New HVAC - weak ac upstairs

Spuds123September 16, 2013

Hi folks - here's my deal - replaced hvac with 3 ton trane system for 1800 sq ft 2 story home in NJ. New windows, air sealing and roof. Ac on ground floor works nicely now with new equipment and two stage thermostat. There was no c or heat in front room so they ran ac from back bedroom. The air seems very weak upstairs and the register in the front room is barely blowing anything. I am very disappointed after laying out 15k that I got 7 degrees + upstairs above downstairs and 5 degrees + above the back bedroom. Insulation is perfect!! Cheated, measured etc. HVAC co is telling me this is normal or maybe they now got to increase duct size because it's a down draft (?) system and they need to cut off air downstairs to feed upstairs. Just feel I am being not treated fairly here. Asked for a price on new equipment for upstairs and downstairs and three visits later I am being told adjusting dampers or installing a 'scoop' will not cure this. I have paid 10k$ but am afraid if I pay the other 5$k I will never see resolution. Am I being unreasonable and what is a fair approach? Any and all answers greatly appreciated.

Thank You!!!

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Did you pay $10K or $15K for your HVAC system? Was the HVAC installation done as part of the NJ Home Energy Efficiency Program?

You are not being unreasonable. You should not have a 7 degree temperature difference between the first and second floors.

Is the HVAC system installed in the basement? Did you have air flow and temperature issues on the second floor with your old HVAC system?

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 9:52PM
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I would be ill too.

So I understand you are holding back final $5 K payment?

You have a return upstairs?

Furnace is located in attic or basement/crawlspace?

Your problem on the surface seems to be ductwork sizing/ design related.

Temperature differential problem between main floor zone and upstairs zone is quite common. However, yours appears to be extreme. You need to get more CFMs in cooling mode to upstairs. Now the question is how that can be accomplished. Was there ever any mention of a zoning control for the upstairs?

Post back.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 9:21AM
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Thanks for the replies folks! Couple of things:
It is part of the NJ clean energy program. Cost for new replacement Trane 3 ton HVAC system, air sealing and additional insulation is $15k. Would guess hvac was maybe $11k of this.
There us a return on ground floor and upstairs
Equipment is in laundry room on ground floor.
The installer called me this morning and he said he forgot to look under the house (his guys did insulate and wrap down there!!) and that there are 13 runs and there really should be maybe 7? They are going to head out and cap some off to assist with directing the air upstairs. I look forward to a resolution as I keep pushing then forward on this and will hold back the final $5k until fixed.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 12:08PM
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I have not participated in the NJ Clean Energy Program, but I am familiar as to how it works. My perception from reading other posts is the prices are inflated and the installation quality is marginal at best.

It sounds like your house is built on a crawl space. Are there flexible ducts in the crawl space? Is the HVAC contractor saying there are 13 flexible duct lines connected to registers on your first floor? Have you verified you have 13 registers and if so what will happen when he reduces the runs down to 7?

How is the duct work connected to the second floor? Is it the same duct work running in the crawl space?

I am suspicious of the proposed fixed. You did answer the question as to whether you had second floor temperature problems with your old system.

Do you have a 2-stage AC? If you do then you should see if it is possible to create a zone for the second floor.

This post was edited by mike_home on Tue, Sep 17, 13 at 13:53

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 1:52PM
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You are at least in the driver's seat as long as you have the final payment. It isn't unreasonable to expect all your home to be comfortable unless one or more rooms were excluded as living space on the preposal. You need to alow the contractor to resolve this by doing what it takes. Do not tell him what proceedure to use such as more or bigger ducts.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 3:14PM
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