11 Ways to Avoid Hot and Cold Spots in Your Home

Delivering the right amount of air to each room at the same time is key to being comfortable.  And not just in one or two rooms.  A properly set up HVAC system will comfort your whole home or business simultaneously.

Of course, the goal is to have the same even temperatures throughout each room so when you walk through your house, you don’t feel warmer in one room than another.  Today at Fox Family Heating and Air, we’re taking a look at 11 ways to avoid hot and cold spots in your Sacramento Valley home or business.

1. Is your system sized correctly?

First and foremost, is your system sized correctly?  This means the original installer of the system did a proper load calculation of your home.  If they didn’t, then it’s not pushing enough air to your rooms regardless of whether the rest of our checklist is perfect.

2. Return air and supply air unity

Having the right amount of return air to supply air unity means you’ll be delivering the same amount of air out of your system as you are bringing to the system.  You have a return air grille or stand where your filter goes.  That’s where the system draws its air in.  On the other side of that air handler, the system supplies your conditioned air.  Systems are designed to supply about 400 to 500 cfms of air per ton.  But if your system is breathing in enough air from the return, how is it going to supply enough air to keep your home evenly comforted?

3. Adding returns will mix hot and cold air

This brings me to the option of adding more returns to strategic rooms around your house.  That return air grille in the main hallway doesn’t have to be the only return in the home or office.  For example, master bedrooms in newer homes have a return air grille installed in them.  This mixes the air in the room so warm air in the summer gets removed from the room, while colder supply air is being delivered into the room.  You’ll really notice a difference by adding a return to these pesky rooms that are warmer or cooler than others, depending on the season.

4. Closing air registers will force hot and cold air elsewhere

Not one of my favorites, but some folks will start closing down their adjustable supply registers in various room that get too much air.  They’re hoping to force the air somewhere else in the house that isn’t getting enough air.  The only thing I don’t like about this is that those registers that you start shutting down can do a couple things.  One is really annoying and the other can actually shorten the lifespan of the system.  Closing down “strategic” registers in the home or office can make those registers start whizzing.  This makes it louder in that room because we are creating a restriction that speeds up the airflow as it leaves the supply register.

The other reason has to do with the static pressure of the system.  Much like blood flow in the body, we wouldn’t want to pinch a blood vessel in hopes to deliver more blood elsewhere right, this could cause big problems with the body.  The same goes for aerodynamics in your ductwork.

5. Change those filters to eliminate hot and cold spots

Changing your filters quarterly will not only help keep your system clean, but it will allow airflow into the system.  If the filter gets too dirty, you’re creating a restriction if the system can’t breathe in properly, it won’t be able to breathe out the appropriate amount of air.  It’s like breathing in through a straw and exhaling out of your open mouth.  Eventually you’re going to hyperventilate.  So, let’s keep those passages open so the HVAC system can eliminate hot and cold spots in your home or office.

6. Keep Heat at Bay with Window Coverings

The sun’s radiant energy can warm up a room quickly.  A room with sun-drenched walls or windows allow this heat into those rooms and will warm up more quickly.  Installing window coverings will keep this radiant heat at bay.  These come in the form of screens or tinting that can be attached to the outside of windows, or curtains and blinds affixed to the inside of the windows.  Either way you choose, you’re going to enjoy having a more comfortable room if you can reduce the chance of that heat coming in this way.

7. Electronics in Rooms will Increase Warmth

It’s so popular now to have gaming systems or high-tech computer systems in a room or office.  The heat these devices put out is enough to warm up a room, making it less comfortable than other rooms in your house.  Adding more supply air by using a larger duct will help to deliver more air to that room.  Just like I mentioned above, a better solution may be adding a return to this room as it will remove the warm air while cold air is being supplied to the room.  This will make your room more comfortable, faster.

8. Ceiling Fans will Mix Hot and Cold Air

Another way to mix the air in your room is to turn on that ceiling fan.  When it’s hot outside, have the fan blowing straight down towards the floor.  The warmer it is, the higher the fan speed should be.  Conversely, in the wintertime, turn the fan so it blows upwards.  Both ways will mix the air more effectively and make those rooms more evenly comforted.

