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AC - Air Conditioning

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by ocnbrze, Aug 1, 2021.

  1. ocnbrze

    ocnbrze DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!!
    Thread Starter

    hey guys,
    so i'm hoping someone here can me ideas or suggestions on ac. i have a central ac, but my bedroom seems to not get cooled very easily......granted i have a 180 gallon fish tank that is heated to 78 degrees. but it seems my room is much hotter than this......and my tanks without using the heaters will heat up to 82-86 degrees!!!!!!!. i have a fan running that at least gives me some relief, but it can get quite uncomfortable at times. without my ceiling fan i can barely feel the cold air from my ac. i only have one small air duct blowing the air in.

    i was thinking about getting a portable ac, but i have been told that they are not very efficient.

    maybe hiring a professional ac guy to come and take a look at my situation, might be a way to go.

    i was also thinking about getting a better fan, because my ceiling fan is quite old and is stuck at going at medium speed.

    anyways, every summer i go thru this thought process and every year i fail to act on it. i am hoping this is the year that i will try to fix this issue.

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  2. olbriar


    Two things you might try. Restricting some of the air flow to the other rooms will create more airflow in the unrestricted areas. Also check your return air in the room in question. As designed, air flows into the room and is then pulled back though a return vent. If that return air is blocked or restricted it will limit the amount of chilled air flowing into the room.
  3. ocnbrze

    ocnbrze DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!!
    Thread Starter

    i only have one vent going into my room. i looked and all of the vents in the house are that way.
  4. olbriar


    Not a great design. It's difficult to push air in without it also being drawn out. You might try a fan to push the air out of the room's entry. That would have to help. I assume that the room in question is a long ways from the unit pushing the air. If you have access to the trunk line feeding the room you should make certain that an inline damper or diverter isn't restricting the flow to it. In some cases one is in place to force more air to a different room. If the room is on the West you might try some darker drapes or perhaps blinds. I wish I had more to offer.
    Dannydet, Unforgiven and ocnbrze like this.
  5. rootabaga

    rootabaga Android Expert

    Agreeing with the other comments, but am curious: are you in a single-story house? If not that can be a challenge both to heat and cool effectively.

    One thing you can consider is adding a window air conditioner. They work well in a smaller room and are more efficient (and quieter) than portable units.

    Adding returns or zones to an existing installation can be done, but it will be expensive. Likely you can buy a decent window unit (and the electricity to run it for years) for less money. OTOH, if your system is old and soon to be replaced, bang it all out at once.

    Good luck.
    olbriar, Dannydet and ocnbrze like this.
  6. ocnbrze

    ocnbrze DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!!
    Thread Starter

    yeah i have a single story house.....thank god for that.

    my room is facing west. i have shudders instead of curtains to block the sun. but in the summer between 4-7pm the sun is shinning right at my room. so thus it also draws in heat from that attack.

    i have been thinking about a window ac rather than a portable ac unit, but i would have to get rid of the wooden shutters we had installed.

    the house was built in the 70's so i'm guessing the ac technology back then was not what it is today. we do have a relatively new ac unit installed about 10 years or so ago though.

    i'm guessing it might be quite expensive if i had a small ac wall unit installed......not sure if i want to go that route.
    puppykickr likes this.
  7. ocnbrze

    ocnbrze DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!!
    Thread Starter

    i also think that my fish tanks in my room act as an insulator by keeping the heat in my room which is why i'm thinking of getting a chiller for the tank to keep the temp down to 78 degrees. but then that will also add heat to the room. most chillers do not have an exhaust hose to direct the heat out to a specific location, unfortunately.

    i think if i get a better ceiling fan, it should really help. i just do not know how much.
    puppykickr, olbriar and Dannydet like this.
  8. ozonetrooper

    ozonetrooper Well-Known Member

    I am an A/C technician.

    A couple of things :

    If the evaporator coil has never been cleaned it is probably really stopped up and this will cut air flow considerably.

    Systems are designed to unload a certain amount of air, when you start closing off registers it causes an imbalance in the plenum and can contribute to the air flow issues.

    Do you use a pleated air filter ? These cut air flow considerably, especially when they get a bit dirty.

    And the biggie, when was the last time the condenser unit was serviced, ie: washing out the coils and checking the refrigerant level ?

    This is just a few things off the top of my head, there are other contributing factors than can cause hot spots, such as the suggestion of low/no return air, it is a crude way to put it, but, the system has to suck to blow !
  9. ocnbrze

    ocnbrze DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!!
    Thread Starter

    @ozonetrooper i don't think it has ever been serviced. the main living area where the kitchen and the family room are, gets plenty of air flow.....and so does most of the other rooms. my room seems to be the odd man out. if i'm in the kitchen and the ac kicks on, i can feel it if i stand in front of the vent. however in my room, if i do the same thing, the air coming is not the same strength as the kitchen.

    over all the ac works great. its weird but once you are in my room, you can feel the temp difference.
  10. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum

    I am NOT an HVAC technician and I did NOT stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. However, it is my understanding that forced air HVAC systems must be balanced both in terms of airflow and plenum sizing so that air moves similarly in the furthest room from the blower as it does to the closest vent. If something causes an imbalance in the force airflow it can wreak havoc on the whole system.

