When your home’s temperatures fluctuate between rooms, it can feel like you’re living in multiple climates. If the living room feels like Florida and the bedrooms remind you of Alaska, or vice versa, it can make daily life more difficult. Nobody should have to switch between shorts and snow pants going from room to room, so it’s important to identify the source of the problem. As with most home comfort issues, there are many issues that can lead to inconsistent temperatures throughout a home. Learn some of the most common before you start balancing central heating or cooling.
What Is Balancing a Central Heating System?
In general, you want your central heating system to be running at maximum efficiency, but when the temperatures in your home become inconsistent, operating costs can increase while the comfort of your home decreases. By balancing your central heating system, you can adjust the valves in your equipment and equalize the pressure of the system, leading to optimum energy efficiency, stable temperatures, minimal operating costs and maximum comfort. Before you go adjusting any valves and fidgeting with the equipment, here are some common causes of inconsistent temperatures in your home to know before beginning the process of balancing your central heating or cooling system.
Some of the most common problems for homeowners balancing central heating are drafty doors and windows. In fact, if you suddenly feel cold in a part of your home you should study these fixtures first. Even if you can’t see a gap in a door or window, it only takes a small opening to let in plenty of chilly air from the outdoors. Look closely at the perimeters of your windows and feel for any breezes that seem to infiltrate your home. You can seal the problem area with caulk, shrink film or weather stripping. If the drafts are bad enough, consider replacing the window or door entirely.
2. Obstructed Vents
Balancing your central heating may be as easy as rearranging your furniture. If you haven’t rearranged your furniture in a long time, you might be hiding a big problem. When your items get in the way of vents, they obstruct airflow and make home comfort more inconsistent between rooms. If one room in your home seems to feel much different than the others, and there are no obvious drafts, it might be time to look behind your couches and below your rugs. Vents are meant to spread comfortable air throughout hundreds of square feet; so losing just one can make a huge difference. Be sure you’re getting your money’s worth with your HVAC system.
3. Insulation Issues
Problems with insulation may not be as immediately noticeable as a cold draft, but they can lead to the same kind of discomfort. The insulation in your home’s walls is meant to slow the heat transfer between the outdoors and the indoors. Unfortunately, insulation tends to degrade over time. What once served as an impenetrable barrier between you and the elements might not be up to the task any longer. This problem is more likely to occur if the insulation has been exposed to leaking water. Have an insulation professional take a look if you suspect a problem before you begin balancing your central heating.
4. Open Chimney Flue
A fireplace is meant to keep a home warm, but it can have the opposite effect when you forget to close the flue. The purpose of the flue is to prevent outside air from entering the home when the fireplace is not in use. It’s all too easy to forget to close this piece of equipment after making a fire. If it’s been a while since you’ve made a fire at home, check to see that the flue is completely closed and the area around the fireplace feels comfortable. Make a habit of closing the flue every time you’re finished using the fireplace.
5. Dampener Problems
This issue is strictly for people who live in a home with zoned temperature control. As convenient as it is to have your system automatically adjust temperatures on a room-by-room basis, the technology can malfunction on occasion. Dampeners open and close to control airflow through a home’s ductwork, but they sometimes get stuck. If you have a zone control HVAC system, and temperatures seem to fluctuate between rooms, there is most likely a mechanical issue that needs fixing. The main benefit of zone control is consistent temperatures, so a repair is worth considering.
Contact the Professionals For Additional Help Balancing Your Central Heating
It doesn’t matter whether your home is old or new; temperature fluctuations between rooms can happen in any home. If you want more control over your home’s temperatures or help when balancing the central heating in your home, it’s worth investing in a service plan to ensure that everything is operating smoothly. Check out some of our HVAC maintenance options to find the right plan for your home or contact us to get a hold of one of our HVAC professionals.