We Have Hot and Cold Areas Within Our Home - March 20th 2003
We have a Homexx built bungalow, the Aspen (1 yr old). It has 13-foot ceilings on the main floor. This model also has an eight-foot wide staircase to the lower level. The house has large south facing windows. At this time of year sunshine keeps the upper level about 20degrees C without the furnace coming on during the day. This results in the lower floor staying quite cool until late in the evening (10-11 pm.) I am wondering if it is feasible (cost effective) to install something like a cold air vent at the peak of the ceiling with insulated piping and a reversible fan down into the basement area to take advantage of some of the natural heating. We find that the large open staircase contributes to keeping the basement cool as the warm air from the furnace rises to the upper level quickly and with the thermostat located upstairs the furnace does not kick in often enough to keep the temperature downstairs comfortable. i.e. the temperature upstairs can be 20 C and downstairs it will be 15-17C. We have had the Atco energy audit done but they have not been helpful with this question. Can you provide us with some suggestions to alleviate this problem?
Here are some possibilities that you might consider to adress your problem:
1. If it isn't already, consider converting your furnace blower motor to a continuous flow blower motor or perhaps a two speed motor. This will ensure that the air in your home is being circulated all the time and should help reduce the different temperature "zones" within your house.
2. If feasible, consider moving the thermostat to the lower, cooler area of your home. As it is, your thermostat is being "tricked" by the warmer air on the upper floor.
3. Depending on the contruction of your home, it may be possible to install a return air duct from from the upper level. You may wish to locate your local Lennox Service Expert dealer and ask for their advice.
4. A properly intalled ceiling fan (pulling air up, not pushing it down) might draw cooler air from the floor and lower level and mix it with the warmer air near the ceiling.