I recently moved into a townhouse and found that on the 2nd floor, 2 rooms and bath doen't have airflow at all( no ac or heating).

First tried with insurance company guys and he removed 1 damper which was controlled by 1 thermostat and still having a same issue. And at the end he said I don't and made excuse of not enough space to navigate.

I did research and found that 1 zone is not having an airflow.

Options I have now:

  1. Remove 2nd damper as well and make uniform flow. Don't know much about it though.
  2. Try to investigate zone and damper issue (this is 12+ year old system and have no clue what is going to be next obstacle)
  3. Last option is any working vent can be connected to non working vent (I mean flex).

Any suggestions or help or reference is appreciated.

More info

  1. Ac is R22
  2. Central AC
  3. 2 Zones
  4. Hvac fan and other things are in attic space and if i can do some adjustments then i can access main unit and zones as well, which i did now by laying few planks.
  5. Dampster info Ultrazone Model MA- ND, EWC controls INC.

AC is 10+ year old

2 HVac/Ac guys i called and both were really like " Dont know"

  • if you close all outlets on 1st floor, do you get airflow upstairs
    – Traveler
    Jul 14, 2022 at 4:04
  • 2
    Will probably need a HVAC tech to come and check the whole system. You do not know what is working right or what the other people did to the system. Just removing random stuff to see if it works is usually not a good idea. Most duct work has a series of dampers to control air flow. Your system seems to have automatic dampers so those controls need checking also.
    – crip659
    Jul 14, 2022 at 13:46
  • 2
    Since this is a DIY site, advising to "call a pro" is a last resort, in this case like @crip659 said, it might be needed. Still, the OP could buy or rent an industrial endoscope and run it thru the ducts with no airflow and try to properly diagnose the problem . Clearly, I'm not an HVAC tech, but if the OP wants to proceed on his own, that's where I'd start. Probably best to rent a good one, as they are pretty expensive. Jul 14, 2022 at 16:19
  • @knowitall already diagnosis it . Also checked the flex pipes in attic and thats what i found that 1 zone having an issue. Jul 15, 2022 at 15:40
  • @GeorgeAnderson I wanted to try it myself as yesterday i called another guy and he was just trying to explained me how is new AC Units are good and old one are not efficient. And took few hundred again and went.No body trying to understand whats actual issue is and just want money.I dont know how to find expert or pro guys as i googled best guys here and they just took good amount money.😣😣 Jul 15, 2022 at 15:45

2 Answers 2


So finally figure it out. One vendor removed 1 Zone dampers (top floor) ( which was not the issue ) , then he said "I don't know". SO I kick him out and then study whole system and figure out 1st floor damper is stuck and its immovable. Then after hiring a guy who would just listened to me and literally we stroke the damper with hammer as we cannot remove due to its place in attic. and once we loosen it we have air now.

But as @Ed Beal said it is bad idea to remove Zone damper (but in this case those were 25 years old and not working , so removed).

Now question remains is CAN I INSTALL Zone DAMPERS my OWN?

Thank you every one for helping on this and now I understood that nothing is impossible.

Will add another question with "How to add Zone dampers".

Thanks again -Chandra


If there are zone dampers they should NOT be removed!

When I have installed them I would set them up so I could shift the cooling upstairs in the summer and heat downstairs in the winter.

Zone dampers used to vary seasonal variations are set (for example 60/40 summer and 40/60 winter) without throttling one and opening the other or both open there will be less flow on the longer line as most air handlers are on the ground level the upstairs get very little flow with both full open.

Hopefully they only opened the damper and did not actually remove it.

I would try this as it is a normal setup for a quality system. The cheapest systems do not have dampers and you have to change all the registers in each room a real pain in the back side.

  • Nope the HVAc/ AC guy actually removed the electronic damper from one zone. I kept it for now. And he said this should resolve issue and after removing it he said "DONT KNOW". He is just asking money to re install it again. 😡 Jul 15, 2022 at 15:49
  • Thats now i m trying to investigate myself and finding a solution. Jul 15, 2022 at 15:50
  • Sorry it sounds like your hvac person is a real hack. I learned the trade building homes, I hold multiple hvac licenses but am really an electrician. Is it possible he just removed the actuator? The motor that adjusts the damper? I also I would be looking for a second one . I prefer the manual adjustable ones because the powered ones fail two often and are mostly just open closed unless the expensive ones. A photo may provide additional insight to a possible fix.
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 16, 2022 at 0:54
  • I think i really need electrical guy who can just verify zones control is working fine or having issues. But can they really do it if i ask them to verify? Or just give me other bullsgit info? Jul 16, 2022 at 15:40
  • If you change the thermostats accordingly the zone dampers change if not they are bad and the actuator needs replacement even fire damper actuators are easy 3 screws and a clamp is as many points needed to mechanically remove most actuator's in a commercial building But first we would need to know more about the system it sounds like a high end system and a tech that is low end so with no more info no one could say if it is BS because we only have 1 side of the story and no information that would support, your conclusion that it is B.S. efficiency has nothing to with it a big system can work
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 16, 2022 at 20:18

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