Having hot and cold spots throughout your house is an annoying issue. Usually, a fairly easy explanation and fix is what you need. If it feels like you got to change clothes or check the thermostat when you go to a different room or a different floor, it could be a bigger problem with your heating and cooling. Why are there hot and cold spots in a house, then what are the usual ways to solve the problem?
Check the Air Filters
With just about any HVAC issue, this is always something you should check. A dirty, clogged air filter can lead to airflow problems. If a filter is blocked, the whole heating and AC system becomes inefficient. It has to work harder and less air is circulating. This is making some areas of your house feel different. Some parts or rooms get to the thermostat setting, some won’t. It also adds work, energy usage and wear over time to the whole HVAC system.
Make sure to check your filter and switch it out as needed before looking into deeper problems. Normally, you should change a filter or clean a multiple-use one every 1-3 months.
This seems simple, but it can happen more than you’d think, and it’s easy to check. Your home’s HVAC uses ducts and vents to cycle and put out air. If you have a blocked vent, it’s interrupting everything in the cycle the system is designed for. Then, pretty simply, a room with a blocked vent will be a different temperature.
Where you feel a different temperature, look at all the vents in the room or area. This includes vents on the floor, walls and ceilings. First, are they open? Next, is there anything obstructing them? A blanket, clothes, furniture, a rug, it might be something that just wound up there.
It isn’t recommended to close vents, even in rooms or floors you don’t use much. You’d think maybe this would help the HVAC system run less and save money. Actually, this is inefficient to the whole system. The system will run more with part of its airflow cycle shut down.
Does some of your house, as in one side of it or some certain rooms, feel warmer during the day? If so, do those areas get direct sunlight for many hours of the day?
There are some potential ideas to fix this. These may take a little more planning and work, but it’ll be worth it. You can:
- Mount blinds, shades or awnings in windows where sunlight is most direct
- Plant trees or large hedges to get shade on more of the house
- Tint or replace windows
- Install ceiling fans, or use them more often
Where’s the Thermostat?
You might check the thermostat a whole bunch. Did you even think about where it’s located? As in, is it in a bright, sunny spot? Is it near a vent which makes it a little cooler than much of the rest of the house? Is it close to an appliance which may make it warmer or cooler?
If the thermostat is getting an inaccurate reading much of the time, it’s going to lead to issues no matter what you set it to or what else you try.
You may be able to fix the issue by moving an appliance or giving the thermostat shade from the direct sunlight. You may, though, need to putting the thermostat somewhere else.
Leaks, Drafts and Openings
A small, seemingly harmeless, leaky, drafty window or door can be a big suck on heating or cooling, depending on the time of year. This can mess up the HVAC’s airflow and the temperature the system tries to hold. Go around your home, all around the home, not just where the hot or cold spots feel the worst, and look for gaps in windows and doors. Any place where air can come or go should be sealed as best as possible.
Having the Right-Sized HVAC
Your HVAC system can be too small, or too large, for your home. Both create issues. If it’s too small, clearly it’s got to work more and probably won’t effectively, consistently get a whole house to a steady heating or cooling setting. If a system is too large for the space, it could heat or cool some rooms or floors too much while it gets the whole house to the setting. Having the right-sized system also impacts humidity levels.
Check the Insulation
Ducts and a whole house need the proper type and level of insulation. Ductwork is usually made from metal, and the ducts can shed some of the warm or cool air when it’s covering a longer distance. Or, if ducts are in attics or cellars, they might not be insulated or insulated at a good level.
Along with ducts, is your home well-insulated overall? This can change the temperature in some rooms and the HVAC is doing perfectly fine. For instance, a room on the west side of the house could be warmer than a room on the north side. This is due to direct sunlight having more of an effect on the west room in the afternoons.
Think About a Zoned System
If you have hot and cold areas of your house too often, you may want to consider changing to a zoning heating and cooling system. With this, you can control zones of your house specifically. This may be great for comfort, efficiency and energy bills.
At South End Heating and Air we specialize in HVAC and furnace repair, call us for a free consult. We’ll evaluate your system and help make recommendations for optimum value. After all, we want to keep you cool all summer long and warm in the winter. Just schedule a visit with one of our technicians to talk about how we can help with your heating needs. Would you like to learn more options our techs can help you with? Give us a call 704-684-5339.