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dingus OP ,

I know multiple people say to close the downstairsregisters, but HVAC sources that I look at say that it greatly stresses the system if you do this and that it's a bad idea.

dingus OP , (edited )

There is a single air return upstairs and the filter has been somewhat recently replaced

dingus OP ,

The mini-split route idea is a great solution, but I am wondering if you have an unvented or poorly insulated attic that is a contributing factor to your problem. If your attic space isn't setup properly and you throw a mini-split at the problem, it is sort of like pumping water out of a boat without fixing the leak that is flooding the boat. Even something as "simple" as a powered attic vent could help in HVAC performance and operating costs. If the hot air can't vent or your insulation is inadequate, it just stacks down and heats the top floor.

Unfortunately, I don't live in a free-standing house. It's a townhouse, so it's connected to other units so I don't think that I can make changes to the attic.

The other thing I would be looking at is if the HVAC run up to the second floor is done properly or if the dampers are not right. A house that size really shouldn't have much trouble if everything is balanced right.

I don't seem to have any dampers at all as far as I can tell.

Having the nest with a second temp sensor would just force your HVAC to work harder to cool the upstairs.

Yeah, I get that I would be pushing the HVAC system to simply be on more, but at the very least I could actually set the temperature upstairs instead of having it fluctuate so wildly. Often, I'll set the temp low at night to be more comfortable. It'll be to the point where I'm basically freezing with the sun down. But then in the morning, when the sun rises it's unbearably hot.

The single sensor nest can be a smart move to reduce costs with the higher degree of control.

What do you mean by this?

Having dampers installed does more or less the same thing as closing vents, but with a higher cost. A zoned system is expensive and kind of silly on a house of that size.

So there's no real reason to get dampers installed then?

dingus OP ,

Thanks for the advice! I'll have to read more into what goes into a mini split system. I've only ever had central air my whole life (or window AC).

dingus OP ,

Haha well true. I just presume that if you have dampers built into the system by an HVAC company that steps would be taken to ensure it doesn't mess up your system.

dingus OP ,

Haha. Well I don't mean the dampers themselves are smart. I mean that the HVAC companies will do pressure checks make sure things are flowing and vented properly if they are adding in dampers in particular areas.

dingus OP ,

This sounds super interesting! I didn't know that smart vents were a thing. I'd like to get some more smart home tech stuff in general and this seems up my alley. Plus my vents seem to be stuck open anyway so it wouldn't hurt replacing them lol.

dingus OP ,

I live in a very warm climate (very southern US). I have lived in the region for several years and have not experienced this yet. It has only been after moving into my current place which I did earlier this year. Do you think there’s a way I could test your theory? And does that mean it’s safe to drink?

dingus OP ,

I just replaced the water heater a few months ago which is why I’m confused at that being a potential cause

dingus OP ,

So I was playing around with some tweezers and it actually seems like I can peel it off with some difficulty, although it comes up in pieces. Considering none of my other screens look like this, I’m wondering if it is actually some sort of purposeful hazy coating that got destroyed over the years??? Is that a thing??? It only seems to be present on the inner surface of the screen, not the outer side. Scrubbing does nothing to it put it can be peeled off it seems. Just gonna take me forever to do.

dingus OP ,

I didn’t bother posting a wide shot because you can’t tell what it is from so far away. It just looks like it’s hazy from dirt. But actually I was able to pick some small hunks off with tweezers and it has an appearance and consistency similar to dried glue. It’s slightly white and semitranslucent. It is also only present on the interior surface of the screen.

But as requested, here is a wider shot comparison of the normal unaffected screens (top) with the affected, coated screen (bottom).

My running theory is that something was glued to the screen at some point, perhaps to deflect sunlight. Or the screen was coated in something, maybe to try to further prevent the intrusion of bugs.

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