This is the basic layout of our apartment (not exactly to scale):

|                |                |               |
|                |                |               |
|                |                |     Master    |
|                |     Bedroom    |    Bedroom    |
|                |    2           |               |
|  Living Room   |---/  ----------|               |
|               1     Hall   [AC] / 3             |
|                |-----------/  --|-/  -----/  ---|
|                          |      |      |        |
|                 Kitchen  | Bath | Bath |  W.I.  |
|                          |      |      | Closet |


  • / door
  • 1 large vent
  • 2 small vent
  • 3 small vent
  • = window
  • [AC] Air Conditioning intake

My girlfriend and I have our computer desks in the master bedroom. The problem we're having is only a fraction of the airflow comes out of vent 3 into the master bedroom, and it gets hot as **** in here. Note that for most of the day, the Master Bedroom window is in direct sunlight, aggravating the problem. We keep the blinds closed all day but are not allowed (by complex rules) to put anything in the window.

Normally ~60% of the airflow goes into the living room via vent 1, ~30% goes into the smaller Bedroom via vent 2, and ~10% of the airflow goes into the master bedroom via 3 (percentages estimated). If I close vent 2, maybe ~15-20% comes out of vent 3 and the rest comes out of vent 1.

The problem is that vent 1 is a gigantic vent and cannot be closed. Our apartment complex maintenance staff are useless; every time we ask them for help with the AC, they just reset the thermostat and say everything is fine.

I've tried jamming cardboard into vent 1 to close it off but it doesn't seem to work well enough. We keep the bathroom and closet doors closed to reduce the square footage that needs cooling, but that doesn't help enough.

I'm looking for any suggestions on how to better control the air flow (not just 'how to stay cool'), whether that's by better obstructing the vents, partitioning the house with dividers, adjusting circulation with fans placed in specific places, or something else. I'm not sure where to start, and hoping someone will have good suggestions. Thanks!

2 Answers 2


First, stop the extra heat from the window by putting up plastic in the window. Painters plastic should be good, just get a correctly sized piece and tape it up, making sure to completely seal the plastic to the window frame.

Next, I would put a big fan in a cold part of the living room and aim it down the hall to your room with the door open to let the cold air in.

Or you could blow the hot air from your room towards the thermostat so that the ac runs until your room is closer to acceptable.

If you want to block the big vent, you should take the vent down, then put the cardboard over the vent, then put the vent back up so the cardboard stays in place.

  • Thanks, I'll try a fan down the hallway and see if that helps. I don't want to blow hot air onto the thermostat, since all that will accomplish is running the AC for longer and jacking up the electric bill.
    – user45623
    Jun 5, 2015 at 20:45

Two options spring to mind. First is to relocate into the living room with your computers as that room seems to be the coolest. In one flat I lived in I swapped rooms so that the master bed room became the living room and vice versa.

The other thought was that instead of blocking vent 1, which might damage the vent, what about rerouting the air flow? If you get a properly sized tube/pipe and then divide the output in two parts where one half enters the tube going through the hall and into your master bedroom it might solve your problem.

  • There are a few reasons why we need to keep the computers in the bedroom, so moving to the living room isn't an option. I'd rather not have a large tube running the length of the hallway. It would look ugly and would be difficult to secure to the ceiling.
    – user45623
    Jun 5, 2015 at 20:44

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