9. Keep Hot and Cold Air Moving by Preventing Airflow Restrictions

Remove hot and cold air spots by taking a look at your ductwork.  It might be under the house or in the attic.  If you can see your ductwork, you will be able to determine if it’s delivering the air efficiently.  If the ductwork is sagging or kinked, it won’t deliver the air properly.  Each duct has a finite amount of air it can deliver appropriately.  Making sure it is installed correctly is a great way to keep your house evenly conditioned.

10. Prevent Hot and Cold Spots by Checking Insulation Levels

You can also control hot and cold spots by paying attention to insulation.  Attic insulations levels can greatly impact how quickly that hot or cold air infiltrates through the ceiling into your room.  Sometimes various service professionals will need to work up there.  In the process, they may matte down some of your insulation, making it less effective.  If there is not enough insulation over one room or the other, this will create hot or cold spots.  These reduce your comfort level in those rooms.  By blowing in some more insulation, you can make your whole house more comfortable to be in.

11. Properly Sized Ductwork Improves HVAC Efficiency

The size of your HVAC system as well as the right size duct system to deliver that air evenly are both crucial to your comfort.  This isn’t the easiest thing to figure for most DIY’ers.  An hvac professional can help you determine what size duct is needed for each room.  A system of supply and return ducts running every which way can be confusing.  Making the right decisions with your ductwork will make your HVAC system more efficient and comfortable for your home.  This will eliminate hot and cold spots in your home

Summary

Let Fox Family come out and take a look at what can be done to make your home more comfortable if you’re experiencing hot or cold spots.  Making your system as efficient and effective as possible will certainly add to your quality of life.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and we’ll see you on the next blog post!

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Why Attic Insulation is Important in Your Sacramento Home

Why Attic Insulation is Important in Your Sacramento Home

You may not need to look further than your attic in case you suspect that your home is no longer as energy-efficient as you want it to be. The insulation of your attic may have deteriorated. This article discusses some of the compelling reasons why you should have the attic of your Sacramento home insulated this summer.

Keeping Cool Air In

Warm air has a tendency to rise or flow to places that are cooler. In this case, the warm air outside your home will try to find its way inside through the attic and other gaps in the exterior envelop of your house.
Such heated air will end up displacing the cool air within the home if the attic isn’t properly insulated to prevent such air movements.

Proper insulation serves the role of blocking heated air from outside from getting in. Consequently, your Sacramento home will stay cool during the summer heat.

Keeping Interior Temperatures Stable

Another key reason why you should insulate the attic of your Sacramento home is the effect of such insulation upon the regulation of the temperature inside the home. Homes with poor attic insulation are likely to have hot and cold spots due to the leakage of conditioned air through the attic.

The cool air provided by your air conditioning system can keep escaping to the attic as warm air from outside gets in. This entry of warm air ends up causing the affected sections of the home to have fluctuating temperatures even if the AC is working as it should. Adequate insulation in the attic averts such temperature differences.

Reduced Energy Bills

As you may have already noticed, proper attic insulation has a beneficial impact upon the energy needed to keep your Sacramento home cool during the summer. This benefit comes about because less energy will be lost in trying to make up for the conditioned air which has escaped through the attic. The air conditioning system will, therefore, find it easier to maintain the temperature which you have set for the home.

HVAC System Longevity

The lifespan of your Sacramento HVAC system will also benefit from attic insulation. This is because the unit will not run for extended durations in a vain attempt to keep the home within the temperature range that you have selected.
The shorter run times (and longer intervals before the system cycles on again) will cause less wear and tear. Expensive repairs come when different components of your air conditioning system are overworked. Consequently, the system components will last longer than the AC components in another home whose attic isn’t properly insulated in the summer.

Better Indoor Air Quality

Many homeowners in Sacramento complain of unpleasant odors within the home. People who suffer from allergies may also experience frequent flare-ups in homes where the attic isn’t adequately insulated. Such problems may arise because condensation or moisture may accumulate within the attic due to the frequent temperature variations that take place at different times of the day or year. That moisture promotes the growth of mold, mildew, and rot.

The filters of your AC system may also end up getting clogged quickly due to the heavy load of pollutants which must be removed as the air is recirculated within the home. Attic insulation can go a long way towards preventing mold and other pollutants from compromising the air that you breathe inside the home.

Attic insulation is available in different forms, such as foam insulation and batt rolls. Talk to an HVAC repair professional in Sacramento so that he or she can help you to select the most appropriate attic insulation in order to make your HVAC system more energy-efficient.