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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    5

    Default Can feel air flowing down the stairs

    We are experiencing an issue with cold air flowing down the stairs into the living room. The house has a high efficiency furnace and cold air returns in all the rooms except kitchen and bathrooms. The furnace resides in the basement also. All the cold air returns are in the upper part of the walls near the ceiling except my daughters room which is in the ceiling. It is a bonus room over the garage and her door is right next to the steps.

    One night after I put her in bed I shut her door and left it open about 2 inches, when I let go of the door handle the door slammed shut, I tried a couple more times and it did the same thing. I tried the other doors upstairs and none of them did it.. I was confused?

    So I kept an eye on it and noticed when the furnace was not running the door didn't shut but when it was running it shut itself.. Do you think the cold air return in her room is not large enough? It's a 300sq ft room... I beleive this is a major cause of the cold air coming down the stairs. Also, when the door to her room is shut, you can feel the air pouring out under the door like there is a window open in her room.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by DWH; 02-15-2009 at 12:55 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,836

    Default Re: Can feel air flowing down the stairs

    Time for a trip to the attic. The cold air return in the ceiling may not be connected and cold air from the attic may be water-falling into the room, or it may just be poorly installed .
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Can feel air flowing down the stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by JLMCDANIEL View Post
    Time for a trip to the attic. The cold air return in the ceiling may not be connected and cold air from the attic may be water-falling into the room, or it may just be poorly installed .
    Jack
    When I insulated and put the drywall up it was connected just fine but I will have to check it again. I also took a peice of paper and stuck it in front of all the cold air returns in the house and the paper stuck to the vents, on the vent in that room it would not stick and fell off. So I will check the duct work and make sure it's connected.

    On the other duct work for the furnace they all have handles on them to close the duct, the cold air return duct doesn't happen to have that does it? I did find out shortly after finishing the room the builder had the heat vents closed so I had to open them, so that's making me wonder about the cold air return..

    Thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,836

    Default Re: Can feel air flowing down the stairs

    There should be no dampers on the cold air return. If the room was unfinished the builder may have blocked or left disconnected the cold air return figuring it would be connected when and if the room was finished.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Can feel air flowing down the stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by JLMCDANIEL View Post
    There should be no dampers on the cold air return. If the room was unfinished the builder may have blocked or left disconnected the cold air return figuring it would be connected when and if the room was finished.
    Jack
    Yes, the room was unfinished when we had it built.I will check it out.. Thanks for your help!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    London
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Can feel air flowing down the stairs

    1. If your home is the open-concept type, its going to be difficult.

    2. Close all doors to rooms on second level. This is key.
    Afterall, what you're looking for a is a nice cool bedroom, not a nice cool hallway.

    3. Hot air rises...you already know that. Turn on all upstairs bathroom exhaust fans to push the hot humid air out of the house.

    4. I would suggest closing the vents in all bathrooms. If the floor is ceramic, it will already feel cool on your feet, besides, most people spend less than 10mins in the bathroom, females excluded.

    5. Make certain no cold air returns are blocked by furniture.

    6. If you can 'feel' cool air escaping from ducting in the basement, seal up the holes /bad seams with duct tape.
    Every little bit helps.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Can feel air flowing down the stairs

    Well now that it's getting into the 50's during the days it's not so noticeable anymore. I will be insulating the garage this summer so I think that should help with a lot of the cooler air in the bedroom above the garage.

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