20 Jul How to Fix Hot and Cold Spots in Your House
Some rooms in your house are too hot, and some rooms are too cold. No, you’re not acting like Goldilocks. Our HVAC technicians hear about this issue a lot during furnace and A/C service calls. After all, if you can’t be comfortable in your own home, where can you be? Especially, when you’re the bear in charge of paying the utility bills.
For a while, you may try to fix the problem yourself. One room is hot, so you turn down the A/C. One is cold, so you turn it up. Usually, that only results in other rooms being uncomfortable. It’s frustrating, but there are ways to fix hot and cold spots in your house.
First, let’s look at the most common reason for hot and cold spots. That’s airflow. Whether you’re running your air conditioner or the furnace, airflow (or lack of) is largely responsible for a room’s temperature. Of course, other contributing factors could be inefficient windows or doors, fireplaces, lack of insulation, etc. Even the best airflow can’t overcome some issues. But, let’s assume your home is moderately insulated without huge gaps for warm or cool air to escape. Without sufficient airflow, not enough warm or cold air can enter the room to keep it the right temperature.
What’s hindering airflow? Could be one thing. Could be a combination of reasons. Most commonly, obstructed airflow results from:
Your home’s ducts are the wrong size. The original HVAC contractor or one hired since to perhaps remodel might have improperly sized the ducts to your home’s square footage. Too large of ducts can lead to too hot or cold temperatures. Too small and not enough air blows through to heat or cool to your desire.
There’s something wrong with your ductwork. Perhaps it was somehow damaged, saying during a remodel or freak incident. Maybe it’s old or is inferior quality, causing it to leak air before it gets to the room vents. It’s also possible that it was poorly installed. Whatever is wrong, it’s inhibiting airflow to specific rooms or areas.
The ductwork is configured all wrong or slightly wrong. How many levels, room size, window placement and location of the HVAC system should determine how your ductwork is configured. When those aren’t considered, then your ductwork may not be configured to properly heat or cool your home. For example, it’s difficult for one vent to heat or cool a large master bedroom located two floors up from the HVAC unit. Sounds extreme, but our HVAC technicians have seen similar situations.
Your HVAC system isn’t sized right for your square footage. HVAC units have come a long way in efficiency. If yours is an older model, it’s less powerful than today’s systems and could be struggling to keep up. This is very common in Kansas City area homes where we experience extreme heat and cold. Another reason the size may be inadequate is when additions are built on to your home, but the existing HVAC is still expected to heat and cool the new area. HVAC units should be sized to a home’s square footage. Adding more requires a bigger unit.
Chief Heating & Cooling Can Determine the “Why” and Solve the Problem
The simplest and easiest fix is to add or subtract airflow. This is the less intrusive solution because it doesn’t really require any work done on your ducts. It’s merely a matter of adding a duct where needed, closing one off or adding a damper that restricts airflow to an area.
If the problem is more serious, say dealing with a temperature fluctuation of 7 degrees or more, then some testing probably needs to happen. Our HVAC technicians can check:
- Whether your HVAC system has sufficient capacity to send air to the problem area or room. If your unit does not, then adding airflow to one room will rob another of air.
- If your ductwork has issues that are getting in the way of airflow.
- For other reasons that could be causing or attributing to the problem, like lack of insulation, drafty doors and/or windows, a stuffed animal stuffed down a vent, etc.
- Whether the HVAC system is sized properly for your home, especially if you’ve added a finished basement or room addition.
Let Us Help You be More Comfortable in Your Home, Summer or Winter
Whether it’s an easy fix like adjusting airflow or more involved like installing a properly sized and efficient unit, Chief Heating & Cooling can make your home more comfortable, summer or winter. If you’re ready to fix the cold and hot spots in your home, schedule an appointment with us.