2 level heating systems for 2 floors

Equipment performance, proper sizing to ensure comfort.

2 level heating systems for 2 floors

Postby gwen » Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:56 pm

I would like to know if 2 level heating systems are efficient, and if they can be installed without all new duct work. I live in a 2 story home, and the lower level is always at least 8 degrees or more cooler than upstaird. I need a new furnace, but want to avoid new duct work.
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Re: 2 level heating systems for 2 floors

Postby john » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:12 am

When one part of the house is colder than another part, it is a good indication that, in the colder part of the house, either there is insufficient insulation and air sealing in the colder part, or there is insufficient supply of hot air, or both. Insufficient hot air supply can be a result of ducts being too small, or leakage in the ducts, or restriction in the ducts. The only way to find out the real cause is to conduct an audit of the house, including a duct test. Once the house leaks are sealed, ducts fixed, insulation installed, then a properly sized furnace installed. It is not uncommon that adding sealing and insulation can reduce the size of furnace by 20% or 30%. Changing out the furnace alone will not make the temperature in the house uniform.

Furnaces usually achieve optimal efficiency at only one level. A furnace running at a lower level can reduce energy consumption but will operate at a lower efficiency than the higher level. It is better to air seal and insulate the house well, then install a properly sized single level furnace. Also note that the fan speed has to match the heat output for the unit to perform optimally.
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Re: 2 level heating systems for 2 floors

Postby boblee » Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:00 pm

In California, according to Title 24, changing the furnace out will trigger a duct test. Duct leakage cannot be more than 15% of fan flow. Corrective action must be taken for a duct system with over 15% leakage. It is not uncommon to find leakage of 30% or higher in many older homes.
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Re: 2 level heating systems for 2 floors

Postby HoS » Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:59 pm

Two level heating is efficient if you insulate properly. You should definitely get you your ducts checked and make sure your windows are sealed properly. I have found though that two level is not always necessary after you get your problem areas checked out.
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Re: 2 level heating systems for 2 floors

Postby provem » Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:33 pm

HoS wrote:Two level heating is efficient if you insulate properly. You should definitely get you your ducts checked and make sure your windows are sealed properly. I have found though that two level is not always necessary after you get your problem areas checked out.


You have a point. I think it is also a good area to improve first the insulation and if the problem still persist, that is the time you get an another heater.
Last edited by provem on Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2 level heating systems for 2 floors

Postby LindseyW » Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:25 pm

Our upstairs is usually hotter in the summer than our first floor. It makes sense since hot air rises. To combat that you can have automatic baffles installed that cut off or allow air to flow in the upstairs and downstairs creating two zones. You then have two thermostats that control the baffles after the furnace and furnace filters. So if it is hot upstairs but the right temperature downstairs, then the baffle for the downstairs will close slightly or completely allowing all the cold air to flow upstairs to cool that zone.
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Re: 2 level heating systems for 2 floors

Postby looring » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:46 pm

boblee wrote:In California, according to Title 24, changing the furnace out will trigger a duct test. Duct leakage cannot be more than 15% of fan flow. Corrective action must be taken for a duct system with over 15% leakage. It is not uncommon to find leakage of 30% or higher in many older homes.


That is very true. When there is a change in furnace it is important to do duct test because there is a tendency that there might be leakage in the duct due to replacing the furnace.
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Re: 2 level heating systems for 2 floors

Postby shameem007 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:13 am

To combat that you can have automatic baffles installed that cut off or allow air to flow in the upstairs and downstairs creating two zones. You then have two thermostats that control the baffles after the furnace and furnace filters. So if it is hot upstairs but the right temperature downstairs, then the baffle for the downstairs will close slightly or completely allowing all the cold air to flow upstairs to cool that zone.
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Re: 2 level heating systems for 2 floors

Postby moshei » Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:56 am

It's very difficult to maintain comfort in a two-story house with one heating and air conditioning system. This is because hot air rises moving directly to the upstairs !!
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Re: 2 level heating systems for 2 floors

Postby Stanleys » Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:57 am

In getting a way to have a systems to operate the 2 floors in designing to have a proper improvement to incorporate imagination and designing.
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