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John
Heating & Cooling 3 story townhouse

I've have a 3 story townhouse and have issue with the top floor being too cool in the winter and to hot in the summer. I'm beginning my search on the best approach to solve this issue. Are there any recommendations on ways to provide equal heating throughout the house? I've replaced all the windows and doors and working on the insulation to help solve some of these issues. The middle floor remains comfortable while the basement and upstairs remain cold. I looking to replace the heat pump and air handler before next winter. I'm thinking the best way is to set zones in the house.

NashuaTech
Re: Heating & Cooling 3 story townhouse

golfjph:

The three issues that immediately come to mind are the attic insulation, the heat source and the total heat load.

The fact that the upstairs apt is too hot in summer and too cold in winter points directly to insufficient insulation as the major cause of the problem.

You would also have to do a heat loss calculation to see if your heat pump is putting out sufficient heat for the building's needs.

The heat load calculations below (free of charge) should roughly jibe with a rudimentary hlc---take the total square footage of all heated spaces in the building and multiply by 40---thus a building with 2000 sq.ft. X 40 = 80,000 btu/hr---thus all thing being equal on an "average" building, your heat pump should have a label on it that states its output is at least 80,000 btu/hr---Google "heat loss calculators" to get additional calculators.

Glad to hear you are installing insulation now---I would recommend blown in insulation of R19 in all exterior walls and R40 in the attic---this should only cost a few hundred dollars & will pay big dividends in the years to come in lowered energy bills & more comfort for the occupants.

The work you're doing on the insulation & windows should go a long way toward solving the problem.

The heat problems you're having with the basement may also be explained by insufficent insulation---often winter cold is radiated by the concrete or brick foundation structures & sheet styrofoam has to be cut & placed around the perimeter of the building to improve things (this perimeter insulation should always be installed sub-grade on the outside & bottom of the building when the foundations are poured or built, but many foundation contractors neglect to do it.

http://www.heatload.com
http://www.propane.ca/resources/heatloss.asp

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