Insulating box for whole house fan


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As of now, I can't tell that the added insulation in the attic has made a difference at all.  Our main focus is trying to keep our two year old's room cool...her room is on the second floor and has two exterior walls and faces to the west, so it gets all of the evening sun.  For the past few weeks we have kept almost all of the registers closed throughout the house except her bedroom, and on 90*+ days we struggle to keep her room below 80*.  We have to keep our air set at 70* just to be able to keep her temp from getting well into the 80*s.  It's frustrating (and expensive)

The attic insulation guy said it's not really worthwhile to build any sort of insulation box to cover the attic fan.

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I would think the most important thing about any lid/cover would be to ensure that it is airtight - leaking air flowing into the attic would cause much more heat to be lost than would a low R-value.

Take the temperature of the air coming out of a vent in your AC system.  It sounds like it may have some sort of problem.   Stick a thermometer right into a vent.

You really can't tell much without checking with a thermometer.  An infrared instant one works fine too.   Just aim the laser in between a couple of louver fins in a vent.   That will give you somethi

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There are duct booster fans that will increase the airflow to certain branches of ductwork. Some install a fan centered in the duct, others insert into the side of the duct. They even have fans that replace the register grill.

One drawback to closing too many dampers is increased back pressure can reduce the airflow over the cooling coils and lead to freezing condensation. A clean coil & drain plus a clean air filter might help mitigate this somewhat (certainly won't hurt)

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Our air conditioner is just a couple years old...we had it replaced in the fall of 2016.  Maybe we should have the company out for a checkup. 

I've been keeping the outside unit clear of debris, and I replaced the filter a couple weeks ago.  We bought one of those drop in register boosters last week and it doesn't seem to make a difference. 

The air feels cold, but I haven't put a thermometer on it.  I will do that. 

I haven't adjusted any of the main trunk dampers, as to my knowledge they're all wide open. 

 

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You really can't tell much without checking with a thermometer.  An infrared instant one works fine too.   Just aim the laser in between a couple of louver fins in a vent.   That will give you something to tell the company to give them a head start on what they need to check.

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9 hours ago, bleedinblue said:

I haven't adjusted any of the main trunk dampers, as to my knowledge they're all wide open.

Having them all wide open is not necessarily correct. If the other branches have much less resistance (fewer turns, shorter runs, more efficient duct sizing, etc), then there won't be enough air going to your daughter's room to bring it to a similar temperature as the rest of the house. Dampers are much better at redistributing airflow than registers.

In the house we are renting now,  the bedroom I use as an office is on the second floor and has wast facing windows. The rest of the house would be comfortable, but I'd be sweating just sitting in that room. Even though the run to this room is shorter than to some other areas in the house, for some reason they did a couple U-turns with the ductwork for this room, so there was little airflow at the register. I slightly closed off some of the other dampers, and now it stays within a couple degrees of the rest of the house. (it took a few adjustments over a couple days to find a good balance). After I got the dampers in a good position, I did adjust the registers slightly. This branch also supplied the laundry room with no windows, and another bedroom with south facing windows, so the register in those rooms were closed slightly.

Just keep in mind that you may need to find good damper positions for winter and summer so if you do adjust the dampers, make a mark when you find a good position. Also, you don't want to close off the dampers too much, which can cause excess back pressure on the unit. Make several small adjustments.

 

As mentioned by others, taking temperature readings at the registers is a good idea and is a quick and easy way to rule out issues with the unit.

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I second what AnnonymousAccountant said.  If that doesn't solve the problem get a good HVAC company to look at the problem.  The solution may lie with the supplies and returns as wdwerker suggests.

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1 hour ago, Mark J said:

Should be walnut,

   I mean there should be something to look forward to after all those years of raking leaves.

Not sure I'd want a walnut in my yard. They produce a chemical called juglone that is released from the leaves and roots that impairs the growth of a lot of other plants including common lawn grasses.  

If you really want something to look forward to, plant some Bubinga. If you never get to use it, someone can make an ark from it later on.

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1 hour ago, Brendon_t said:

Not sure I'd want a walnut in my yard. They produce a chemical called juglone that is released from the leaves and roots that impairs the growth of a lot of other plants including common lawn grasses.  

If you really want something to look forward to, plant some Bubinga. If you never get to use it, someone can make an ark from it later on.

Umm why is this a down side? Less mowing, gets rid of annoying flowers that have pollen and make me sneeze.  Also has the upside of a potentially unlimited supply of walnuts that i can coat in cinnamon and sugar and pretend I'm at the state fair year round.

