I found installing an ecobee helps as well. Obviously doesnt change the overall heat characteristics of the house, but between the ability to track what rooms are in use and setting schedules makes a big difference. Like at night i have a 'sleep' setting that sets it so the ecobee just looks at the sensor in my bedroom.
     
  14. Acylum

    Acylum Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2006
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    Everybody who I know that has one loves it. The secret is figuring out exactly which windows to crack open.
     
  15. Acylum

    Acylum Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2006
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    Pretty much what I do except I do keep a couple registers open on the ground floor. I also put a fan in front of the wall registers in my bedroom to help "pull" the cold air up some. I really think that helps.
     
  16. AgronAlum

    AgronAlum Well-Known Member

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    #16 AgronAlum, Apr 7, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2020
    It’s an LG and it does alright. We bought it a couple years ago when the temp spiked and it did its job then. It was one of the only ones left at the store because of the temps outside.

    It didn’t really keep up when our AC went out last year during the 100+ degree days. I don’t know if it lost some of it’s cooling ability or not. We had to leave our house for the weekend until we could have someone come out and replace our AC unit because it got 90+ degrees in our house.
     
  17. AgronAlum

    AgronAlum Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2014
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    We’ve got a whole house fan that hasn’t worked since we’ve moved in. Ive never spent the money to fix it. I’ve always wondered how well it’d actually do when it got warm out since you’re supposed to crack the windows and it just pulls in ambient temp air from the outside.
     
  18. SEIOWA CLONE

    SEIOWA CLONE Well-Known Member

    Dec 19, 2018
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    We own a older 2 story house, we tried for years to come up with a way to cool the upstairs bedrooms during the summer, without freezing out the main floor. Closed most of the vents in the main floor, we have an attic fan that works well at night before summer really hits. But during the summer, even with ceiling fans in all 3 bedrooms it was hot.
    After the kids left, we purchased a small window AC unit, less than a couple hundred bucks and I throw it into the window when it starts to warm up. It cools the bedroom down to 65 degrees easily with the door closed. One the best and cheapest investments in the house we ever made. We are currently on our second one, at that price point they tend not to last more than 4 to 5 years tops, but they are cheap enough to junk and buy another.
     
  19. GrindingAway

    GrindingAway Well-Known Member

    Nov 27, 2006
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    I've got an Ecobee, plus a Flair vent in one especially troublesome room upstairs. It was for the opposite problem described in the OP, that room was always way too hot in the winter, but if we just completely closed the vent it would be too cool by the middle of the night. Could work similarly for AC though.

    I also have smart ceiling fan controls on ceiling fans in all of the bedrooms. They are set up with thermostat control and increase speed as the temperature rises. That's been a really nice feature. Took a bit to dial it in but I never touch the manual fan control now.

    At some point I'd like to investigate some combination of portable heat/AC, whole house fan, portable humidifier to tie into my SmartThings system and better balance the house. It's an old house and the HVAC balance is pretty poor. Phase 1 (Ecobee, Flair, Fan Control) helped but it still could be better.
     
  20. BillBrasky4Cy

    BillBrasky4Cy Well-Known Member

    Dec 10, 2013
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    We have a whole house fan but unfortunately the motor crapped out a couple years ago. They are money in the evening when you can pull in some of the cool air. It's pretty incredible how much air it will move through your house. One down side is that they can be a little noisy.
     

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