Hey, is this thing on? Your thermostat, that is.
Anyone who’s ever had trouble heating up their house in January or struggled to cool it down in July knows the misery of dealing with uneven temperatures at home.
Whether the basement is freezing, your kitchen is always too warm, or there never seems to be enough airflow upstairs, you shouldn’t have to settle for uneven temperatures in the comfort of your own home. So, today, we’ll talk about what causes these discrepancies and how you can fix them.
What Causes Uneven Temperatures at Home?
There are a few main reasons you might feel like your thermostat isn’t doing a great job. But chances are it’s not the thermostat that’s the problem. If your rooms all seem to be different temperatures, here are the most likely culprits.
A leak in your ductwork doesn’t need to be huge to cause problems. Your ducts can lose up to 30% of their airflow to leaks, which means air from your AC unit or furnace might not be reaching the furthest rooms in your house.
Whether your insulation is too old or too thin, poor insulation makes it much harder to regulate temperatures throughout your home. Plus, you’re likely wasting energy and money by paying to condition air that isn’t being contained within the house.
Inefficient or Poorly Sealed Windows
It’s no secret that the sun beating down can increase the temperature in a room with lots of windows. Likewise, cold air outside can affect your temperature indoors if there are large windows in certain areas of your home. Both of these effects increase exponentially if the windows are not properly sealed.
The Wrong Size AC or Furnace System
The bigger your house, the bigger your AC unit and furnace system must be to maintain an even temperature. If your unit is the wrong size or outdated, you’ll struggle to get enough airflow to cool or heat your entire home.
5 Solutions to Fix Uneven Temperatures in Your Home
1. Make Sure Your Vents Are Clear
This is the easiest way to fix uneven temperature in your house. Move any furniture that might be blocking airflow from floor and wall vents. Check to make sure all the vents are fully open or facing a direction that maximizes airflow. You can also consider closing some of the vents in rooms that have reached your desired temperature to push conditioned air to other areas of the house.
If any vents are visibly dirty, go over them with a vacuum attachment to remove dust and debris. Always make sure your vents are clear before tackling the more time-consuming solutions suggested below – it could solve your problem and doesn’t cost anything to try.
2. Seal Any Leaks in Your Ductwork
Blocked or leaky air ducts are one of the most common causes of uneven temperatures. If your air ducts are full of dust, hair, and dirt, you can try cleaning them with a vacuum hose or have a professional take care of them for you. Likewise, if the ducts are damaged, you can patch the leaks yourself with duct tape or call a professional to get the job done properly. Note that joints and fittings are the most likely areas to spring a leak.
3. Install New Insulation
If your insulation is old, thin, or damaged, you’re likely losing conditioned air through the walls. Adding new insulation to the rooms that never seem to reach the temperature set on your thermostat can fix leaks and stabilize the temperature throughout your house. Since hot air rises, it’s particularly important to make sure the insulation in your attic (if you have one) is up to par.
4. Invest in a Zoning System
Though this is a more expensive solution, installing an electric zoning system can mitigate many of your temperature-related problems. A professional should be able to install the system for you in a single day so it won’t cause any major disruptions to your home life.
How does a zoning system work? It divides your home into separate zones – typically upstairs and downstairs – to give you more precise control over the temperatures on each floor. You can then control the different zones from your main thermostat.
5. Replace Your Old AC or Furnace Systems
If none of the above solutions fix your temperatures, you might have to replace your heating or cooling system. This is likely the case if your AC unit is ten years or older.
Installing a new heating and cooling system is pricey, but definitely worth it in the long run. Plus, most newer models are more environmentally friendly and energy efficient – which means you’ll save money on your energy bill.
You should contact an installation technician and have them visit your home to determine the type of system you need. They’ll ensure you receive a properly-sized unit and, once it’s installed, you’ll have much more even temperatures throughout your living space.
Be Comfortable in Your Home
If you’re struggling with uneven temperatures at home or are overdue for your regular HVAC maintenance, there are plenty of professionals ready and waiting to help you. Find the right professional for the job today on HomeStars!