Hoping someone might have a solution for this problem. I've got an HVAC guy coming in a few days, but it's always good to have some other opinions, and to have some people who can help me come up with some questions I can ask the guy when he comes out :)
I've just moved into the upper floors of an older home. The "main" floor of my apartment (technically the 2nd floor) is mostly open concept, save for the bathroom and bedroom. There's a staircase to the loft area that's also open (no doors), but is small (low, vaulted ceiling, have to duck or lean to the side while climbing the stairs).
At some point, my landlord had redone the majority of the inside of the house, opening things up, etc. I BELIEVE she also added HVAC at this point, though there IS an old iron vent or two in the floor on the main floor, so I'm not sure what those would've been used for. She did, however, run a vent duct up to the loft area.
It doesn't seem to be doing much, as there's not as much cold air coming out of it as some of the other vents, and the room is still unusably hot (27-30C / 81-86F).
From crawling through the crawlspace, I can see that the vent up there uses flexible (and insulated) ductwork, goes to where the roof meets the floor of the attic at the back of the house, then travels down the wall of the main floor and connects with the vent in the bathroom. This bathroom vent provides adequate cooling though - it's just not reaching the top floor.
I'm fortunate enough that the landlord is extremely great and understanding regarding this issue, and for previous tenants, she had bought a portable air conditioner for that loft area. UNfortunately, the unit is very very loud (Too annoying to keep in what I want to be either a bedroom or office, especially with the echoey nature of the room), needs to be vented through a window (meaning running a vent tube up the only usable wall in the space), and just generally doesn't work that well. All 3 of these make using it pretty pointless.
She's open to suggestions, and seems willing to put some money into fixing it, though I'm not sure how much. Here's the space:
Wherein grey floors and yellow walls represent the space I'm cooling, blue floors represent the crawlspace, and the red line represents the duct tube / vent in the bathroom on the main floor. The darker yellow wall is the one the vent is connected to in the loft.
Here's a photo of the space / vent in question, and of the outside:
What are my options here?
- Possibly some sort of duct booster / fan to help draw up some of the air that's reaching the bathroom?
- Possibly adding a return vent? I'm not sure how complicated that is, but having access to the crawlspace might make it easier. But come to think of it, I don't remember seeing any return vents (as I know them, at least)... is a return-less HVAC system something that exists?
- Adding a ceiling fan. Though I'm not sure if there's enough head room to do that, nor is there wiring for a ceiling light. Though maybe that could be installed? Thoughts?
- Getting a split A/C system. Though there'd still be the problem with noise, and there's no good place to install the outside portion.
- Is there an A/C system I could keep in the crawlspace (reduced noise) that would be able to vent air through the roof with one hose, and vent cold air into the room through the existing hole with another?
I'm not sure what else. Any suggestions? You can see in the photos of the back of the house, there are some pipes / vents in the roof, but I can't seem to figure out what they're connected to.