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How to distribute cool air around the house?

11 years ago

We've recently installed a 15,000 BTU Friedrich Chill through-the-wall room AC in our dining room.

The dining room opens to the living room by a five-foot wide archway. Our problem is that the AC only cools down the dining room and the air doesn't get to the living room hardly at all. This is despite the fact that

1)The wall AC unit has louvres that move the airflow from side to side

2) we have a ceiling fan in the living room circulating air

3) we have a window fan in the living room set to exhaust the hot air in the room

3) we also bought a vornado fan meant specifically to improve airflow and set it to blow air from the dining room to the living room

So we have the wall AC running full blast, and it hasn't gotten the living room cool at all. The dining room isn't even that big, but when you cross over through the archway into the living room, you can immediately feel the wall of heat.Our house is also insulated and sealed well (for a 1920s house), if that makes any difference.

The dining room is cool but the air is not getting outside the room. Help!?

Comments (7)

  • cindywhitall
    11 years ago

    Is the living room southern exposure and do you have window coverings or film? No other advice besides maybe a different fan than the vornado. We have a very utility looking fan, like a jet propellor in a steel cage. It is loud and STRONG. We have it at the bottom of the stairs to push the cooler air up and it works. I think you need a high power fan, not the vornado, which may be great....but obviously not working for you. I got ours at either a home improvement store or a warehouse club. Give one a try, you can always return it. Can you still return the vornado and say it doesn't do what it said it would.

  • dadoes
    11 years ago

    The ceiling fan running in the living room may push away air heading in from the dining room.

  • busboy
    11 years ago

    I have used box fans place at the doorway to distribute air and it works pretty well. Sometimes it work better to push the warm air INTO your cool room as opposed to trying to PULL cool air out of the room. Unlikely you have high peaked ceilings as I do, but in summer I leave my ceiling fans OFF so the cool air lays down and the warm air remains up high. My neighbor has west facing walls as well and he installed retractable exterior shades (like for screen porches) over his sliding glass doors to keep the sun off the windows. Could work for house side. I know brick will really hold the heat.

  • veggiegirl_ma_6b
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Hi, thanks for all the advice. We now have quite a collection of fans! The one that worked actually turned out to be a pedestal fan we already had, adjusted to be at the level of the AC vent. It needs to be right in front of the AC to work. We also got an industrial looking floor fan, but like I said the fan only works if it's directly in front of the AC so a floor fan is too low. So the Vornado and the industrial fan are both going back to Home Depot.

    This room does face west and gets a lot of sun in the afternoon. Maybe we'll look into exterior shades. Right now we have some opaque mini blinds but they don't do a lot of good. Too bad the ceiling fan (installed by the previous owner) isn't reversible, or we'd try that.

    Best thing would have been to put the AC in the living room itself, but the dining room seemed like a central location to cool the whole floor. Hindsight's 20/20.

  • ionized_gw
    11 years ago

    Sometimes two fans can work better than one. Push hot air out of the LR toward the DR with a pedestal fan set up high. Push cool air from the DR into the LR with a fan near the floor, a box fan or, maybe better, a floor-drying fan.

    What is the floor plan like, linear or is there a kitchen or other room in the mix that could be part of a loop. If you can blow air around in a circle wit a couple of fans. That might be the best solution.

  • heatseeker
    11 years ago

    fail to Plan- plan to fail.

  • busboy
    11 years ago

    Lowes has 10x8 ft retractable shade for about $105.