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  1. #1
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    Apr 2010
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    Default new ducts to upstairs in old house

    We have a home that is over 100 years old. There is currently no heat in the upstairs. When we replaced the furnace, we put in a furnace big enough to eventually heat the upstairs.

    We have plaster and lath walls, no insulation. Want to tear off plaster/lath, and insulate, drywall, and put in heat.

    Husband says duct work cannot be run from basement to 2nd floor at all. I think there is a way for it to be done.

    Can anyone point me in the right direction to do this? Registers can be in the wall instead of the floor if need be when doing this project.

    He says there are joints between the floors that does not allow duct work to go up the walls.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: new ducts to upstairs in old house

    We've done Retro's and New Construction and run oval pipe in walls, the oval does not have to be insulated because it is in it's own space but should be taped and sealed. The plate between the two floors can cut allowing the ducting to run the full two floors. You can put in a wall supply and return, the return should be on the opposite wall. You can also pan the bay on the return which will save a little on cost, but not the supply. You should also think about having your home zoned, I don't know what type of furnace your husband bought but a variable speed would be ideal.

  3. #3
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    Apr 2010
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    Default Re: new ducts to upstairs in old house

    what do you mean "have my home zoned"?

    Thank you for the suggestions on getting heat to the upstairs

  4. #4
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    Default Re: new ducts to upstairs in old house

    Quote Originally Posted by Sten View Post
    We've done Retro's and New Construction and run oval pipe in walls, the oval does not have to be insulated because it is in it's own space but should be taped and sealed. The plate between the two floors can cut allowing the ducting to run the full two floors. You can put in a wall supply and return, the return should be on the opposite wall. You can also pan the bay on the return which will save a little on cost, but not the supply. You should also think about having your home zoned, I don't know what type of furnace your husband bought but a variable speed would be ideal.
    Great information Sten. I have am about to replace the boiler with a forced air HVAC in my Big old 2 story home. I want to isolate the second story, and only heat it if the rare chance of needing the upper sotry bedrooms,.. without installing 2 furnaces any ideas? Doing so as only unused bedrooms upstairs. I have insulated the first floor ceilings.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: new ducts to upstairs in old house

    With zoning you will have two stats and what is called a zone control. One of your stats will be upstairs and one down.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: new ducts to upstairs in old house

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Miller View Post
    Great information Sten. I have am about to replace the boiler with a forced air HVAC in my Big old 2 story home. I want to isolate the second story, and only heat it if the rare chance of needing the upper sotry bedrooms,.. without installing 2 furnaces any ideas? Doing so as only unused bedrooms upstairs. I have insulated the first floor ceilings.

    Sometimes I wish I had a boiler instead of the Hot Air furnace that we use now. The heat is more even and not dry, add on humidifiers work great with forced Hot Air but I've seen duct work that has over time gotten rot holes because of them. The big old radiators that people use might be unsightly but continue to give off heat after the System is satisfied.
    The OP has an advantage as they are renovating and accessing the interior of the walls making it easier to run the ductwork. Unfortunately unless your doing the same I can only suggest boxing your ductwork in. You could also use a zone control but in the long run I think it may be easier, less invasive, and cheaper to do two furnaces. The problem with old houses is that it's like opening up a can of worms, no disrespect intended.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    163

    Default Re: new ducts to upstairs in old house

    Can anyone point me in the right direction to do this? Registers can be in the wall instead of the floor if need be when doing this project.

    He says there are joints between the floors that does not allow duct work to go up the walls.

    Any ideas?[/QUOTE]

    This is your chance to do the job right. Once the walls are repaired with an inadequate duct system, you will be sorry ever after.

    The HVAC system is the most complex system in any house, and deserves the attention of a competent pro. It all starts with a good design, the first step is having a room-by-room load calculation done; then sizing and selecting the equipment; then sizing the ducts. Next comes a quality installation with testing and balancing of the system as the final step. Any "pro" that is unable or unwilling to do these steps should be avoided.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: new ducts to upstairs in old house

    Hi Sten the boiler failed after a break in when the home was vacant before i owned it. Gutting the main floor to renovate and re arrange the floor plan so force air ducting is not much of an issue. The furnace will only be for spring and fall winters are too mcuh so we'll travel instead of hunkering down. Am interested in Geo thermal heap pump but so $$$. Thanks again for the information.
    Last edited by Timothy Miller; 04-12-2010 at 01:13 PM. Reason: spelling what else

  9. #9
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    Default Re: new ducts to upstairs in old house

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Miller View Post
    Hi Stan the boiler failed after a break in when the home was vacant before i owned it. Gutting the main floor to renovate and re arrange the floor plan so force air ducting is not much of an issue. The furnace will only be for spring and fall winters are too mcuh so we'll travel instead of hunkering down. Am interested in Geo thermal heap pump but so $$$. Thanks again for the information.

    If your doing the same as the OP then running your duct shouldn't be a problem, you can use the oval just as the OP. rdesigns is right in making sure the work is done correctly as everything may be sealed in the walls. You will want the contractor to do what is called a whole house load calc., that will give you the total BTU's that you need to keep your home comfortable. Then they will distribute the BTU's via CFM per room. If your doing this your self there are free load calc. programs you can download. Also if you have any doubt that the duct size may be to small go the next size up, you can always damper it down. Just make sure the Main Trunk is correct, that is where the static pressure must be right.

    Good Luck

  10. #10
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    Default Re: new ducts to upstairs in old house

    Sten thank you again for the suggestions. Am wanting to do some of the duct work to save on the costs but just do not have the knowledge for the whole job will have contractors bid it .

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