Here’s a cold-weather irritation you might have pestering you: a house with cold spots scattered around it. Uneven heating can happen in a home for many reasons, and one of the basic ones is poor air balancing. This means the air coming from your furnace or heat pump isn’t being distributed equally through the ventilation system.
There are ways to improve this, and we’ve put together a few things you can try. If the problem persists, you’ll need the assistance of a professional Kirkland, WA, HVAC contractor—sometimes the cold spots and poor air balance are issues that only repairs or a replacement can fix.
Some Basic Solutions You Can Try
Offset upper and lower story thermostats
Do you live in a two-story house with zoning so one thermostat controls the downstairs temperature and the other one the upstairs? The uneven heating may be due to the rising heat from the first floor creating an imbalance in air flow. Try setting the upstairs thermostat two degrees cooler than the downstairs thermostat.
Check the air filter
A clogged air filter in an HVAC system creates persistent problems. Because a clogged filter restricts airflow into the heater, it also lowers airflow into the ventilation system, creating poor air balance. Change the clogged filter to see if this improves the situation. (And keep up with regular changes every 1 to 3 months.)
See that vent registers are open and kept clear
Vent registers sometimes have louvers on them to control the direction of airflow into the rooms. These aren’t tools to shut off airflow, however! You want all registers to be open. You also want them clear of furnishings and curtains and other objects that may hamper airflow from them. Make the area around each register clear for about 18”.
The Professional Solutions
Duct Repair and Sealing
One of the major causes of uneven heating isn’t in the heating system, but in the ductwork. Duct leaks steal hot air from the ventilation system, which is not only costly, it means less air is reaching one of the rooms. The drop in air pressure inside the ventilation system will cause the heater to work far less effectively. You must have HVAC experts handle the sealing job on the ducts to make them airtight again.
Failing blower motor
The trouble may come from a blower motor that is no longer powering the fan strongly enough to push air through the ducts. You may notice the fan sounds weaker, or that it shuts off early. An HVAC technician can replace the motor to repair this.
If you have a heating system that’s older than 15 years, the cold spots may be telling you it’s time to install a new heater. A technician can provide a thorough inspection of the HVAC system and air balancing issues so they can give you the options for how you want to proceed. You may wish to try for repairs or have the old heater replaced. The technician will be able to give you an idea of which option is the better longer-term choice.
Do you want quality service for quality living? Then turn to S&L Mechanical Heating and Cooling.