Reasons Why Temperature is Inconsistent in Your Home

We hear this often at Wright Heating and Air Conditioning. There are a handful of reasons that can lead to cold or hot spots in your home. Some are easily addressed while others will need the help of an HVAC professional. Areas of uneven temperature can be frustrating and can lead to the occasional family squabble over the setting of the thermostat. The good news is that there are remedies. First, we tackle five common causes with simple solutions. 

  1. Blocked Air Vents

The central HVAC system in your home uses a series of ducts to deliver warm or cool air to each room. If the vents are blocked or have been closed they can’t regulate the temperature. Find and inspect each vent in the problem area and make sure they are open and not blocked by a piece of furniture, a rug, or whatever.

  1. Dirty Air Filters

Some air flow issues could be due to a dirty air filter. A dirty filter will cause your HVAC system to work harder than it should and it may not be able to push the conditioned air to the farthest part of your home. 

We recommend that the air filter be changed every 30 to 90 days regardless if it looks dirty or not.

  1. Solar Heat Gain

If there are areas in your home that receive a lot of direct sunlight they will feel warmer. Adding shades or blinds to windows will help to balance the temperature. Maybe adding a hedge or planting a tree to shade that part of the house. There is the option of adding a ductless mini split air conditioner that would cool that room.

  1. Thermostat Position

There are a couple things to take into consideration. If the thermostat is too close to the furnace or a vent blowing air on it will shut off too soon. Also, if there is a heat omitting object nearby such as a lamp which may affect operation. It may be easy to move the lamp or you may have to have the thermostat moved to a better location. It would be advisable to call an HVAC professional if you are not absolutely sure of what you are doing.

  1.  Air Leaks

Your HVAC system will never be able to regulate the temperature if your home is not properly insulated or has numerous gaps. Do the walk and caulk. Walk around the inside and outside of your home and look for every little spot and fill it with caulk or some equivalent. Check the seals around windows and doors.

OK. You have ruled out the easy stuff and there are still problems. This means it is time to do some serious research and it may be time to call in a professional to help with the diagnosis.

  1. Not Properly Insulated

The lack of insulation could be a contributing factor as well as exacerbating other problems such as solar gain or air leaks. It doesn’t matter how efficient the furnace or AC is if the envelope it is trying to warm or cool is not insulated. The portion of the home that has direct sunlight beaming on it will always be warmer than the shaded side of the home. An energy audit conducted by an HVAC professional will be able to best inform you as to what to do first. 

  1. Duct Problems

There is a lot to take into consideration and it will depend on where your duct work is located. The first task is to check each and every vent and return that there is air flowing through the ducts when the HVAC system is running. 

If you have easy access to the duct work it is an easy task to inspect and look for breaks, obstructions, or leaks. According to Energy Star, as much as 20 to 30 percent of the air moving through the average home in the US is lost due to leaks or poorly constructed ducts. If access is easy, such as in an unfinished basement, then it could be a simple job to address the problem. 

This is a problem with a lot of angles. If you think that the duct work is the problem, it is time to call a professional.

  1. HVAC Equipment does not have the correct capacity

The heating and air conditioning system needs to be the correct size to keep the temperature comfortable. If you have worked your way through the above possible causes and your home is still experiencing hot or cold spots then it is definitely time to call a local HVAC company to do a load calculation. The perfect fit would be a heating and cooling company that offers energy audits as part of their services. Typically, there will be a small fee for a professional to come out and give you a comprehensive audit. This will help you create a game plan to begin to solve the hot or cold spots and, as a bonus, help with improving the energy efficiency of your home. 

  1. Room Additions or Home Renovations

If you have purchased a new home with a room addition or made renovations you could be in a situation where the HVAC system can no longer regulate the temperature. This happens often. A wall is taken out or a room is added and the furnace and air conditioner can no longer handle the extra square footage. A new load calculation needs to be done to verify what tonnage or size of heating and cooling system is needed for your home. This is a job for a pro with the experience to handle the technical side of the job to keep your home comfortable. 

  1. Differences in Temperature Preferences

It could come down to what is a comfortable air temperature for one person may not be comfortable for another. Also, it could be that different rooms have different needs in different areas of the home. The ideal solution for either scenario could be a zoning system. A zoning system provides greater control of each room and how it is heated or cooled. A zoning system will also reduce energy costs because it would direct airflow to exactly where it is needed instead of to parts of the home that aren’t used as much. 

Always seek the advice of a professional before attempting any of the above unless absolutely sure of what you are doing. Wright Heating and Air has over thirty years of experience in residential HVAC. Call 502-882-1672 to get help determining what is causing the hot and cold spots in your home. Make the Wright call.

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