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Posted: 9/1/2007 4:42:05 AM EDT
hooray I finally bought a newly constructed home. no more living with parents, no more renting, the American dream is finally........ a nightmare

I feel in todays market I still paid too much even though I got the seller to come down almost $10,000 and pay closing my payments are cheap but taxes and insurance put me at almost $10k a year in as they are escrowed in which makes almost 1/3 of my net income. only my income not married but no debt except the mortgage

its a 1600sqft 3/2 full unfinished basement on 1/4 lot absolutely beautiful my bedroom and 2nd bath is the entire upstairs and central air to boot.

wonderful sounding isn't it? that's what I thought, that's why I bought it

now my problem begins the upstairs (being my room) gets unholy hot even when running the central air. I do have 6" of fiberglass insulation surrounding the walls, floor,and ceiling,

please can anyone tell me how to lower the temp at least 10degrees I have been told have more insulation installed, install an attic fan, or worse add a second heat pump to cool the upstairs $$$$$$.

I don't have alot of money left over surely the hive mind has some suggestion there are 5 central air vents up there and it just isn't working.

just how well would an "attic fan" help or would I just be throwing much needed money away?



Link Posted: 9/1/2007 4:46:58 AM EDT
The attic fan will help. Blackout or tint the windows. Plant trees that will grow tall and provide shade. Yes, add more insulation. Buying a house recently was a bad idea IMHO.
Link Posted: 9/1/2007 4:47:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By jixxerbeast:
hooray I finally bought a newly constructed home. no more living with parents, no more renting, the American dream is finally........ a nightmare

I feel in todays market I still paid too much even though I got the seller to come down almost $10,000 and pay closing my payments are cheap but taxes and insurance put me at almost $10k a year in as they are escrowed in which makes almost 1/3 of my net income. only my income not married but no debt except the mortgage

its a 1600sqft 3/2 full unfinished basement on 1/4 lot absolutely beautiful my bedroom and 2nd bath is the entire upstairs and central air to boot.

wonderful sounding isn't it? that's what I thought, that's why I bought it

now my problem begins the upstairs (being my room) gets unholy hot even when running the central air. I do have 6" of fiberglass insulation surrounding the walls, floor,and ceiling,

please can anyone tell me how to lower the temp at least 10degrees I have been told have more insulation installed, install an attic fan, or worse add a second heat pump to cool the upstairs $$$$$$.

I don't have alot of money left over surely the hive mind has some suggestion there are 5 central air vents up there and it just isn't working.

just how well would an "attic fan" help or would I just be throwing much needed money away?





1) Whats the air temp @ the vents?
Link Posted: 9/1/2007 4:51:00 AM EDT
There is a way to measure the output of air at the vents. If the builder didn't properly seal the ducting, you could be bleeding out air into the walls.
Link Posted: 9/1/2007 4:52:45 AM EDT
honestly I have no idea the vent temp it "feels" as cool as the downstairs vent air but at a signifigantlly reduced air flow. I was told to check for "pinched duct" but inside and out I haven't found anything to be restricted
Link Posted: 9/1/2007 4:54:57 AM EDT
By attic fan they mean power ventilation for your attic. It sucks the hot air out and allows relatively cooler outside air to fill your attic. I'd be suprised if your house doesn't already have something like that. More insulation helps, too.

I would call the builder. The contractor may have too sharp a turn in the air ducts, or some other problem like that. If they say there is nothing wrong I would see if you can't find a local heat and air place that will come out and give you a free or at least inexpensive evaluation. If you know what the problem is and can point it out then the builder will probably fix it under the new home warranty.

Link Posted: 9/1/2007 4:55:18 AM EDT
I had the same problem with a cape cod home. I added an air exchange on the second floor and also added an attic fan in the crawl space that pushes the hot air out through a vent. THe upstairs is at least 20 degrees cooler now.
Link Posted: 9/1/2007 4:56:47 AM EDT
Try cleaningthe vents, and leave a window upstairs partially open as that will let out hot air. My 2cents
Link Posted: 9/1/2007 4:57:22 AM EDT
thats what I have is a cape cod, what exactly is an air exchange? I have a filter in the wall
Link Posted: 9/1/2007 4:59:00 AM EDT
First check the air temp w/ a thermometer @ the air handler (furnance) and @ the outlet vents. Post back what you find. The volume can be checked using a cheap "wind meter", should indicate the same MPH at all outlets.
Link Posted: 9/1/2007 5:04:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/1/2007 5:05:56 AM EDT by Emoto]
One easy thing to do is close some of the vents downstairs. This will make for more force coming out upstairs. Since cold air flows down anywaym this won't make it noticably hotter downstairs.