    Having lived in houses heated and cooled using forced air most of my adult life i can offer this advice. First, listen to @ozonetrooper. We have experienced problems caused by pretty much everything he's described at one time or another. Our A/C issues at one point were caused by the evaporator freezing up (basically covered in so much ice that air could no longer pass through it). This from a combination of low refrigerant and poor (aka blocked) airflow.

    I do have a question or two. First, has the A/C ever cooled your bedroom properly and this is just a new development? And, do you have the same problem with heat? I do realize that if this is a second floor bedroom and heat rises, you might not notice it as much. If that's the case, you might just have blockage in your supply or return. Having your ducts cleaned might be all you need.

    I did have a similar situation to yours in my studio over the garage. It is the farthest room from the furnace and A/C and had a single supply and return. On most days there wasn't an issue, but when it got above 85°F or below 30°F the airflow through that room wasn't sufficient to keep it as comfortable as the rest of the house. We had an HVAC company come out and give us some options. The first was to install a ductless heat pump in the room which was an independent unit that would put a wall mounted heat exchanger in the room and the condenser outside. It was expensive and I didn't want the extra hardware to maintain.

    The second option was to add additional ducting to that room and install a thermostatically controlled booster fan. That we did and it works pretty well. The two caveats there is that you need to have some way to install the ductwork (we went through the garage so it wasn't a lot of demolition). And second, there is additional fan noise.
  11. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member

    Mine too! And it gets oh-so-hot in the afternoon....

    I'm on the window AC team. I had mine professionally installed--well, I mean the frame/brace was custom-built by my trusty handyman who can do things you just wouldn't believe. The window it's in is VERY wide, so it needed special preparation; the little accordion things on the sides of AC units weren't going to cut it.

    Anyway, I don't put much faith in portable units--especially those silly things being advertised heavily on TV right now, you know, "miracle igloo whatever!" :rolleyes:

    Measure your room, then get an AC unit rated for a larger room. That's what I did, to combat the afternoon sun. Works like a charm!
  12. ocnbrze

    ocnbrze DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!!
    Thread Starter

    well its the only room in the house that feels hotter than the rest of it. and yes it has always been that way. the other rooms are fine. its so weird.

    i might have an ac tech take a look at my situation.....and i only go thru this in the months of July and August every year. though this year the nights have been much cooler and easier to live with at the moment.

    but as global warming continues to heat up So Cal, i need to address this issue now.
    lunatic59 and olbriar like this.
  13. olbriar


    I feel your pain. My bedroom is West facing and my dwelling is full dark red brick. The house was built in the 50's and has inadequate wall insulation. That brick soaks up the heat of the day and radiates it into that room most of the night. My only solution is to paint my brick a light color. That's a one way street that I've not traveled all of these decades but seems more attractive each summer.

    I replaced my windows a decade back with insulated glass and that helped some. However, the old window units were double hung and the new are sliders. There is really no way to install a window unit now. A window unit might well be the answer to your problem. They are as cheap or cheaper than they once were. They are much lighter built and a lot more efficient. If I could install a unit in my bedroom... I'd be shopping for a unit this afternoon. If you opt for a unit, keep in mind the power requirements. I would heed the sage advice of ozonetrooper before I purchased. Free advice from a man in the biz warrants attention. Best of luck....
  14. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member

    Would you consider a through-the-wall unit? That was something I considered--because my bedroom windows are so wide--but ended up going with a window unit, because I knew my handyman could successfully, solidly brace and frame it. (You can do that yourself, with your handy-dandy tools and skills!) I know wall units aren't terribly attractive, but on the other hand, neither are window units! :) At least if you put one in the wall, your window views wouldn't be affected. Just a thought. *hands $0.02 to @olbriar*
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  15. olbriar


    It isn't an option I've considered. Painting the brick to reflect the heat can't be undone so I've shied away from it. Excavating a hole in the brick is forever. There would be no matching this ancient brick if I ever wanted to back up. It is also the front wall of the dwelling and would be a hard sell when I turn the property.

