Get Your Heating Questions Answered Before Winter Begins
The weather may still be warm outside, but it’s time to start fixing your home’s central heating problems before it gets too cold.
If you get regular maintenance on your HVAC system, you’ll be able to prevent and solve a lot of problems before they become bigger. However, maintenance doesn’t stop all problems, especially from an older system. One of the most common issues people find in the winter months is that their home is getting uneven heating. It’s freezing downstairs, but then you have to start taking layers off upstairs because it’s too hot. There are multiple potential causes for this, so we’ve put together a list of the most common causes and their solutions.
Central Thermostat Issues
Your main thermostat can become miscalibrated, which can make the heating system turn on and off at the incorrect times. This will cause hot and cold spots in different parts of the house. The thermostat may also be in a spot that isn’t ideal, where it’s picking up “ghost readings” from direct sunlight or drafts that make it think it needs to adjust the temperature. An HVAC expert from Mason Mechanical can recalibrate the thermostat and discover the potential problems that are causing the heater to turn off and off when it shouldn’t.
Clogged Air Filter
The air filter for your HVAC system protects the interior from dust and lint flowing through the air ducts. The filter gradually becomes clogged with the debris it catches, which can lead to an uneven airflow and a drop in the temperature in some parts of your home. This is a simple fix as you can just change the filter. Make sure you’re routinely changing your air filter so you don’t have to experience it being clogged and causing problems.
Hot and cold spots in your home can be the result of improper zoning. You can get a zoning system to individually control the temperature of “zones” of your house rather than having the same temperature for your whole house. This can help increase your comfort and save you money!
On the other hand, if you have a zone control system, your uneven heating problems may be caused by a malfunctioning system. This problem could be in the various satellite thermostats around the house sensing incorrect temperatures (similar to the central thermostat issue discussed above) or there may be stuck dampers in your ductwork. An expert can diagnose what’s going on with the zone controls and work to fix them.
Ductwork is usually made of metal, and the ducts could lose some of the hot or cool air when traveling to rooms farther away from the unit. Or, if ducts are exposed, such as in attics or basements, they won’t be as well-insulated. Breaks in the ductwork also allow heated air to escape before it reaches rooms. This not only creates colder rooms; it raises energy bills and may lower indoor air quality. Contrary to the name, you can’t seal these leaks yourself with duct tape. You’ll need a professional to come and repair your air ducts.
Your home’s insulation may also be contributing to hot or cold spots in your home. Insulation is an important thermal barrier all year long. It keeps hot air in during the winter and out during the summer. But it can degrade over time, and if your home is not well-insulated, then some rooms will be warmer or cooler than others. If a room on the west side of your home is warmer than one on the north side of your home, it could be because of the direct sunlight it gets in the afternoon, which causes the room to be warm in the evenings. And if it’s cold outside, then an improperly insulated house won’t keep the warm air inside, leading to your heater working harder to keep you comfortable.
Figuring out which one of these factors is affecting your comfort, or whether it’s a combination of factors, is easier said than done. If you need help finding the answer and fixing your heating problems, Mason Mechanical will gladly come and inspect your system, diagnosing the problem and providing solutions.