ETA: Congratulations on being a home owner! Don't feel bad about things. Almost every house has issues from time to time, and dealing with them just comes with the territory.

I am originally from WV and would love to move back there some day.
Link Posted: 9/1/2007 5:13:16 AM EDT
Radiant barrier in your attic along with a fan should do it.
Link Posted: 9/1/2007 5:16:19 AM EDT
Just by drawing the shades down and tinting windows it will bring it down. When the sun hits that side of your house make sure no sun light gets in. also as was said a attic fan.
Link Posted: 9/1/2007 5:23:00 AM EDT
Lots of good advice posted. Also, get up in the attic now, while its uncluttered, and
check your ducting. See if there is a pinch as posted above. Also, check to make certian there is no seperation of any ducting, and the sealing surfaces are secure.
Most new construction has room for improvement in the insulation dept., so after you verify the ducting is all secure add some insulation. You can do this yourself.

After these steps, look into the fan, and other items, if needed. Also, do you have
blinds on your windows? Most new homes dont come with window treatments is why I ask. Congratulations on your homeownership. You got them down 10K? Thats a good deal off the top right there. You will be glad you bought. No more wasted rent money,
and no one to tell you what you can do, or cant do (within the law).
Link Posted: 9/1/2007 5:24:47 AM EDT
ok I will go to lowes and get a solar attic fan which I heard runs about $100+ dollars and a friend of mine who is a contractor told me he would install free. I trust your judgement this whole "it's mine" has just got me spooked
Link Posted: 9/1/2007 5:25:38 AM EDT
Make sure the air return register is not obstructed. Our master bedroom was cold till we found cold air return was not completed. Made big difference.
Link Posted: 9/1/2007 5:28:04 AM EDT
There is always going to be problems with a new house. I'm in mine 4 months now. When they put the air handler in, the installer never finished running the condensation line to the outside. Water was running into the wall in the laundry room. They had to cut the wall open and finish connecting the pipes together then dry the room and refinish. Call the builder and get one of the production managers out to look at the issue.
Link Posted: 9/1/2007 5:31:25 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/1/2007 5:38:09 AM EDT
Congrats on the new house! You will be happy you bought it in 5 years!

Note that we have been suffering from record high temps for a month!

My a/c has been running non-stop from 10am until 10pm. It doesn't matter what the thermostat is set on, it will not ever get below 80 between noon and 10pm when it is 100+ outside and my house is very well insulated.

They size a/c units based upon averages, not extremes and what we've been suffering is extreme and then some!

Try everything posted above but know that 2 story houses will almost never be perfectly balanced.

My Dad's bonus room over the garage is like a sauna in the summer and my step-brother-in-law works for a heat-a/c company and says he's done everything he can to to it. My friend mounted a small hotel room type heat-a/c unit on his bonus room because he had the exact same problems.
Link Posted: 9/1/2007 5:41:25 AM EDT
I had a similar issue with the upstairs being too hot and the downstairs being too cold. I solved it by taking the thermostat to 75F down stairs and putting a 5000 BTU window unit in upstairs. This may not be an option for you but it cut my cooling bills in half. If it is below the mid 90's the window unit keeps the whole house quite comfortable.
Link Posted: 9/1/2007 5:45:20 AM EDT
Put a window A/C unit in. Problem solved for 79.99 plus tax. Also served to dehumidify the upstairs. have not had a speck of rust on any of my rifles since I did this.
Link Posted: 9/1/2007 5:58:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/1/2007 6:01:20 AM EDT by FordGuy]
how much did you pay?

edit: I had the same problem, built my house few years ago (me and a buddy built it) and put a 2.5 ton central air unit, but did not insulate the cealing/roof. it would not get cool in summer, or warm in winter. 2d year, I went to HD and bought maybe 500 worth of insulation and put it in myself. now the temp is cozy at both extremes.
Link Posted: 9/1/2007 5:59:48 AM EDT
I'll disagree with others and say that it's a good time to be buying and a bad time to be selling. The market will recover in a few years and prices will head back up.

