At many homes with multiple levels, it can be a struggle to keep the upstairs comfortably cool in the summertime. The main reason for this is that the distance between the air handler – which is usually outdoors at ground level – and the upstairs vents is relatively far and much of the air will already have diverted to downstairs rooms before it can reach upstairs spaces. This means that your second floor may not be getting enough cool air pumped in to lower the temperature.
There are many solutions to increase AC fan pressure, but one option is duct booster fans. A conventional central air system relies on a fan to blow air into the house through the ducts. Duct booster fans are auxiliary fans that you can install to further increase airflow and help boost the output of cool air from your upstairs registers. Here is how to determine if duct booster fans are right for your home and the information you need to choose the right models.
Inline Duct Booster Fans Versus Register Fans
There are two fan types that you can use to augment air pressure in your ducts. The inline duct fan goes directly into the ductwork. This solution is generally the more powerful of the two. Most often it is used in commercial settings, but can be adapted to residential settings as well where typically a single fan is enough to provide adequate cooling power to the top floors. Because it requires accessing ductwork directly, it is a more expensive option that requires a professional to install.
The other option is a register fan. These are registered covers with fans built in that will replace your existing registers. The installation for these can be as simple as switching out your current register covers for the fans, which can often be done as a DIY project as the register fans tend to be relatively plug-and-play. This often makes them more affordable as well. Many register fans also have the ability to set the fan speed from within the room, giving you easy control and the ability to customize your cooling needs to different spaces.
With either of these duct boosting fans, you will need to choose the right model for your home, needs, and budget. Some of the different factors and capabilities available include:
- Dimensions – All fans will need to fit within your existing ductwork or match the size of your existing registers to avoid having the install new ducts or make more expensive changes to your system.
- CFM Capacity – Cubic feet per minute (CFM) is how much air a fan can move per minute. It is based on the size and speed of the fan. The recommended amount is 1 CFM per 1 square foot of space you want to cool.
- Static Pressure – This is how much air pressure a fan will be able to create when it is in the enclosed duct. It can be measured in Pascals or inches of water. In general, you should choose a duct booster fan with a static pressure of 2” or less.
- Noise – One of the main drawbacks to duct boosting fans is their noise. Because of where these fans are installed, they are generally smaller in size but they still need to move a significant amount of air in order to keep you comfortable. This situation results in a relatively loud fan. Some models are specifically designed to be quieter, which can be a good option if the noise is too much.
In situations where there is a more significant underlying problem that prevents you from getting the fan pressure you want in your upstairs rooms, such as an AC that has not recently had a tune up or a broken AC fan, installing duct boosting fans may not solve your problem and you should plan for AC repair instead.
If you are looking for ways to increase your upstairs AC fan pressure in Nashville, Lewis Comfort Control can help with ductwork inspections and AC repair. With our extensive knowledge of cooling solutions, we can ensure that your existing air conditioner is delivering optimal cooling to all the areas of your home and install additional solutions where necessary. Learn more about our range of AC services in Nashville with a call to Lewis Comfort Control.