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Help! My House Doesn't Heat Evenly!

Every building, home, and room normalizes into hot and cold spots throughout the year. During the winter, you’ll find that some rooms are overheated while others require a sweater for every excursion. The causes of uneven heating in a building are many, but there are a few solutions you can use that range from permanent and expensive to temporary and cost-effective.

Heat distribution is affected by a few things:

  • The amount of heat available
  • The size and shape of space being filled
  • How heat is moving through a room

Heat Generation

A furnace (or air conditioner) can only generate or displace a certain amount of heat. Which means that if your furnace is the wrong size for your home, it won’t be able to heat things properly. This doesn’t just apply to having an undersized furnace either. While a central heating system that’s too small won’t be able to keep every room warm, an oversized furnace is going to be inefficient in how it heats due to excessive On/Off cycling.

While you can use a simple BTU calculation to estimate the proper furnace size (verifying the cause of the issue), a professional technician can also test for other problems, such as flow rate or obstructions, that a simple BTU calculation can’t account for. If the problem does lie with furnace size, a replacement is the best method for a permanent solution.

How your Home is Designed

The design of your home is a major factor in how it’s heated. Exterior facing rooms with large windows have less insulation and become harder to heat or cool as a drawback. Rooms which are further from the forced air source are also more difficult to regulate temperature for. Some rooms are also designed to retain heat better while others remain hotter because of the direction they face.

Of course, remodeling your home is a very expensive venture, and not usually worth the change of a few degrees’ temperature. Redesigning the ventilation ducts in your home for better forced air distribution is also cost-prohibitive. The best answer may be to install zoned climate controls for your home. Ductless heating system in the coldest rooms will allow you to directly control the temperature there without overheating other rooms. If nothing else, setting the thermostat to keep heavy-traffic rooms comfortable and using a space heater for spare rooms is an effective measure while being energy-efficient.

Air Flow

One of the most common, and most easily remedied, reasons for uneven heating and cooling is air flow. You may find that many rooms in your home aren’t being properly heated or cooled because the forced air system can’t circulate air to those rooms. Others are being negatively affected by air leaks that promote airflow back out of those rooms.

Ventilation systems that are dirty, have old filters which need to be replaced, or contain ductwork that is crushed or blocked suffer from reduced air flow. Obviously, if hot air can’t reach the room, your central heat’s ability to warm that room will be substantially reduced. In many cases, simply cleaning the ducts and replacing your air filters will restore your home’s ability to heat the house evenly.

In other cases, resealing ductwork, windows, and doors is what’s needed to restore balance. Any leak, at any point, is capable of reducing the effectiveness of your system. External leaks allow heat to seep out of (or in the summer, into) your home.

Proper air circulation is another important part of keeping room temperature equalized. Hot air rises so, without regular circulation, eventually the floor of your home will cool while the ceiling remains warm. The forced air system of your furnace is usually enough to keep air circulating, but the on-cycle doesn’t always last long enough. Setting the fan to ON rather than automatic will keep the blower fan running. Another alternative is to set your ceiling fans on reverse with a low speed. This will help to circulate air around the room, keeping temperatures even.

Cassel Home Comfort Heating & Cooling is committed to being your best HVA/C contractor choice in Central Illinois in both Value and Customer Service! Call us to maintain your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems in the Champaign, IL area: (217) 866-1596.

A live call center and friendly technicians are standing by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you with all your heating and cooling questions.