How To Reduce Hot And Cold Zones In Your Home
Many New England homes, especially older ones, have problems with uneven heating – turn up the heat to take the edge off cold rooms and you end up with an upstairs that’s uncomfortably warm for sleeping, for example.
While you could tolerate the problem, it’s obviously better to solve it – or at least mitigate it so you can enjoy your whole house comfortably without having to undergo constant wardrobe changes.
Let’s take a look at some common causes of uneven heat in your Massachusetts home – and what to do to counteract them.
Why Your House Doesn’t Heat Evenly
Uneven heat in your home typically arises from one of three causes: poor airflow in your heating system, inadequate insulation, or air leaks in your home. More specifically, causes include:
- Inadequate airflow between the furnace and vents
- Leaky or poorly installed ductwork
- A mis-sized heating system
- Drafts around windows and doors
- A thermostat giving inaccurate readings (often due to placement)
The challenge is that these problems aren’t always easy to diagnose without the right tools and experience – a big reason why it’s always best to engage a licensed HVAC professional to assess your home and heating system, and to determine the best way to tackle the problem.
Fixing An Uneven Heating Problem
If you’re experiencing uneven heating in your home, here are some possible solutions an expert might suggest, in order from the simplest to the most complicated.
- Direct heat to the most frequently-used rooms – If you have a forced air system (that is, if you have a furnace and vents rather than a boiler and radiators or baseboards), close vents in unused rooms; this redirects warm air to rooms you use most.
- Check your air filters regularly – In a forced air system, a blocked air filter will make it difficult for your blower to force air through your ductwork; poor airflow means less warm air reaches your living space. Try replacing your air filter before moving on to more substantial measures.
- Bleed your radiators – If you have a boiler rather than a furnace, trapped air pockets can keep heated water or steam from reaching your radiators. If you feel cool spots on your radiators or baseboards, your system probably needs to be bled.
- Weatherize – Caulk leaky window and door frames, install doorsweeps, and add weatherstripping to door jambs to reduce drafts.
- Bring insulation up to recommended R-values – Most homes – especially older ones – are under-insulated. Insulation is one of the best investments you can make in home comfort; if your home is not insulated to recommended R-Values, consider adding more.
- Consider having your checked – As much as 15 percent of the air you paid to heat could be lost on the way to vents via leaks in your ductwork. Consider investing in a professional ductwork inspection – with many leaks hidden in ductwork behind walls, it’s not a DIY job.
- Add a zone controller – A zone controller allows you to set temperatures on each floor of your home independently via its own thermostat. Contact us today to see if your current heating system can accommodate a zone controller.
- Add a space heater – A high-efficiency space heater can add targeted heat to a room without needing to be connected to your ductwork, bringing much needed heat to any room and taking some of the pressure off your central heating system.
Experiencing uneven heat in your western Massachusetts home? FSi can help. Contact us today to learn more about oil heating system service in Greater Springfield, MA.