I have just moved into a new home that had a pretty terrible HVAC system installed brand new by a flipper which has been causing me a ton of headaches.
My house is 2000 sq feet, and the furnace is in the attic. They have currently installed a 130k Payne furnace, and matching air conditioning unit.
There are 4 registers in the upstairs (3 bedrooms / bathroom) right below the attic.
Originally there were 5 registers downstairs, and the return is at the top of the stairs along with the only thermostat.
When I first moved into the house I immediately noticed something was wrong since it the thermostat was reading 68 but it felt incredibly cold downstairs. I had someone come in and they basically told me the whole job was a mess and clearly it was severely broken.
I then had the following work done to try and correct the issue:
- Install ecobee thermostat so that I could have it pretend the thermostat is downstairs. This makes it warmer downstairs BUT makes it inferno like upstairs since airflow going downstairs was bad and upstairs was very strong.
- Install 3 additional ducts going downstairs and adjust the main trunk into 2 trunks so that one day I could zone (no zone dampers installed yet)
- Install a duct going down into the basement to get more air away from the furnace / upstairs
- Install 5" media filter in the attic so that I don't die trying to replace a filter on the ceiling of a staircase
After the work was done there was a significant improvement. Now it only takes about 15 min to go up the 1.5 degrees downstairs when the thermostat clicks on. However, the system still has problems and I'm not sure where to go next. Current problems are as follows:
- Any day it is around 50 degrees or more the furnace will short cycle. Highly annoying because it will be off for 3 hours when this happens
- It is still way to hot upstairs under most circumstances. I was advised to close the dampers at least half way or more upstairs to force more air downstairs, BUT this unfortunately also causes short cycling.
I REALLY want to get this fixed, it's hard to trust anyone after the last bit of money I spent didn't resolve the problem all the way.
I've received 3 recommendations
The 5" media filter installed by the guy I had do the work is potentially restricting airflow into the furnace too much in an already somewhat unstable system and a big part of the short cycling problem.
I should spend a bunch of money to rearchitect the main trunk into a long T shape to help make a more consistent amount of airflow and the ability to force more air downstairs since he believes the now 9 ducts going downstairs should provide enough airflow to not have short cycling.
Spend a ton of money and just essentially redo everything, obviously this is not optimal
EDIT: to be clear when I say short cycle this means hitting the high temp limit which is what causes the cycle to be short
Any advice would be great. I live in Northern NJ