Air Conditioner...

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by dmmcintyre3, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. dmmcintyre3 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    It is 81 in this house upstairs. It is 91 outside. The air conditioner seems to only be able to cool the upstairs of this house 10º. Any way to cool it off more cheaply?

    The air conditioner is blowing on me and I am still hot.
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    How old is the house and the central air system?

    I just use some window air conditioners for the upstairs because the vents just don't push enough up to the second floor.

    I try to stay downstairs as much as possible to avoid having to ineffectively cool the second story rooms.
  3. dmmcintyre3 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    1 14-15 years

    2 Only 2 rooms have openable windows

    My desk is upstairs and it is the only place with the external monitor and a decent place to put a mouse.
  4. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    Take some area measurements and consider a window or floor air conditioner. It's much more effective cooling a room than to drop the thermostat more for downstairs.

    Your best bet is just to cool where you're going to spend the most time. I do the same for heat in the winter and I'm working on the insulation for this ancient place.

    It's an inferno in the attic right now though so progress is slow.
  5. Gonzo3333 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 30, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    Have you tried cleaning the filter? I did that to mine and it made a difference immediately.
  6. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    You system might be in need of being recharged. 14-15 years is pretty old for an AC compressor that tend to have a life of 10-12 years.
  7. Signal-11 macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    2nd Star to the Right
    On the whole, it sounds like your AC unit isn't up to the task of blowing enough cubic feet of air to cool your entire house.

    You could do one of two things.

    1.) Get a new AC compressor unit.

    2.) Close the downstairs air vents. All or most of them. This will force the cold air to come out of the upstairs vents. Eventually, the cooler air will drift down to the rest of the house, time/coolness depending on how your house is laid out.

    There's no point in cooling downstairs if you spend your time upstairs. Much less sense than if were the other way around b/c hot air goes up, cold air goes down.

    The only downside of this is that your overworked compressor gets even more of a workout and you lose overall cooling efficiency because that air has to go from downstairs, where I assume your compressor is, and push that mass of air all the way up.
  8. dmmcintyre3 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    The upstairs system is separate from the downstairs.

    The big thing (where the air ducts connect to) is in the upstairs attic for the upstairs. Where it is usually 120+º.
  9. CJS7070 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 10, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    I would call an AC tech to come out and inspect/maintain the system. We've had to do that in our house a few times, and it's only about 8 years old.

    Probably cheaper than replacing the system or buying new units, anyway.
  10. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    if the space where the ducts are located is accessible, you might consider buying some rolls of insulation and covering the ducts so that you don't lose so much to the hot attic
  11. rhett7660 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    You might try going to home depot or the like and picking up some fans. They seem to work pretty good! Just and idea. And they are not that expensive.
  12. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    With uninsulated ductwork in the attic, you might think of having the exterior OF the ducts sealed and sprayed with the foam insulation.

    Even if you look at upgrading the ac units with new seer 14+ units, the ductwork in the attic likely will still need to be upgraded.

    And looking at the ducts between floors going to the rooms and upgrading them is likely worth looking into.

    For the cost of some drywall, looking at the returns and ducts making sure they are properly sized/sealed/insulated can pay back more than drywall in short order.

    --- Of course there is also the simple one.

    After 14-15 years the blown in insulation settles gets moved/etc so simple things like checking the attic vents (adding active venting) and blowing in some more insulation in can change things on the top floor.

    Plus, replacing the seer 8 ac unit with a seer 14 or higher will drastically alter the ac bills.

    Edit: note of caution, replace the condenser quick if needed otherwise you will be required to replace everything since the freon grandfather repair clause might be coming to an end this year. Can repair all you want, but no more air handler/condenser only replacements.
  13. iPhoneNYC macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2007
    First clean filter. Then refill coolant - a/cs need that every five years or so. Try a ceiling fan as well. Or an additional window unit - they can be quite inexpensive ($100 or less).

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