I planted 4 walnut trees in my yard this spring in 25 years I'll let you know how it went. :D

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3 hours ago, Chestnut said:

Umm why is this a down side? Less mowing, gets rid of annoying flowers that have pollen and make me sneeze.  Also has the upside of a potentially unlimited supply of walnuts that i can coat in cinnamon and sugar and pretend I'm at the state fair year round.

I planted 4 walnut trees in my yard this spring in 25 years I'll let you know how it went. :D

I suppose the down side is personal. I've lived in a dessert for years and haven't had grass for 3 years after the watering started costing 300 a month. I miss grass and wouldn't want that option taken off the plate  for some nuts I'll never eat

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I wish we could send you some of our grass.  We have so much humidity with this heat wave, that it doesn't matter if it rains or not.  The grass needs cutting every week, and is fatter than I've ever seen it.  We have enough pastures to feed 10 horses in poor years, and we only have 2 horses now, so I'm having to cut the pastures too, which we didn't used to have to do.

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1 hour ago, Brendon_t said:

I suppose the down side is personal. I've lived in a dessert for years and haven't had grass for 3 years after the watering started costing 300 a month. I miss grass and wouldn't want that option taken off the plate  for some nuts I'll never eat

I'm messing with you a bit. I think it depends on the grass and plants there are tons of walnut trees around here that have grass right up to the trunks.

If your ever in MSP let me know, you are welcome to mow this 0.3 acres of green any time. :D

0618181927_HDR-01.thumb.jpeg.03c6a14602694c95592ffc5e2ab5307f.jpeg

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2 hours ago, Chestnut said:

I'm messing with you a bit. I think it depends on the grass and plants there are tons of walnut trees around here that have grass right up to the trunks.

If your ever in MSP let me know, you are welcome to mow this 0.3 acres of green any time. :D

0618181927_HDR-01.thumb.jpeg.03c6a14602694c95592ffc5e2ab5307f.jpeg

I haven't seen a lawn that green in literally years..

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7 hours ago, legenddc said:

Just got the first estimate for this. $2,300 to remove the ~R-10 up there now and all of the nastiness from 45 years, caulk any cracks and blow in R49. All of that in an attic you can't even crouch in.

Couldn't pay me that to do it. Sounds very reasonable

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Agreed. Just waiting for a neighbor to let us know how much he was charged. Originally I was thinking they would just be adding in more insulation and not removing stuff so it would be cheaper, but getting all of that crap out of my house sounds good.

I usually try to do things myself, but I've learned over the years it's better to pay for certain things.

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5 minutes ago, legenddc said:

 

I usually try to do things myself, but I've learned over the years it's better to pay for certain things.

Absolutely. I'll happily pay someone else to float drywall, wash the cars and Anything  having to do with insulation.  I think too hard about that pink crap and break out in hives.

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26 minutes ago, Brendon_t said:

Absolutely. I'll happily pay someone else to float drywall, wash the cars and Anything  having to do with insulation.  I think too hard about that pink crap and break out in hives.

I'm just to effing cheap. My argument usually follows, if your paying someone to do something for you and you use that time to watch TV that's a #($* expensive TV show especially just to get bombarded by ads.

I'm not saying YOU do that but a LOT of my friends do that. I've explained this to them and it's odd to see some of their reactions when they finally get it. Was that Lord of the rings marathon really worth the $2,000 in labor you paid some one to work on your house? Why did i ever learn what opportunity cost is :(

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33 minutes ago, Chestnut said:

I'm just to effing cheap. My argument usually follows, if your paying someone to do something for you and you use that time to watch TV that's a #($* expensive TV show especially just to get bombarded by ads.

I'm not saying YOU do that but a LOT of my friends do that. I've explained this to them and it's odd to see some of their reactions when they finally get it. Was that Lord of the rings marathon really worth the $2,000 in labor you paid some one to work on your house? Why did i ever learn what opportunity cost is :(

It's a tough balancing act. Before we had kids I would do everything, didn't matter if I was up at midnight or 6 AM working on something or didn't have a car for a week. Now with a 9 month old and 3 year old that doesn't fly. 

It's fun working on stuff and having my 3 year old "help" though.

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I'm at a point in my life where I am certainly willing to put in my own work, but if I don't WANT to do a task, I don't feel bad at all about hiring someone. 

A couple weeks ago our dryer stopped working...I knew I could rip it apart, watch some YouTube videos and get it working, but I simply didn't want to.  Ended up costing $50 for a service call and the repairman just held the start button while manually spinning the drum... A bit of a "jump start." :rolleyes:  It's worked fine since.  Dumb, but I'm still cool with the decision. 

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