Keeping your home comfortable throughout the year means knowing you can rely on your heating and cooling systems to function properly. This is especially true in places like Jacksonville where the extreme heat and high humidity can force your air conditioner to work overtime to keep your home cool. One of the most common issues we run into regularly is when the system can’t fully cool or heat certain rooms or parts of the home. Constantly having some areas of the home that are much hotter or cooler than the rest of the building can be extremely frustrating. Luckily, there are a number of potential solutions to this issue, but choosing the right one depends on first determining the root cause of the issue. With this in mind, here are some of the most common reasons for hot or cold spots in the home.
Poorly Designed or Leaking Ductwork
The most common reason for uneven heating or cooling isn’t related to your HVAC equipment but instead to your home’s ductwork. If the ductwork is leaking, damaged or not properly sealed, it can allow much of the hot or cold air from the HVAC system to escape before it reaches its intended destination. The issue also makes it much more difficult for the system to fully circulate the air throughout the entire home, which means those rooms or areas at the end of the ductwork will usually be much hotter or colder than the rest of the building.
Your HVAC system is designed to work with a certain amount of pressure. If the ducts or vents are blocked, it can cause a pressure imbalance that makes it nearly impossible for the air to circulate throughout the home. The issue can also occur if your ducts are too large or too small.
The US Department of Energy estimates that ductwork issues such as these contribute to anywhere from 15 to more than 40% of the average home’s heating and cooling costs. This means that getting your duct issues fixed will not only help you avoid hot and cold spots but also help to reduce your energy bills.
Improperly Sized HVAC Equipment
Another reason why you might be experiencing hot or cold spots is that your furnace, heat pump, air conditioner or other equipment is too small for the size of your home. This is an especially common occurrence in situations where you didn’t upgrade your equipment after putting an addition onto the home. Still, it may also be that whoever installed the equipment didn’t properly evaluate your home to determine the appropriate size of the unit. In this situation, your only option is to either upgrade to a larger unit or use some other source to supplement your heating or cooling.
Aging or Malfunction Furnace or Air Conditioner
Those hot or cold spots could also be a sign that your HVAC equipment needs to be repaired or replaced. Making sure to have your entire HVAC system professionally maintained at least once a year can help improve comfort and reduce the need for repairs by ensuring everything is functioning as effectively and efficiently as it should. Maintenance also allows you to spot and repair any issues that could impact your HVAC system. That being said, most equipment will still begin to suffer in terms of performance the older it gets. For this reason, you might want to start considering replacing your furnace or AC if it is more than 10 to 15 years old.
Dirty Air Filter
There are many situations where we are called to check out heating or cooling issues only to determine that the problem is due to a dirty air filter. When the air filter becomes too dirty, it causes a major reduction in airflow. As with leaking ducts, this can make it so that the system is unable to fully circulate air throughout the entire length of the ductwork. The problem can also cause your evaporator coil to freeze up when the AC is running, and this could potentially burn out your AC motor and ruin the unit entirely.
The easiest way to avoid this is to make sure you’re diligent about checking and replacing the air filter as necessary. It is normally sufficient to replace the filter once every two to three months, but you may need to replace it every few weeks during the middle of the summer or any other time when your HVAC system is running much more frequently.
The problem could also be related to an issue with your thermostat. If the thermostat is malfunctioning, it could signal the furnace or AC to run more or less frequently than it should. It may also be that the thermostat isn’t in a location where it can accurately judge the temperature inside the home.
If the thermostat is in an area that is warmer than the rest of the home, it will cause your AC to run more often or your furnace to run less than it needs to. The opposite is also true if it’s in an area that is colder than the rest of the building. To avoid this issue, the thermostat should be centrally located within the building in a place with good air circulation that you use frequently. It is also important that the furnace is not on an exterior wall or too close to any windows or doors since this will prevent it from getting an accurate temperature reading. As well, the thermostat should never be in a place where it is exposed to direct sunlight.
Not Enough Insulation in Your Walls or Attic
Another possibility is that your home doesn’t have enough insulation. If you notice that just one or two rooms in the home are much hotter or colder, this usually indicates that those rooms don’t have enough insulation in the exterior walls. On the other hand, if you have issues properly cooling or heating the upper level of your home, this is a sign that you need more insulation in the attic.
Poorly Sealed or Insulated Windows
One final thing to consider is how well-insulated and sealed your windows are in those areas that are hotter or colder than the rest of the home. Any air leaks or drafts around your windows can be a huge source of heat loss or gain, and this can make it nearly impossible to keep those areas properly cooled on hot days.
Exceptional Heating and Cooling Repairs and Services
If you’re having trouble keeping every home in Jacksonville Beach properly heated or cooled, Buehler Air Conditioning can help you pinpoint the cause of the issue and determine the best way to overcome it. We can maintain and repair all types and brands of heating and cooling equipment, and we can also help when it comes time to replace your old furnace or AC.
We are a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer, and we carry a wide range of Energy Star-certified furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps and other equipment. We also offer a number of flexible financing options on approved credit. When you choose Buehler Air Conditioning, you can rest assured that you’re getting a good deal thanks to our free estimates and upfront pricing on all services. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, give us a call or fill out our contact form.