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  1. #1
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    Default Improving Circulation/heating in house

    We had a heat pump installed about 18 months ago and have a wood stove. We're running into a new issue this year while trying to use the wood stove. We have a 11 month old baby and have to shut the bedroom door while the baby is napping, twice a day for 1-2 hours each, and at night for 3-4 hours (until we go to bed). The thermostat in the hall will say 75 and the bedroom will be 5-10 degrees cooler after having the door shut for 3-4 hours. This is with the air handler fan set to constant circulate mode. I was expecting better than that from the circulate mode. The manual for the air handler (goodman AEPF4260c) says that it only runs the fan at 30% in circulate mode. I haven't checked the dip switches, but the manual says the fan should be pushing 1000-1200CFM at full. The air return is in the ceiling between the bedroom door and thermostat. Even after opening the door, it takes hours for the temp to increase a few degrees in the bedroom. There are two floor vents on the wall away from the bedroom door, one along the wall by the door and one in the bathroom. If we leave the woodstove off and rely on the heat pump, the temp in the bedroom is closer to the temp in the hall. It's a 25 yr old brick house and the temps have been 30s-40s with a few nights dropping in the 20s.

    If I want to use the woodstove, I need to find a way to run the air handler fan at a higher speed or come up with some alternative way to circulate the air in order to keep the bedroom from getting too cold. Any suggestions?

    Keith

  2. #2
    Gold Member uglyboywith11fingers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improving Circulation/heating in house

    I have much the same issue... high efficiency gas furnace in a 44 year-old (not so well insulated) brick 2-storey house.
    With the wood-burning fireplace insert burning and the furnace circ fan on, even on high, the air coming from hot-air registers in 2nd floor bedrooms is only about 72F, not high enough to maintain a decent temp. On the main floor where the t-stat is located, the temp stays reasonably close to 72F, but upstairs rooms stay around 64F. As the outside temp gets lower, the furnace runs a bit more often and the upstairs temp comes up a bit.
    Wife has decreed that if using the fireplace means the upstairs stays cold, then the fireplace stays off.

    What to do ???

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
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    jd 1050 LS I3040H. CASE SC

    Default Re: Improving Circulation/heating in house

    I have a seperate in line fan that draws air from the room with the wood stove and dumps the warm air into the bedrooms. It helps the wood stove is in a room with a high ceiling that allow the heated air to rise up to the fan inlet. The heat pushes into the bedrooms and even raises the hallway enough to keep the furnace off when you keep a fire going. I added a remote bulb thermostat so the fan only operates when the wood stove heats the air up to turn on the fan.

    Alot of times with the multispeed fan you do not get the air where you really want it unless the system was installed properly and balanced. Do you have individual returns in each room? You may want to block off some of the closer returns to increase the draw in the baby's room. Just don't restrict the air enough to create air flow issues with the heat pump.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Improving Circulation/heating in house

    Babies' room is cool here. I have a small radiator type heater I leave plugged in with the thermostat set to 75 or so. Then I set the main thermostat in the house lower. Baby can deal with it during the day.

    Note this is a two week old. After six months I'm pretty sure you can toss them out in the snow at night and they won't know the difference. Seriously though, kids handle cool temperatures well. I try to keep it warm when they are little, but after they can talk and get out of bed on their own I don't worry any more.

  5. #5
    Elite Member CurlyDave's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improving Circulation/heating in house

    The real solution to this is to have an air return installed in the baby's room.

    As you have discovered, a room without a return will be cool or cold in winter and hot in summer.

    Temporary fix is an electric heater, I think the ones that look like a miniature radiator work pretty well.
    40 Acres on a hill - fantastic view. JD 110 TLB, 4-n-1, 12" bucket, 18" bucket, Addington thumb, rock bucket (doubles as root grapple)

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  6. #6
    Platinum Member Dr Dave's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improving Circulation/heating in house

    Most of the time the cold air returns are in the wall near the floor, since heat rises, Can you add a return near the floor in the babys room?

  7. #7
    Platinum Member Dr Dave's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improving Circulation/heating in house

    Or you could cut a hole in the wall above the door and install a vent grill on each side of the wall, for air to pass. Is door close to floor, maybe you could trim an inch off the bottom of the door?

  8. #8
    Platinum Member BIG DOOLEY's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improving Circulation/heating in house

    It would be helpful to see a schematic of the furnace electrical.
    You might be able to use a relay to run the blower motor on the high speed setting. Some motors have 3 speed settings. The relay could be activated by a seperate thermostat located in that room.
    Trimming a small amount off the bottom of the door is also a good way to help improve circulation.
    Nothing will be the same as having true heat pumped into the room though.
    The extra money spent on electricity to run the furnace fan vs. electricity running a small heater in the room.
    We left the door open while the kids napped and let them get used to sleeping with a small amount of noise.
    If they can sleep in the car for two hours on a road trip with the radio on they can sleep with the door open?
    dirtyoldman is right though,
    kids are tough and can handle that temperature.
    My parents always kept the house 68 during the day and 62 at night.
    Oh
    If she really wants the kid to stay warm, it best to let them take a nap with the oldman.
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  9. #9
    Super Member newbury's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improving Circulation/heating in house

    Or can you install vents in the door?
    /edit - or a "powered register" Amazon.com: powered air vent register
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  10. #10
    Super Member radioman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improving Circulation/heating in house

    fyi I am not an expert - but I seem to think I might understand the physics here. there is to many variables to guess at here . design of house, design of hvac vents, etc. curlydave is right though. you need to evaluate the airflow in the babyroom. in a perfect hvac world - you have equal air coming into the room and equal going out in every room. you also want warm air coming in the coldest spot in the room and return air at top on other side of room. is there a heat register AND air return? where are they located? do you have damper valves? have you played with them to adjust airflow? do the other rooms have air flow control on vents. have you played with it in attempt to adjust air flow?
    Your real solution is to look at the air flows.

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