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.
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.
When you bought your house, one of the biggest selling
points was the sunroom. And with the warmer months here, you can take full
advantage of this space, allowing you to enjoy summer weather while avoiding
insects and rain.
Imagine you’re running in a 10-mile foot race. (We realize
you might be wondering what air conditioning companies know about running.
Please bear with us.)
You’re at the starting line, the whistle blows and you begin
sprinting as fast as you can. You’re leading the pack…for a little while,
anyway. Then your energy saps and you have to rest until you can run again.
During the all-too-brief lull between the chill of late
winter and the heat of summer, spring offers a little bit of a rest.
You might find that you can spend a few weeks with the heat
off, the windows open and your home full of fresh air.
That doesn’t mean your heating and cooling system is off the
hook. You might still encounter these springtime HVAC problems, which will need
to be addressed if you want your air conditioning to function this summer.
1. Dirty air conditioner coils
It’s easy for these coils – both internal and external – to
become dirty. The evaporator coils inside the air conditioner can collect dirt
and dust as the air from your home moves past.
And the outdoor condenser coils can collect dust and dirt
during the winter. It’s possible to rinse these coils off, although they’ll
often need a more serious scrubbing with a coil cleaner and a brush. You may
want to leave this task to a professional AC company when you have maintenance
2. Wear and tear on your refrigerant lines
The outdoor lines that transmit refrigerant through your AC
system can develop leaks over time. And the insulation covering the cool line
can become worn. You should have these lines inspected each year to make sure
they’re in decent shape, which will ensure proper cooling.
3. A clog in the condensate drain
As your AC system pulls in air, this air passes the
evaporator coils. Moisture from the air condenses on the coils, then drains
through the condensate pan and drain. But like all drains, this one can become
clogged and sludgy.
You can tell if you have a clogged condensate drain when you
see pools of water under the unit or hear water dripping inside. Rinse the pan
with bleach and remove the clog to restore order. Again, a professional AC
company can advise you on the best way to do this.
4. A surprisingly high electric bill
This last point is something that you might not notice until summer, so why not address the problem now? The spike you’re seeing in your energy bill might be the result of something as simple as a clogged, dirty cooling filter, which is causing your system to work harder than it needs to.
As we’ve said before, these lulls in between the months when
your heater or AC will be in high demand are the perfect time to schedule
maintenance on your system.
With routine maintenance, you’ll:
Keep your system from breaking down when you need it most – Your AC company can look for the issues we’ve mentioned above, lubricate moving parts and fix any loose or worn electrical connections.
Cut down on your energy bill – Regular maintenance can reduce your monthly energy bill. When all the parts of your HVAC system are working properly, your heater and air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to do their jobs.
Extend the life of your system – Just as regular oil changes and inspections keep your car running longer, routine HVAC maintenance will help your system last for several years.
Don’t wait until June’s first heat wave to find out whether
your air conditioner is up to the task of keeping you cool. Contact All Seasons
Comfort Control to schedule maintenance on your system.