It’s common for parts of a home to always stay hotter or colder than the rest of the building. This problem can occur for a variety of different reasons. The problem could be related to issues with your furnace or AC unit, your home’s ductwork, thermostat malfunctions or simply because your home isn’t well insulated. If your home does have hot and cold spots, here are some possible solutions that can help you overcome the problem and improve your overall comfort.
Replace Your Air Filter
Starting with the simplest solution, always make sure you replace your air filter every 30 to 90 days. If you’re not diligent about replacing your air filter according to instructions, the filter will quickly become dirty and clogged. This can prevent your heating and air conditioning equipment from working properly. A dirty air filter also forces the HVAC blower to work much harder. It becomes difficult for the blower to pull air in through the filter when it is clogged.
If the filter is clogged, your HVAC system won’t produce nearly as much hot and cold air. The blower will also struggle to circulate this air throughout the entire home, which often leads to the rooms near the end of the duct system staying much hotter in the summer and colder in the winter.
Schedule a Yearly Heating or Cooling Tune-Up
HVAC systems require regular maintenance to continue functioning effectively. If you don’t have your heating and air conditioning systems maintained every year, they can quickly start to experience different issues. This has the potential to limit how much hot or cold air they produce. Maintenance is also essential for ensuring that the blower is working properly and circulating air throughout the entire home.
Again, if your furnace or AC isn’t producing as much hot and cold air or the blower has issues, your HVAC system may struggle to properly heat and cool various rooms. This is especially true for those who are furthest away from the furnace or air handler. Maintenance is also important, as it can reduce repair needs, lower your energy bills and potentially extend the lifespan of your HVAC units.
Keep Your Vents Open
One thing that many people do to try to fix hot and cold spots is to close the vents in certain rooms. The thought behind this is that it will help by directing all of the hot or cold air to the main living areas or the rooms that are currently being occupied. However, the truth is that closing too many vents will have the opposite effect. It can end up decreasing the effectiveness of your heating and AC equipment.
Closing a large number of vents increases static pressure and resistance inside the ductwork. This makes it much harder for the blower to circulate air throughout the duct system. High static pressure often leads to most of the hot or cold air being pumped into the central areas of the home. Little to no air will flow out of the vents near the furthest ends of the duct system, causing those areas to always stay hotter or colder.
Check Your Thermostat Location
The location of your thermostat can play a big part in your home’s hot and cold spots. Ideally, the thermostat should be centrally located in a room that you use often. It is also important to choose a location that has adequate air circulation and accurately represents the temperature in the rest of the building. If the thermostat is in a colder area or somewhere drafty, your home will often be too hot in the summer. Your furnace may run too frequently in the winter. Similarly, placing the thermostat in a hot area will have the opposite effect. It is also especially important that the thermostat is never exposed to direct sunlight. This will result in higher temperature readings that can leave other rooms cold from a lack of conditioned air.
Repair or Replace Your Home’s Ductwork
Damaged or leaking ductwork can create hot spots in the summer and cold spots in the winter. If the ducts are leaking conditioned air, much of the hot or cold air will escape before it reaches the end of the duct system. Hot and cold spots can also result from ductwork that is oversized, undersized or not properly designed or installed.
If your ductwork isn’t too old and is in good shape, you can easily have it repaired. If your ductwork is more than 20 to 25 years old, you may be better off replacing some or all of it with the help of an experienced professional.
Improve Your Home’s Insulation
A lack of sufficient insulation is a common cause of hot and cold spots. If you have one room or part of the home that is always colder in the winter and hotter in the summer, it may be that the exterior walls aren’t insulated well. Making improvements to your home’s insulation won’t just help to prevent hot and cold spots; but it can also greatly improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Upgrade to a New HVAC Unit
If your furnace, AC or any other portion of your HVAC unit is more than 15 years old, it’s likely nearing the end of its lifespan. In this case, the problem could be that the unit is simply no longer able to function in a way that will heat or cool the entire building consistently. Hot and cold spots can also occur when the HVAC unit is either too large or too small for the home. The only solution for this is to replace it with a properly sized unit.
While replacing your HVAC unit is a major investment, it can be well worth the cost. Not only will the new unit help keep your entire home comfortable, but it will likely be more energy efficient.
Install a Zone Control System
One of the best options for overcoming hot and cold spots is to install a zone control system. A zone control system uses dampers to split the ductwork into different areas. Each zone has a thermostat that only controls that zone. This means that you can raise or lower the temperature in each area independently to prevent hot or cold spots. When the temperature in one zone reaches whatever the thermostat is set to, the dampers will close so that no more air flows in or out.
Zone control systems are great since they allow you to direct hot or cold air wherever it is needed. However, they don’t create any airflow issues like you would experience by closing the vents in some areas. This type of system also means you won’t ever need to heat or cool the entire building at once if you don’t need to. This can greatly reduce your energy costs and lessen the wear and tear on your HVAC equipment.
At Simply Cooling, Heating and Plumbing, our technicians can help you overcome hot and cold spots in your home. We can also address any other HVAC issues you may have. We offer professional maintenance and repairs for central AC units and furnaces. We can also help with ductwork repairs, HVAC replacement or smart thermostat installation. Give us a call today if you have any questions or are in need of HVAC service in the Las Vegas area.