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damper adjustment

I need to adjust my a/c dampers to redirect more cool air to the exremities of my 1500 sqft house. I already have one ceiling fan installed and two more go up this weekend. However, with a number of western facing windows at the ends of the house(a 1923 raised cottage in New Orleans; undergoing a VERY slow restoration),the interior temperature rapidly rises to over 82+ degrees in the afternoon. I can't afford to fix the windows yet so I'm going for the adjustment of the dampers and the fan installations for now. I'm dreading the trip to the 120 degree attic so want to make this quick! How do I locate and adjust the dampers?

Re: damper adjustment

Well, let's see, you could have a few different situations...

1. The dampers are located in-line with the duct. Look along the duct for a small handle. If it is parallel with the duct, it is wide open, if it is perpendicular with the duct, then it is fully closed...adjust as needed.

2. The dampers are located where the duct enters the register. Again, look for a small handle and adjust as described above.

3. The system does not have any dampers. In this case, you will need to adjust the "fins" on the registers themselves to restrict or increase air flow.

With all of the above, keep in mind that you don't want to have too much restriction in the system, or the fan motor will have to work a lot harder, and it could lessen the unit's life.

Re: damper adjustment

Even though this sounds like a relatively simple process, I would strongly recommend a professional be brought in to assess the situation.

I cannot overemphasize the importance of proper airflow to the operation and efficiency of your a/c system. As was indicated earlier, if you shut off or attempt to redirect too much air, it can have the opposite effect from what you are trying to achieve, AND can damage the system in a major way.

I would have someone look it over anyway as you should not be getting those types of conditions in the house, i.e. temperatures rising to 82+ degrees. There may be other issues at work, and making adjustments to the dampers or registers may ultimately 'mask' the real problem.

It shouldn't cost you anything to have someone come out and go over your system and make their recommendations based on what they find.

As far as references, ask friends, neighbors, co-workers, fellow church members, for a name or company whom you can trust.

All the best, Irishmist

Re: damper adjustment

Agreed. Seriously, if your home is heating up that bad in the afternoon, you are leaking conditioned air out of the house like a sieve. I read the home is under renovation. I myself, in AZ, have a still-incomplete renovation going, where I have an open attic access & a large uncomplete area where a wall was removed & the header has not been drywalled yet & alot of air escapes there, as well. But I have been able to keep a constant temp in the house regardless. Since you probably have huge holes to the outside due to the renovation, I can only stress getting the drywall in place ASAP. But as an interim solution (OK, more like a way of lessinging the unpleasantness), something we do in desert states is hide from the sun. Attach some temporary shade cloth to the undereaves & string them to the fenceline, or dig temporary 4x4 posts into the ground to support the other side. Do this along the south & west & the sun will no longer bake those walls, helping reduce AC load. This won't stop air leakage of course, but may help in other ways, and its very inexpensive compared to pushing up timetables & maybe having to pay subs premiums for a rush job.

Rodney H
Re: damper adjustment

If your attic is very, very hot, you might consider installing one of those attic ventilating fans, like Tom Silva installed not too long ago on one program. You can use either the solar type, which will require no wiring, or the electric type, if you have electricity in the attic. Keeping the attic cool, will sure keep the entire house a lot cooler. Another way to cool the house, would be to install more attic insulation, over the top of existing, to keep all that heat outside the house.

Installing a solar fan in the attic is very, very simple. Just mark around the fan, remove the shingles, cut the hole, and replace shingles. Seems to me it will take like a 14" diameter hole in the roof.

Stay cool.

Re: damper adjustment

in the north in older homes they have long put plastic sheeting over windows to help with heat loss and I'm sure you could do the same to help with ac loss. and probally what you will find best is using a combination of several of these fine posts.

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