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Old 04-30-2010, 01:42 PM
 
61 posts, read 138,919 times
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Not sure if correct forum but hoping for some help. Just bought a Cape Cod in Falls Church and upstairs is very hot(that is with the temp in mid 70's...don't want to think about July/August)...I realize warm air rises but anything else I can do. We have closed the downstairs vents. What I have heard is: check insulation, flow booster, attic fan. Just wondering what would be the least costly way to fix.....we have our 2 year old upstairs...might have to move downstairs.

Right now, there is only one real vent in upstairs bedroom, not sure if adding another vent would help much since cold air will move down. Also, the inspector did suggest more insulation but not sure how much insulation would really cool it down??? Can't really put a ceiling fan since Cape Cod /slanted ceilings and wife is against window air conditioning unit...(for now)

If anyone has any experience, I would very much appreciate any insights. Thank you
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Old 04-30-2010, 03:36 PM
 
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An attic fan should definitely help. Also, check your furnace filters. That sounds basic but sometimes people forget and if they're clogged they'll reduce the air flow and even damage your AC unit. Good luck!
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Old 04-30-2010, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Sterling, VA
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An exhaust fan in the attic will definitely help, it will pull the hot air out. Also, have you checked on moving the air conditioning to the attic? You may have to install new duct work if all you have is one vent but it makes more sense cooling from the top floor and heating from the lower level.
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Old 04-30-2010, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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Do you have a Cape Cod where the attic was converted into living space? I know someone who had a house like that in Falls Church, and the A/C had not been upgraded when the living space was finished, and that was two owners before them. What they had to do was install new duct work, and then they opted for a second zone for the upstairs because it would freeze the downstairs and basement just to keep the upper floor cool for sleeping.

Until they could get all that done, however, they installed room air conditioners in the two bedrooms up there, and it made the house habitable. It might work for you to do that in the sort-term so that you don't have to relocate downstairs in the warm weather, if you have a similar problem. That's the only quick fix I can think of, and you can get a high-efficiency window air conditioning unit that cycles on and off to maintain the temperature.
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Old 04-30-2010, 07:38 PM
 
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FYI - they have a couple of attic fans at Costco and Costco.com. Both are eligible for a tax credit. Make sure you get your ducts cleaned too!
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Old 05-01-2010, 07:39 AM
 
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I agree about attic fans. They really can keep your house several degrees cooler in summer. I think I'd opt for window unit a/c's too. You can take them out during the winter and if you ever leave, take them with you.
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:39 PM
 
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Does the roof have a ridge vent? If not, you may want to look into adding one. Ridge vents run along the peak of the roof and allow warm, humid air to escape the attic. Ideally you should have both a ridge vent in the roof and an attic fan.
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Old 05-01-2010, 09:33 PM
 
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portable a/c no vent or window needed............also, a separate mini-split system for the upstairs would require zero duct work. I would consider window tinting for west facing upstairs windows.. I was just quoted 150 us for a pair of sliding doors 6 x 6.67.
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Old 05-04-2010, 07:19 AM
 
61 posts, read 138,919 times
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Thanks everyone for suggestions. Had contractor out and he suggested attic fan. On top of this, the AC went out on Friday night...under warranty but not pleasant. Open windows and ceiling fan and not too bad.
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snuffy2009 View Post
Thanks everyone for suggestions. Had contractor out and he suggested attic fan. On top of this, the AC went out on Friday night...under warranty but not pleasant. Open windows and ceiling fan and not too bad.
I bought a cape cod house in Alexandria a year ago and know what you are talking about. It's generally 10 degrees warmer upstairs (a good thing in the winter).

Unless you have a new roof, maybe you should consider the new light-color reflective roof tiles? They are more environmentally sound cuz they reflect the sunlight rather than exorbing it like typical black tiles.

I have an attic fan which is nice. But this year I think I'll often toggle my central AC: just run it for an hour or so and close doors and it'll keep cool for quite awhile. What is expensive is leaving the AC running.

Enjoy, cape cod's have more charm then alot of houses.
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