Hot and cold spots can add up to an indoor environment that’s never completely comfortable anywhere. HVAC systems are designed and installed to keep temperatures consistent no matter what room you’re in or how far away it’s located from the central air conditioner or furnace. Once you rule out the obvious no-brainers — like a window that’s inadvertently left cracked open — check out these three possible explanations for mysterious hot and cold spots.
Blocked or Closed Air Vents
Each room typically has a supply air vent. A dedicated return vent may be in the room or a central return may be in a hallway. If anything obstructs airflow to these vents, temperatures in that room or zone will deviate noticeably from the rest of the house. Usual suspects include furniture inadvertently pushed in front of a vent or heavy draperies covering the vent. Sometimes, residents deliberately close a supply vent to “save” heated or cooled air. This disrupts airflow balance throughout the entire system and actually causes more energy consumption—in addition to hot and cold spots.
A thermostat should be centrally located inside the house away from drafts, direct sunlight, or other changing temperature sources. If a thermostat is exposed to fluctuating temperature influences or located in an area of the house that’s usually warmer or colder than the rest of the home—upstairs rooms, for example, are typically warmer than downstairs—the thermostat will adjust heating and cooling inaccurately, causing some areas of the house to stay chilly while others become uncomfortably warm.
If you’re lucky, your ducts leak less than 20 percent of the conditioned air they carry. In many homes, however, that percentage is much higher. When a branch duct has significant leakage, the room connected to that branch will be hotter in summer and colder in winter than other rooms. Your HVAC contractor can pressure-test the system to determine the degree of leakage, and then suggest methods to seal ductwork leaks and restore proper airflow.
For more solutions to annoying hot and cold spots in your home in Indianapolis, contact Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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