Hot room in home

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.

Wall insulation

Subpar insulation

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.

HVAC duct in home

Leaking ducts

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.

Old thermostat

Older thermostats

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.

Very sunny room

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:

Programmable thermostat
  • 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.

Is your air conditioning ready for the summer heat?

It’s easy to feel ready for the summer, especially after a long, cold winter and dreary, rainy spring.

But although you might be ready for the start of summer, that doesn’t mean your central air conditioner is as well. Your air conditioning unit might be running fine now, but is it prepared to tackle the height of summer when you’ll be running the AC non-stop?

The last thing any homeowner in Bucks County wants to deal with during a heatwave is a failing central air conditioning unit , which is why it’s important to take steps now to maintain your system.

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Couple shopping at home for new HVAC system

When you bought your home, you knew the right questions to ask: How much space is there? Is this a quiet neighborhood? What are the schools like?

But when it comes to buying new air conditioners, homeowners often aren’t sure what to ask HVAC companies. If you’re searching for a new AC unit, be sure you pose these questions:

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As most local heating and cooling companies can tell you, March is a notoriously fickle month.

Some years we get 31 days of early spring, other years winter throws its big blow-out.

It’s a very changeable month, hence the old saying “If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb.” It’s a pretty straightforward concept: it’s winter when the month begins and spring when it ends.

But what about years when March goes from lion to lamb and back in the space of a few weeks or even a few days? It’s a fact of life for heating and cooling companies: these temperature swings can put a strain on your system.

In this week’s blog post, we’ll look for ways to keep your home comfortable during cool summers and warm winters without having to put too much strain on your HVAC system.

When it’s warm during the winter

We tend not to complain too much when we get an unseasonably warm winter day. Still, you might think it’s too early in the year to have your air conditioner running.

If that’s the case, you can keep things comfortable during warmer winters by:

  • Opening windows – This will create a cooling cross breeze and help your home feel less stuffy after several months without much fresh air.
  • Cooking outdoors – Get a jump start on grilling season. You’ll be able to enjoy a delicious meal while not having to worry about your stove or oven adding warmth to your home.
  • Switching bedding – Thick blankets and flannel sheets are indispensable on frigid winter nights but might not be practical during a warmer-than-usual spring. Swap them out for the type of bedding you’d use in summer: cotton or other breathable fabrics.
  • Use your bathroom fan – Removing steam from your bathroom after a shower will help things feel cooler.

When it’s cool in the summer

Pennsylvania summers can be brutal, with day after day of nearly triple-digit weather. But sometimes we get summers that feel more like fall.

Instead of turning on your heat on cool summer nights, you can keep things warm by:

  • Use your curtains and blinds – Make sure you have your curtains and/or blinds open during the day to allow the sun to warm your home. When the sun sets, close your blinds/curtains to prevent heat loss through your windows.
  • Dress for the weather – You might want to dig out some warm weather clothes early. A fuzzy sweater can make a big difference on cool summer nights.
  • Keep out drafts – If you have a fireplace, close the flue. Use weather-stripping at your windows to prevent drafts.
  • Use your humidifier – Humid air feels warmer than dry air. But don’t go overboard. Too much humidity can create mold. Turning off your bathroom fan will also help the air feel warmer and more humid after a shower.
  • Do some cooking – From soup to coffee to oatmeal, warming food on the stove – and then enjoying what you’ve prepared – will make you and your home feel warmer.

How do temperature swings affect my HVAC system?

Fluctuating temperatures impact your heating and cooling system decrease its overall efficiency. With temperatures changing – and then changing back – your system is working harder than necessary and constantly using energy.

Has your heating system been working harder than usual lately? It might be time to start researching local heating and cooling companies to have your system examined.

No matter the weather outside, the team at All Seasons Comfort Control can make things feel comfortable indoors. Contact us today to schedule maintenance.

Schedule HVAC Maintenance

Living in a home with too much humidity can be unpleasant. Everything feels swampy and you find yourself dealing with mold and mildew.

But your home needs some humidity for things to be hospitable. When the air gets too dry, you’re faced with issues ranging from chapped lips to damaged wood furniture.

Ideally, the humidity level in your home should be anywhere between 30 to 50 percent, with an optimal level right in the middle of that range, 45 percent.

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February brings us Valentine’s Day, a chance for people to show their loved ones that they’re loved.

But what about your HVAC system? When was the last time you showed it some love? We’d be hard-pressed to argue that your heating system is a member of the family, but it is an important part of your home. When you give it the care and maintenance it needs, it will take care of you.

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Oil versus Gas Furnaces

Our country loves the Superbowl, so much so that we use this unofficial holiday to pit other things against each other, from beers to chicken wings to puppies.

We’re not immune to this trend either. Consider this blog post the Superbowl of home heating, where we put oil heat up against gas.

Both types of heat offer pluses and minuses, so it’s important to review your furnace installation options before you make your pick.

Oil heat

Filling residential oil tank

Oil heat has typically been much more costly than gas heat, with annual heating bills in the range of $2,000-$2,500.

We should note, however, that the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects home heating costs to drop a bit this winter due to warmer overall temperatures. On average, natural gas and electric bills will decline by one percent, while home heating oil costs could drop by four percent.

Heating oil tends to cost more because much of it comes from overseas, making its prices subject to a host of international market influences.

However, oil remains a reliable fuel source – especially for customers in colder climates – because it offers more heat per BTU than other fuels.

It’s also a convenient heating source for people in remote areas. You may not be able to tap into a gas line, but as long as your property has room for an oil storage tank, you’ll have heat.

Just keep in mind that oil furnaces will need more maintenance than their gas counterparts due to dirt/soot accumulation. Plan to spend a few hundred dollars each year getting your chimney cleaned and your filters replaced.

Gas heat

Gas Furnace Flames

Gas furnaces may cost more in terms of installation, but fuel prices tend to be lower and more steady than oil prices, because most natural gas comes from North America.

Gas is a far more common form of home heating in America, with about half of all households using it (compared to oil, which accounts for less than 10 percent).

You won’t need much maintenance with gas furnaces, and because they connect to a gas line, you won’t need to have a storage tank on your property.

Gas furnaces offer better heating efficiency than their oil counterparts and run quieter and cleaner. However, your home must be in an area where gas is available.

With a gas furnace, you can attach a permanent generator to your home that’s connected to your natural gas line. If your power goes out, you’ll be able to operate your generator and run your appliances without having to worry about fuel shortages.

Efficiency ratings

Eficiency Rating

If you’re looking for a new furnace installation, pay attention to its AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating, which indicates how efficient the furnace is compared to other models. The higher the score, the greater the efficiency.

Most oil furnaces have an AFUE rating between 80 and 90 percent, while gas furnaces carry a rating between 89 and 98 percent.

You may also want to look into Pennsylvania’s Home Heating Equipment Rebate Program, which offers rebates to customers who purchase energy-efficient gas and oil furnaces.

If you’re looking for a new furnace installation and want to make the switch from oil to natural gas, All Seasons Comfort Control can help.

Our heating repair and service team is ready to help keep your home warm and comfortable this winter with our complete selection of American Standard heaters, the country’s number one brand.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about our furnace installation options for your home.