Living in AZ and owning a couple of two story houses we have learned to stay single level from now on.

However, other than installing a second A/C unit you might try keeping the second level bedroom doors closed to keep the cool air in and the hot air out. Also 3M window tinting helps for those windows facing the sun.
Link Posted: 9/1/2007 6:00:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/1/2007 6:02:44 AM EDT by beagler76]
So you have a 1 1/2 story then, If I understand your description correctly (the other bedrooms are on the main level).

Is the air handler in the basement? If so, that's a long long way to push air to the upper level and there is a significant velocity loss that occurs.

It is not uncommon to have a single zone system in a 1 1/2 story, but it needs to be set up right. We typically stack the plenum so it's a straight shot to the upper level attic.

If this is how yours is set up, one solution is to install a block in the plenum to direct more air up the plenum instead of bleeding out across the trunk lines.

In any case, if your home is still under warranty, the builder can fix this for you.

Shutting vents on the main level will help somewhat also.

It is still a good time to buy. INTEREST RATES WILL NOT BE THIS LOW FOREVER!!!! People forget what it's like to pay 8-10+ percent on their mortgage.

I do, however, wonder if you bought too much house (size-wise) for a single guy.



ETA: What others have said above is true. You will never have perfectly even temps from floor to floor in a 1 1/2 story or 2 story without a seperate system for the upper level.
Link Posted: 9/1/2007 6:11:33 AM EDT
what color roof do you have???
Link Posted: 9/1/2007 6:18:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By heron163:
what color roof do you have???


That is a very good question...
Link Posted: 9/1/2007 6:20:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Firefoxammo:
I had the same problem with a cape cod home. I added an air exchange on the second floor and also added an attic fan in the crawl space that pushes the hot air out through a vent. THe upstairs is at least 20 degrees cooler now.




I was also going to ask where the AC returns are located. You definitely need one upstairs.

CMOS
Link Posted: 9/1/2007 6:36:35 AM EDT
Don't worry, it's a good time to buy if you don't plan to sell and move anytime soon. My wife and I just moved into our first home as well. It's a one story, and we love it. After nearly 8 years in a cramped apartment in a crappy neighborhood, this feels like a dream still. Owning a house brings all kinds of new stresses, but so far the joys outweigh them all for us.
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 11:01:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By moneyshot:
Don't worry, it's a good time to buy if you don't plan to sell and move anytime soon. My wife and I just moved into our first home as well. It's a one story, and we love it. After nearly 8 years in a cramped apartment in a crappy neighborhood, this feels like a dream still. Owning a house brings all kinds of new stresses, but so far the joys outweigh them all for us.



absolutely, I love the fact that I own my home no longer under mommy and daddy's rule and am actually appriciating the flaws in the home I own I guess you could call it sweat equity, otherwise it is the greatest accomplishment I have ever done in my life im so proud of myself for being able to "beat the odds" when so many people my age are simply clueless as to their next move in "adulthood"
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 2:20:52 AM EDT
Your house is basically the same as mine. You are missing the roof vent. I have a fully vented roof at the peak. Mine was hitting 300+ degrees as all the boards were charred deeply. I figure it was not long before I lost the house to fire if something was not done. I got lucky.

I addition to the ridge vent I had reflectix insulation put in under the roof between the 2X6's and the fiberglas insulation to throw out the heat. Its two layers of aluminum foil separated by bubble wrap. Also gutter vents were installed along with the ridge vent. Works like you would not believe!!!!!!!!!!

My upstairs temperature dropped by 20 degrees in the summer, and the outside roof temperature dropped by over 100 degrees.

You have some kind of cost cutting or defect in the roof, it should not be that hot!
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 8:45:20 AM EDT
6 inches is not nearly enough, we regularly blow in 24-36 inches here, attic fan is a great idea, get those temps down in the attic and it should help.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 8:48:06 AM EDT
What address and where is the gun room? Any alarm or dog with big teeth?
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 8:51:19 AM EDT
I passed on a great Cape Cod a few years ago because of this
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 8:52:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AeroE:
My first house was the same way; the AC was undersized.

You may need to install booster fans in the duct work to pump more air to the upstairs.

Might want to lay in a wood supply and get a stove installed before cold weather, too.


+1

How many tons is your AC rated for?

And now many square inches is your air return?

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