In a perfect world, your HVAC system would keep you cool as a cucumber through the height of summer and as warm as toast during the worst of winter.
But we know better. There are several factors, both related to your system and to your home, that can cause your HVAC to offer uneven heating and cooling.
In this week’s blog post, we’ll look at a few of the common causes of uneven heating and cooling and what you can do to fix them.
While this is mostly a problem in older houses, any home that has substandard insulation and thin walls is at risk for becoming too hot or too cold.
If your home isn’t retaining cool air in the summer or warm air in the winter, you can expect to waste energy and spend more than you need to heat or cool the home. It doesn’t matter if this issue is confined to individual rooms, you’ll be running your system longer than necessary, which adds to your energy bill.
A leak in your ductwork can cause you to lose as much as 30 percent of your airflow. Even a minor leak from a duct that’s poorly insulated can cause major airflow issues throughout the entire home, while more significant leaks – for example, the kind caused by loose joints – can cut off airflow completely to rooms in another part of the home.
Heat rise in multi-story homes
If you have a two-story home, you can expect to find a temperature difference of anywhere from eight to 10 degrees between your downstairs and upstairs.
Heat naturally rises, leaving your upstairs warmer than your lower levels. And most heating and cooling systems monitor the temperature using a single thermostat. Rooms that are further away from that thermostat might end up being under-conditioned.
Ductwork or HVAC systems that aren’t sized properly
If your HVAC system or ductwork isn’t the right size for your home, you’re not going to get the right amount of airflow.
This throws off the balance of cooling and heating in your home and puts your system at risk for damage. During the cold weather months, improper airflow can cause the evaporator coils in your system to freeze. And when summer comes, your system is at risk for overheating.
Your thermostat is designed to regulate the temperature of your home. But if you’re still using the thermostat that came with your house, you’re not getting the most out of your heating and cooling system. Older thermostats can’t evenly distribute warm or cool air – particularly in large, multi-room homes – making your home uncomfortable.
The location of your thermostat can also play a role in your home’s comfort level. Be sure to read our blog on proper thermostat placement to learn more.
The way the room is situated
Sometimes, uneven heating and cooling is simply the result of how your rooms are situated. For example, a room that spends all day getting sunlight will be warmer than one that faces away from the sun. And if you live someplace that’s especially warm or cold, the size and number of windows in a room – along with how well the windows are sealed – can affect the temperature.
How can I deal with uneven heating and cooling?
If you’re experiencing uneven heating or cooling, you can make things more comfortable by:
- Finding and patching leaky ductwork. In theory, you can do this with duct tape. But you might want to consider working with a professional HVAC technician. They’ll know where to look for leaks and will have more sophisticated equipment to give you a better seal.
- Replacing old, ineffective insulation and making sure your windows are properly sealed.
- Installing a programmable thermostat, which will allow you to control your home’s temperature better.
Is your home feeling humid when it should be cool? Chilly when it should be warm? All Seasons Comfort Control can help. Our technicians can examine your system and make sure it provides even heating and cooling year-round. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.