Dealing with Hot and Cold Spots in Your Home
If you’ve been living a house that never seems to have a consistent temperature throughout, you’re definitely not alone. In fact, hot and cold spots in the home are practically a way of life for many homeowners who don’t realize they don’t have to simply live around them. However, the DIY solutions to these issues may cause more harm to your HVAC system than they’re worth, so it may be worthwhile to seek out a more professional solution.
While any number of factors can cause hot and cold spots in your home, the placement of the thermostat and return is among the most common cause. Basically, your thermostat takes the temperature in one part of the house, not every room, when telling the HVAC system whether it should shut off or keep working. Once the temperature in that part of the home reaches the desired temperature (usually near the thermostat), the system shuts off. Unfortunately, this can often mean that areas away from the thermostat won’t be heated or cooled to the desired temperature.
When you live in a multi-story home, you may find that the upper level is always warmer than the lower level because heat rises. Vaulted ceilings and open floorplans where the second story looks down on the first can also cause unique heating and cooling challenges.
Closing the Vents
Contrary to popular belief, simply closing off the vents in certain rooms of your home to direct the heated or cooled air to the room that’s not getting to the appropriate temperature is actually one of the worst things you can do. Closing a vent may stop the air from getting into that room, but it doesn’t tell your HVAC system to stop pushing conditioned air through the ducts to that room. This can create an increase in pressure that can damage your equipment over time, cause water leaks and diminish its efficiency.
Depending on the exact cause of your home’s hot and cold spots, there are different things your HVAC professional can try. One solution is adding dampers within the ducts. This will have a similar effect to closing certain vents without the risk of increasing pressure within the system.
In other cases, your HVAC contractor may be able to set up heating and cooling zones for your house and installing a special thermostat to help you better manage the temperature for each room. If your home is large, yet not large enough to require two compressors when it was built, adding the additional equipment now could also give your home the heating and cooling power it needs to keep the whole family comfortable – regardless of what floor they’re on or room they’re in.