Do you have some rooms in your home that require a sweater even in July, but others that are 5 degrees warmer than the rest of the house? It’s not unusual for areas of a home, especially if it’s multi-story, to have uneven temperatures, but it’s an issue that can be addressed with proper air balancing.
Air balancing is about ensuring the air flow and temperature in your home is being evenly distributed throughout all your rooms. This helps reduce energy consumption, ensures your HVAC unit is running as maximum efficiency, and improves your family’s overall comfort.
Our HVAC technicians at Air Tech of Central Florida are often called out when someone is experiencing spotty temperatures throughout their home. Being in Central Florida means the air conditioning is running a good part of the year, and any areas that just won’t cool off can mean higher power bills.
During our HVAC maintenance checks for Orlando area homes, we can often spot causes of air that’s not flowing properly and make the proper adjustments needed to rebalance the flow. There are also some DIY methods we’ll discuss that you can try first to see if you can smooth out those hot and cold areas yourself.
How Does Air Get Out of Balance?
The air supply and return ducts in a home or building are designed to be in balance, meaning what comes in, goes out and the pressure should remain neutral. If there is a leak or other issue with the air flow, then imbalances occur, and pressure can be off (either too high or too low).
Air pressure imbalance can increase infiltration up to 200% in forced-air systems.
There are a few different things that can cause air imbalances.
Holes in either the air supply or return ducts can cause problems with air flow and balancing, causing air to escape and pressure to skew, just like the imbalance if you were trying to drink out of a straw that had a hole in it.
If you have an exhaust fan that’s removing too much air, it can cause a problem with negative air pressure. It can also lead to a buildup of carbon monoxide or other deadly fumes from things like fireplaces due to backdrafting.
Speed of the Fan Motor
If the air conditioner motor is set too fast, it could be forcing too much air into a room, causing overly positive air pressure. A symptom of this is pressure that causes doors to slam on their own.
Improperly Sized Ductwork or HVAC Unit
If your HVAC unit or ductwork aren’t matched to the needs of your home, this can cause an air imbalance because you won’t have enough airflow for your square footage. Another problem of wrong-size unit or ducts is long-term damage to your system.
Rising Heat & Poorly Insulated Rooms
Heat buildup either in upstairs rooms or areas of your home that aren’t well insulated can cause hot spots that send your A/C unit into overdrive trying to compensate for the warmer areas.
It’s not unusual for an upstairs to be 8-10 degrees warmer than the downstairs, and if your system isn’t set up to properly compensate for the difference, you can have costly imbalances.
DIY Tips to Address Hot & Cold Spots in Your Home
There are a few DIY tips you can try to rebalance the air in your home yourself. If the imbalance isn’t caused by anything major (like a damaged duct), then you may be able to fix the problem simply.
Here some things to try out.
Adjust Your Registers
Try adjusting the registers in each room to compensate for temperature differences. Partially close those in cooler areas of your home, while opening wide the ones in warmer areas (like upstairs) and see if this helps fix the problem.
Prevent Air Flow Restrictions
Your vents should have about 18 inches if space, so if you have any furniture that’s closer than that, you’ll want to rearrange it so you’re not restricting air flow. Keep all vents and interior doors open at least partially to ensure proper air movement throughout your home.
Check Your Filters
Dirty air filters can also cause an air flow imbalance as well as a drain on your energy costs. Make sure your filters are clean and that you’re changing them regularly. This has multiple benefits, such as improving air quality, increasing energy efficiency, and increasing HVAC lifespan.
Use Window Covers in Hot Rooms
For rooms that are hotter than the rest of your house, make sure you’ve got some good heavy window coverings to reduce the radiant heat from the sun during the hottest times of the day.
If you’re still having problems with air flow after you try these DIY fixes, then it’s best to call a professional to find out the cause of the imbalance.
Fast A/C Repair Anytime, Day or Night!
Don’t suffer with an uncomfortable home! If you need an HVAC repair, maintenance check, or help with hot and cold spots, Air Tech of Central Florida has your back. We’re available 24/7 for any AC emergencies.
Contact us for speedy assistance at 407-696-9876 or through our contact form.