    My best option, that I have yet to mention, is to change places with my office. Being empty nesters I have two other bedrooms, both on the East side, as migrating options. It would be downsizing with the master being the largest of the three bedrooms. The office furniture was custom built for this room is another negative. And to top it all off, the effort to change places would be herculean. :) Leaning towards the lazy side, I think painting the brick is the answer.
    I never liked the color and more and more homes in my addition have opted to paint their brick.
    Might be a nice upgrade...
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  16. Jfalls63

    Jfalls63 Android Expert

    Could also check out the duct work if it's accessable. If someone has been climbing around in the attic might have caused leak in trunk to the vent and air escaping before it gets to you.
    puppykickr, ocnbrze and olbriar like this.
  17. rootabaga

    rootabaga Android Expert

    Given all of the suggestions, one thing you could do right now (if you are comfortable on a stepladder) is to remove the register (often called grille or grate) in the bedroom and shine a light into the duct. You may find a buildup of dust/lint/etc. that is reducing both the area of the duct as well as disturbing smooth airflow by creating a bit of back pressure. Air tends to go the easiest route, so if that duct isn’t clean, more air will go to any other path than that one.

    A caveat: you may need a telescoping mirror to see into the duct depending on the configuration; sometimes there is a 90 or 45 right before the outlet. Even better would be to have a nice little inspection camera, those have gotten very inexpensive and are invaluable (at least IMHO) for lots of things around the home. (I think that was mentioned in one of your other threads about a RO water installation.)

    Anyway, if it’s dirty use your vacuum with extensions and suck it out or, call someone and have the ducts cleaned. Unless you have a really well-sealed system and use high-quality filters they can get pretty dirty.

    Once you get the room cool the tank will actually help moderate it. Water is one of the best heat transfer mediums there is, so ideally you’ll try to get the room temp to where you’d like the tank temp. Otherwise you are always spending energy to heat or cool the tank. (That’s one of the reasons I like the small room AC window idea, in case that room should be a bit cooler for the tank than the rest of the house.) Have someone come give you an estimate, that’s typically free, and they would likely cut around the shutters so they don’t need to come off.

    Good luck.
  18. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member

    'Nuff said! My bedroom faces the backyard, so that wasn't an issue (nor will I ever sell the house).

    Switching rooms sounds like a plausible solution. Let us know what you end up doing!
    olbriar likes this.
  19. olbriar


    I've put up with the problem for 49 years. Nothing, the most likely action will be nothing, :)
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  20. no one

    no one Android Expert

    I bought a portable unit from wallyworld about 8 years ago, it works fantastic. It was about $300.
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  21. olbriar


    I replaced a couple of units I have at the cabin this spring. I shopped wallyworld but found the same units cheaper at a farm supply store. No idea why but I enjoyed the savings. I don't remember exactly what I had to give for them. I'm thinking around $350-$375 each. Both were bedroom size units.. 110 AC
    ocnbrze likes this.
  22. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    Technology Connections recently made a video about how portable ACs are lousy.

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  23. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    If your room is more warm than the others it does appear that aquarium could part of the problem. Do you have your fan(s) just circulating air within your room? If that's the case it's just moving air around but it's still 'heated' air.
    Try putting a fan by the door blowing either in (to push cooler air in and warmer out) or out (to push warmer air out drawing cooler air in) Keep in mind heat rises so the warmer air will hang out higher up with the cooler air lower down, position your fan accordingly.
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  24. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    As @svim suggests, moving air in a greater quantity should help.

    How much can you modify the dwelling?

    A simple exhaust fan such as what is in a shower or restroom vent could potentially move enough air to try to suck more of the AC to your area.

    Is the door to your room closed most often?

    This alone could cause some issue.

    But if you could install a vent with a fan, with the outlet going into the attic (preferred) or directly outdoors, that would draw air from the rest of the house to your room.

    Mount it high so that it takes only the hottest air out.

    Also, a white window covering would help a ton from that sunlight.

    Use a white window shade, or paint the outside of the shutters white (you won't see this while indoors).

    You could even get white Venetian blinds that fit in such a way so that you can keep the shutters.
    ocnbrze likes this.
  25. ocnbrze

    ocnbrze DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!!
    Thread Starter

    all good points. i will probably do this as a project for next weekend. i will look into the ducts and see if there is buildup somewhere.

    and i agree my tanks are what my room temp is more or less, especially in the summer time. in the winter the aquarium heaters kick in to keep it at 78 degrees or so........if i can get the heat issue squared away, i really do not have to worry about my tank temps.

    i have a ceiling fan but it is stuck on medium speed, so it does distribute the air. i do keep my door open during the day. i think if i get a better ceiling fan installed that can circulate the air better, it will help a lot.
    modify? i guess that will depend on the price.....LOL

    my door stays pretty much open all day, as my dog sleeps in my room so i leave it open for him.

    i think if i'm going to mount something into a wall i prefer it to be a small ac unit. it might be slightly more expensive, but would most definitely be more efficient at cooling my room down.

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