Second Furnace in Attic - Ducting Issues

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Oct 2, 2007, 8:00:25 PM10/2/07
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I recently bought a house which was built in 1924 and has been added onto and
remodelled at various times since. It is in Northern California where air
conditioning is unnecessary but heat sure comes in handy sometimes.

The house is about 3400 square feet, two story with an attic and a partial
basement and crawlspace under the rest. It has a relatively recently
installed gas forced air furnace in the basement which is in good shape, and
ducts which run from it through the basement and crawlspace to the ground
floor rooms. There are NO ducts or registers on the second floor. This was
apprently common practice around here when the house was originally built -
some heat would find its way upstairs, and that was considered enough back in
the day. I expect its going to get pretty frosty by modern standards
upstairs.

Question is what can I do about it and how much will it cost me. Obvious
solution is to put a second furnace in the attic. There is good headroom and
access up there so this should be feasable. Ducts fom the furnace to the
area above each upstairs room should be pretty straightforward, but it gets
complicated after that. Running ducts from the ceiling to the basebords will
not be easy. It would be easy to put registers in the ceiling, but, as some
have previously pointed out, heat rises, so ceiling registers will presumably
give us toasty ears and frozen toes, and when in bed we will not get much
heat at all. And even if I just put registers in the ceiling, I would need
to put returns lower and put ducts in for them.

Do I have to suck it up and just open up walls for ducts? Each bedroom has
pretty good sized closet, maybe I could just run ducts inside those? Even
though this would not result in ideal register placement, it would probably
be better than ceiling registers and wouldn't require much tear up.

Anyone have experience with the 2 inch flexible ducts designed to be used
with high pressure fan systems? Suppossedly you can fish them through wall
cavities like romex.

Any other ideas? Advice on holding down costs?

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Mark M.

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Oct 3, 2007, 3:42:45 AM10/3/07
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Scorched air heating is cheap but sucks. And blows.

Hot water heat is the best and worth it.

Mark M.

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