Closing Vents

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-08-2006, 06:02 PM   #1
Member
 
ELM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 44
Rewards Points: 25

Closing Vents


HVAC is not my trade so please forgive an elementary question. I have just purchased a two story house and I would really like to close the vents upstairs and heat from the bottom up with the downstairs vents open. Also, cool from the top down in the summer.
Each level is about 1500 sq ft with plenty of vents and return air ducts. I have a heat pump with electric furnace.
The question is, will this overload or stress my system? I have tried running it this way and the house is much more comfortable.
The warm air satisfies the thermostat, which is upstairs, before level 1 gets warm if all the vents are open.
ELM is offline  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   
 

Old 11-08-2006, 06:37 PM   #2
DGR,IABD
 
mdshunk's Avatar
 
Trade: Electrical; Commercial and Residential Service
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Central PA
Posts: 9,682
Rewards Points: 2,000

Re: Closing Vents


Sounds like you're due for a visit from a TAB technician (testing and balancing). Doing something arbitrary on your own may or may not help, and it may well shut your furnace down on overtemp (due to lack of air flow from the closed registers). Get your system professionally balanced, and you'll be set forever.

mdshunk is offline  
Old 11-08-2006, 06:49 PM   #3
Thom
 
thom's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor/Homebuilder
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Albuquerque NM
Posts: 4,096
Rewards Points: 3,822

Re: Closing Vents


I tell my customers to close the upstairs in the winter and the downstairs in the summer. Not fully, but enough to change the air flow. Otherwise I hear that the upstairs is to warm (summertime) and the downstairs is to cold (wintertime). T&B on a house seems like overkill.
thom is offline  
Old 11-08-2006, 06:52 PM   #4
DGR,IABD
 
mdshunk's Avatar
 
Trade: Electrical; Commercial and Residential Service
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Central PA
Posts: 9,682
Rewards Points: 2,000

Re: Closing Vents


Quote:
Originally Posted by thom View Post
T&B on a house seems like overkill.
Yeah, you're right. Comfort is way over rated.
mdshunk is offline  
Old 11-08-2006, 07:30 PM   #5
Member
 
ELM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 44
Rewards Points: 25

Re: Closing Vents


How would you balance a home hvac system? Maybe dampen the upstairs ducts?

All replies are appreciated.
ELM is offline  
Old 11-08-2006, 07:57 PM   #6
Pro
 
K2's Avatar
 
Trade: Colorado master electrician, EC, B-1 GC
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Colorado Front Range
Posts: 2,604
Rewards Points: 2,000

Re: Closing Vents


I don't know the answer but I'm reasonably certain I've had cracked heat exchangers from overheating due to blocked vents and returns. Our area has zero tolerance for cracked exchangers and even the smallest crack away from the flame where the screws attach the exchanger are reason to red tag. Some teenager smoking dope might block vents because ,well just because.

I'd say call in a pro if you are going to change the breathing ability of the system.
K2 is offline  
Old 11-09-2006, 05:48 PM   #7
Member
 
ELM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 44
Rewards Points: 25

Re: Closing Vents


Thank you for the replies so far. The one thing I am completely certain of is that the termostat is upstairs and warm air rises.
The downstairs will always be cold in the winter without an alternate heat source like a gas fireplace etc. Adding a heat source downstairs may just complicate the problem by making the upstairs even hotter etc.

I figured I may have to call a pro to give it a look but I would like to have expectation. Most people prolly just put up with the discomfort.

K2:
Logic tells me pros aren't nearly as concerned with cooling as they are heating in this situation, so I understand your answer.
ELM is offline  
Old 11-09-2006, 11:58 PM   #8
Thom
 
thom's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor/Homebuilder
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Albuquerque NM
Posts: 4,096
Rewards Points: 3,822

Re: Closing Vents


MD, t&b won't get you there. His problem is seasonal variance. Unless you t&b it twice a year, it won't work. Adjusting the registers is fine. You would need to close almost all the registers before you started building significant pressure in the system.

The number and size of registers on systems varies considerably in standard installations.

We don't t&b our residential systems here.
thom is offline  
Old 11-10-2006, 05:13 PM   #9
Pro
 
hf05's Avatar
 
Trade: hvac tech
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 142
Rewards Points: 75

Re: Closing Vents


What are u talking about maybe 4 or 5 registers upstairs.Don't close the return or block it,but if this works for u go nuts.Every person is different as well as every home,this type of experimenting is great .Find what makes u comfortable theres no black or white here!As for overheating really can't see it.Unless u have registers taped or something they still pass a little air the same as your ductwork.The same would apply to your thermosta and humidistat settings,do what works for u.Having said all this ,this would be as far as u should go with monkeying with your htg/cooling system,and check filters.....
hf05 is offline  
Old 11-10-2006, 05:57 PM   #10
Member
 
ELM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 44
Rewards Points: 25

Re: Closing Vents


Thanks again for all the replies. There are many registers upstairs like 15 or more but many downstairs also.
My personal feeling is that I am not trying to push air somewhere it does not want to go like cold air up or warm air down and it is an easy push with plenty of vents and return air ducts. Most pros will respond that it is a bad idea to close anything and I can dig what they're saying.

But...
ELM is offline  
Old 11-10-2006, 05:59 PM   #11
Pro
 
K2's Avatar
 
Trade: Colorado master electrician, EC, B-1 GC
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Colorado Front Range
Posts: 2,604
Rewards Points: 2,000

Re: Closing Vents


My paranoia about shuting down vents comes from the Magic Chef horizontal/crawl space units that were installed around here in the mid 80's by the thousands. Almost 100% failure of the heat exchanger in 5 years. I had a few that cracked but suprisingly we had a few that didn't crack. I accounted the good ones to a free flowing system. We replaced them all anyway.

For years our hvac companies knew that if they drove up an 80's house with a crawler, they'd get to sell a new furnace if it hadn't been replaced already.

Most of this I know from bs'ing with the hvac inspectors down the gym.

K2 is offline  


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Reasons to offer a new percieved closing incentive Ed the Roofer Marketing & Sales 15 05-01-2007 12:55 AM
condensation in attic on aluminum vents Travis Roofing 1 02-27-2007 08:48 PM
Closing?? Instinct or Educated ABLE1 Marketing & Sales 22 02-07-2007 10:41 PM
trim coil window stops ,casing, quad caulk for sale ..closing shop window man Contractor Swap 7 07-05-2006 09:46 PM
Copper vents -vs- plastic/aluminum shopman Roofing 2 03-01-2006 08:51 AM

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?