If some rooms in your home are comfortable but others never heat properly, you’re not alone. Uneven heating is a common challenge in Tucson, Arizona homes. We will discuss some of the causes of uneven heating and ways to address it.
Blocked Air Vents
Blocked air vents are the number one reason for uneven heating in a home. Your vents may be blocked by furniture or storage items. They may even be closed. This prevents the room where the vent is located from receiving enough warm air, making the home’s temperature feel uneven.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends that your furnace has a minimum of 78% annual fuel utilization efficiency for the unit to perform optimally. Poor furnace maintenance can cause the unit’s performance to drop significantly.
When customers complain about uneven heating, a dirty air filter is often the culprit. When the air filter is dirty, it impedes your home’s airflow. This lowers the amount of warm air delivered to living spaces. Rooms that are closest to your furnace are kept warm, whereas rooms that are farther away from your furnace have less warm air than the rest of the home. At Rite Way Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing, we recommend that you have your furnace professionally tuned-up every year.
Improperly Sized Furnace
If the furnace in your home is too small, it will have to work harder to warm your home. Overcompensation leads to stress in the system, which causes uneven heating.
If the unit is too big, it generates more heat than needed, triggering the thermostat to turn off sooner than it should. This short cycling will cause the rooms closest to the furnace to be hot and those farthest away to feel cool.
A furnace with a 30,000 BTU output capacity can heat a 1,000 square-foot home. However, factors such as external temperature, windows, and home structure will determine what size furnace is right for your home.
Leaks can be caused by gaps or cracks in doors and window seals. Prior to the winter months, check your attic, basement, doors, and windows to see if there are any holes or gaps that are allowing cold air in. You can usually fix these causes of uneven heating by using caulking, foam tape, weather stripping, or door sweeps.
Unique Home Designs and Dirty Ductwork
Some homes in Tucson are structured in a way where each floor has unique heating requirements. If your furnace has just one thermostat, it can be difficult for it to heat a multi-level home evenly.
If the ductwork in your home has holes, cracks, or openings, warm air leaks out before reaching its destination. Any rooms that are fed by damaged ducts will receive inadequate heating. Common causes of holes and cracks include structural deterioration with age, damage by rodents and other small animals, poor installation, and structural work damage.
Now that we have identified some of the reasons for uneven heating, let’s look at a few solutions.
Relocate Air to Needed Areas With Your Air Vents
Start by moving furniture and storage items away from blocked vents and registers. If your vents are noticeably dirty, clean them using the vent attachment on your vacuum.
You can redirect warm air to certain parts of your home by partially closing vents in rooms that get a lot of heat. This way, more air is directed to parts of the home that don’t get sufficient warm air. Do not fully close vents. This will lead to a pressure buildup in the ventilation system that would be counterproductive.
Switch the Thermostat Fan From “Auto” to “On”
Your thermostat should have the option to toggle the fan between “auto” and “on.” If you have a newer thermostat, there may be additional fan control settings.
Turning the switch to the “on” position allows your system to circulate air through the home even after the furnace’s heating cycle has turned off. This can help even out temperatures between different rooms or floors of your home.
When the unit is in the “auto” position, the fan is only activated when the thermostat indicates the need for heating or cooling. Having the fan run continuously may increase your electricity bill up to $20 each month.
Inspect Your Air Ducts for Leaks
Damaged air ducts allow conditioned air to bleed off before it arrives at its destination. Your HVAC system will need to work harder to try to compensate for the missing air. In addition to making your home’s heating uneven, the furnace overcompensating can lead to premature wear and tear and maintenance issues. Our HVAC technicians at Rite Way Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing will be happy to inspect your ducts if you feel they are leading to uneven heating in your home.
Add More Insulation to Your Attic
The insulation in your attic keeps cold air out, but it also keeps warm air in your home. If you don’t have enough insulation or high-quality insulation, much of your home’s heat may be escaping through the roof. At the same time, cold air is entering your home during the winter. Insufficient attic insulation can cause a noticeable difference between the temperature on the first and second floors of your home.
Use a Zoning System to Control Different Areas
Zoned HVAC is a cooling and heating system that regulates and redirects airflow to certain parts of the home using dampers in the ductwork. This lets you create customized temperature zones, increasing comfort and efficiency.
You should consider installing a system of this sort if your home has large windows, the rooms feel stuffy, or the second floor of your home is always warmer than the lower floor. Instead of choosing one temperature for the entire home, zoned HVAC systems allow you to create several temperature-controlled areas. You don’t waste energy overcooling or overheating certain areas. In addition to keeping your home evenly heated, zoning may save you up to 35% on your energy expenses.
Uneven heating is inconvenient and uncomfortable. Some issues you can fix yourself, but other issues may require the assistance of an HVAC professional. Trained technicians know HVAC equipment and can provide the most appropriate solutions. Having professionals review your system ensures that existing problems are fixed and future issues are prevented.
Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing by Preferred Experts
Rite Way Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing is proud to provide the best in heating, cooling, and plumbing for the Tucson area. We are committed to the indoor comfort of our clients year-round. Our technicians are extensively trained in providing superior HVAC service.
Are you ready to purchase a new HVAC unit for your home? We are happy to help you by making accurate recommendations on the best replacement system for your Tucson home. Whether you need air conditioning, heating, plumbing, or home air quality inspections, we are the only name you need to remember.
Our customers know that when they call Rite Way Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing for service, they are going to get premium products, the best in customer care, and affordable prices. Contact us today. We care about your concerns, will stick to your budget, and are always available to answer your call.