Heat/AC trickles on main level, blows hard downstairs, 1966 house

10 years ago

Hi, I'm looking for some advice prior to calling a HVAC person. It likely will take expertise to fix this, but I want to do some homework to avoid overpaying.

We noticed this summer that the central AC was blowing weak upstairs. A summer of high electric bills didn't quite drive it home that there might be a problem. Now it's cold and the heat is doing the same thing.

The house is a 1960s ranch with a full basement. HVAC is downstairs, ducts come out from the furnace. We can see the ones going to our bedroom and bathroom in the unfinished part of the basement, but the rest are hidden by the downstairs family room ceiling.

Heat and air blow HARD out of the downstairs family room vent, just as hard as we remember. It will blow your hair around and you can feel it blowing down on you when you sit in a specific chair about 5 feet away. Upstairs is just a trickle, it's so weak in all the upstairs rooms.

The system has 7 registers upstairs, 1 or 2 downstairs, 1 intake on each level. We just changed the air filter even though it wasn't too bad. 4 cats in the house, so changing it often is a must. I looked for a damper on the one main branch I can see going to our bedroom and bathroom and I saw a screw or something sticking out, but I'm not sure if that's for a damper.

Any thoughts on this?

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