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Unusual heating?


rbaake
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Two story single family home built in the early 1960s. New Carrier gas furnace installed in 2005 in the basement with metal ductwork supplying the lower level only through conventional registers.

Two square grates in first-floor ceiling (about 1.5 sqft total area each) allowing heat to enter the upper level sleeping areas and bathroom. No other heat supply to upper level (and cold)

Never saw this in my area before, any comments?

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Hi,

I see that every once in a while. I don't see any difference between those grates and a stairwell with no doorway at the top or bottom. I still report that there isn't any dedicated heat for the second floor; and, if I do a rule of thumb calc based on square footage and discover that the furnace likely isn't big enough to supply adequate heat to the second floor, even if ducts are added, I report that as well.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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...yeah, what concerned me most was the client didn't seem to mind,

"we'll just add some space heaters to the upstairs"

This bothered me more, I hate space heaters, whole other set of issues.

Small house with 90,000 btu's, seems sized pretty well.

Investigate Further: No heat is directly supplying the upper level of the home. Two floor grates are provided to allow heat from the lower level to radiate to the upper level bedrooms and bathroom. This is an unusual installation and we recommend a consultation with a reputable HVAC contractor to discuss improvements and heating supply options.

Comments: The normal sequence of operating modes was executed with no obvious defects noted except as noted above. All lower level rooms were checked for a heat source (delivery register) with no defects noted. Temperature readings at all delivery and return registers were found to be within normal tolerances.

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...yeah, what concerned me most was the client didn't seem to mind,

"we'll just add some space heaters to the upstairs"

This bothered me more, I hate space heaters, whole other set of issues.

Small house with 90,000 btu's, seems sized pretty well.

Investigate Further: No heat is directly supplying the upper level of the home.

That sentence makes no sense. Heat is generally supplied by something else. It doesn't supply something. I'm even more confused about how "no heat" can supply or not supply something. I think you mean to say that the furnace doesn't supply heat to the upper level.

Two floor grates are provided to allow heat from the lower level to radiate to the upper level bedrooms and bathroom.

The grates are unlikely to allow heat to "radiate" to the upper level unless there's a warm object behind them. They might - or might not - allow warm air to move through them from the lower level by convection or by pressure differential.

This is an unusual installation and we recommend a consultation with a reputable HVAC contractor to discuss improvements and heating supply options.

It is a bit unusual for a house from the '60s. But it was very common in the '40s and earlier.

Is there a reason why you want the entire comment written in passive voice?

Comments: The normal sequence of operating modes was executed with no obvious defects noted except as noted above.

That's really unnecessarily complicated and confusing to read.

All lower level rooms were checked for a heat source (delivery register) with no defects noted. Temperature readings at all delivery and return registers were found to be within normal tolerances.

Sorry, you lost me. Are you saying that the heat was fine on the first level? Is there a reason you can't say it simply, in a way that's easy to understand?

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It is a bit unusual for a house from the '60s. But it was very common in the '40s and earlier.

Actually, the house I grew up in was built in 1958 and had this same type of a set-up. Eventually, ducts were run to the upper floor and then when the central air was installed, a return was run upstairs and that made the big difference.

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Just an extra comment. If a client mentions using a plug-in space heater, I recommend they install a wallmounted electric fan heater or baseboard heater. Many people don't realize they can get a decent size baseboard heater for under $50, have it installed with a thermostat, and have a safe reliable heat source in that room. One new 20 amp circuit can supply 2 or 3 baseboard heaters, probably enough for the second storey of a smaller house.

The thermostats can be turned off or set to only operate on the really cold days.

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