Home Improvement--General/Condo Ventilation


I live in a 6 storey condo complex. We are having extreme issues with high heat and ventilation. My unit is South facing and with black out curtains it can range from 33 - 38 degrees Celsius ( average outside temperate 20c - 25c). The air is stagnant and hot. There is one vent above the door from the hallway that is supposed to bring cool air in from the plenum. You can feel this air if you put your hand right at the vent but not if you're standing under it. There is a gap under the door, but weather stripping on 3 sides of this door. You cannot feel any air movement from under the door. There is kitchen/bathroom exhaust but no common exhaust or other ventilation methods with the exception of 2 small windows which actually just bring in more hot air and don't actually seem to circulate anything. I bought a 12,000btu air conditioner which should be big enough to cool down the connected common areas in the unit but it will basically only cool down the air right in front of it because there is no further air circulation.

Do you know how this ventilation system is actually supposed to be functioning or how it is possible to make air circulate more? Any advice or knowledge on this system would be great.

Thanks in advance!


It is difficult to offer sound advice without knowing more about the building.  From your description it seems that you have one cool air supply register and no return grilles.  This normally results in a slight pressurization of your space, so additional cool air can't get in.  If this is correct it is a very poor design.  

You should ask the building owner if there is a method to return air from your unit back to the cooling system.  This is pretty essential.

Also, you don't say whether your 12,000 BTU unit is mounted in a window so it vents and drains properly.  It should have an option to bring in fresh air, once your space has cooled.  Always supplement these types of air conditioners with fans, so the cool air circulates.  

If you have additional information, pictures of your space, the A/C that you bought, and of the whole building exterior, plus the size (floor area) of your unit, and where you live, I can probably offer some more advice.

Steve Major

Home Improvement--General

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Steve Major (Owner - Major Design Group)


I can answer any questions regarding the design and execution of home improvement and remodeling. This includes trade-specific questions (how-to) in all major building trades: framing, foundations, site prep, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, water treatment, interior finishing, trim & cabinetwork, exterior finishing, roofing, siding. PLEASE indicate your state or region, so I can provide the best possible answer. PLEASE provide photos whenever possible.


30 years experience in home improvement design and construction, all hands-on, including the construction of dozens of single-family homes and hundreds of remodeling projects in the northeastern US.

Author: "Architectural Woodwork - Details for Construction" published by Van Nostrand Reinhold (now Wiley).

BS -- Cornell University

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