Can’t seem to get your home to heat up or cool down evenly? Narrowing down why your home has noticeable hot and cold spots can take some investigation. The solution might be as simple as opening a vent or moving a piece of furniture. On the other hand, uneven temperatures could also indicate that there’s a problem with your HVAC system.
Here are some of the most common reasons why homes develop hot and cold spots.
1. Blocked or Closed Air Vents
If your home isn’t heating up or cooling down evenly, the first thing you should always do is check the air vents in every room. Make sure that they are all open and that none are being blocked by rugs or furniture. It’s never a good idea to close air vents to control the temperature in your home because of the air pressure imbalance that creates inside your HVAC system.
2. Heat from the Sun
Almost without exception, the warmest rooms in your home will be the ones that get exposed to afternoon sunlight. This will be especially true of any rooms in which you leave the windows uncovered.
To help control the temperature in these rooms all year round, install energy-efficient window treatments, such as Roman shades, thermal drapes, or cellular shades. If window treatments don’t offer enough help during summer, invest in window films that reduce solar heat gain.
3. Unsealed Windows and Doors
Although it might seem unlikely, even the small gaps around your windows and doors can allow air to leak in and out, negatively affecting your home’s temperature and your heating and cooling bills. In fact, energy experts estimate that windows and doors are responsible for as much as one-third of the average home’s heat loss! Combat this issue by weather-sealing your doors and windows.
4. Air Duct Leaks
Air travels to various rooms in your home through ductwork. If there is a tear, hole, or gap in the ductwork on the way to a specific room, whoever is in that room will not be enjoying the same amount of conditioned air as everyone else in the house. An HVAC technician will be able to locate leaks in your ductwork and help you determine whether a repair or a replacement makes more sense.
5. Poorly Placed Thermostat
To perform its job, your thermostat needs to be sensitive to temperature changes close to it. Unfortunately, that means that if your thermostat is installed in the “wrong” place, such as a drafty hallway or next to a warm appliance, the device will “think” that the rest of your home’s temperature matches that of its immediate surroundings. For the thermostat to get a more accurate reading of your home’s temperature, it will need to be moved elsewhere.
6. An Incorrectly-Sized HVAC System
When it comes to HVAC systems, one size does NOT fit all, and bigger is NOT always better. It’s critical to get a system that has the proper capacity to meet your home’s heating and cooling needs. A system that does not meet the minimum capacity required for your home is going to struggle to warm and cool the rooms. A system that has too large of a capacity is going to “short-cycle”: run for only short intervals before shutting off, never heating or cooling your home evenly.
7. An Aging HVAC System
If hot and cold spots are more of a recent problem, then it’s likely that your system is simply approaching its retirement. As systems age, they become less efficient and have to work harder and longer to make your home your preferred temperature. Furnaces generally have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years, and air conditioning units usually last around 10 to 15 years.
If you need of Arlington HVAC services, our reliable technicians at Tom's Mechanical, Inc. are ready to help! We’re available by phone, 24/7: (972) 388-3669.