I live in a townhouse and the downstairs is nice and cool when running the air, however, the upstairs is HOT. There is no airflow coming up the vents.....
I read that you can turn off the downstairs vents, but they are on the ceiling (look like smoke alarms).
I don't know what to do! Very uncomfortable upstairs.
The pipes are cold, and I can feel the cold air downstairs, so I don't think its the unit itself, just no flow going up the vents.
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Re: No air flow upstairs
Cold air is denser than hot air, so is harder to move. All vents have some mechanism to regulate flow, so close all of the downstairs vents. Check to see if your furnace fan motor has more than one speed, & set it on maximum. Keeping the fan on all the time will help as well. If all else fails, you may need a more powerful fan motor.
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if there is no control of air movement between floors and you have it on cooling then any cold air will go down to the lower floor
or alternately if you have it set on heating all the hot air will rise to the upper floor
where is the system located (upstairs or down stairs ) and where is the thermostat located
to get control close any upstairs to down stairs doors or erect a heavy curtain across the stair well
With a two story house you have to be aware that cold air flows downwards so any cold air coming from an ac unit will flow downstairs( normally down the stairway) so unless you can close off the down stairs then the up stairs unit will be cooling downstairs as well. Ac units have a thermostat located in the air intake and it cools until the cold air has risen to that point. In effect the space above the ac unit will be hotter than the floor. Knowing how they work ,you can see that the upstairs unit will never reach the set temperature because the cold air is continually heating from the house and will never get to the top thermostat.
So your solutions are
1-- fit controls that restrict the cold air from leaving the upper floor (Doors)
2--don't run the upper ac unit unless you are living up there (waste of money
)3 place an ac in each upper room and keep the room door closed
jbrown - Hot air rises, Cold air falls. If you have ceiling fans upstairs, turn them on to run counterclockwise at highest speed you can stand. Make sure all the windows are closed upstairs. The ceiling fans will help to keep the cool air upstairs and pull some from downstairs.
If you don't have ceiling fans, invest in a box type fan that you can place at the head of the stairs (that's the top of the stairs) run it on HIGH and it will act like an exhaust fan, by pulling cool air upstairs. It may take a while, but it will help cool the upstairs to some degree.
Make sure the air is bled from the upstairs rads. [air = top of rad is cold & bottom hot]
If you need to balance the rads to maintain an even flow through all then :- Turn off all rads [one valve fully open and the other closed] Get heat going and open each rad valve, in turn, about 1 or 2 turns. Start with upstairs. The position you need to get to is when the return pipe fron each rad is a few degrees below the flow pipe. Adjust each rad valve to get this effect a few times may be necessary
This is a flow problem within the system and you have ruled out the two major problems already.
asuming the pump has been fitted in the correct way round and the pump isolation valves are open fully. have you tried closing down the radiator valves upstairs and forcing the flow around the downstairs circuit? also is there any zone valves on the circuit not opening.
Is it a conventional type system with a header tank ?
Some of this depends on where the air handler/furnace is located. Most often in two story houses, it's in the attic upstairs, or in a closet upstairs. A duct routes air from the furnace to the downstairs supply duct, so it is a distance from the air handler. When the unit first initiates a heating cycle, that duct is going to be full of cool air, and the duct itself will be cool. So the furnace has to run long enough to push the cool air out, as well as warm the duct up, before your going to feel warm air at the registers downstairs.
Keep in mind, heat rises. And, your thermostat only monitors the immediate area where it's located. In your case, upstairs. Two story houses are problematic because of this. And one way around it is to have a damper system installed that distributes the air upstairs or downstairs based on a thermostat located in those spaces. There would be 2 dampers, and 2 thermostats (one upstairs, one downstairs). Each stat would control a damper, and the call for heat or cooling.
Let me know if you would like to consider a system like this, and I can point you to components to use. I've put several system like this in.