Do you have areas of your home that are hot in the summer or cold in the winter? Or possibly cold in summer and hot in the winter? These are known as hot and cold spots.
What causes hot or cold spots?
Hot and cold spots in your home are usually caused by a lack of air flow to a particular area… assuming that your Air Conditioning and Heating system is working properly and your home is properly insulated. The good news is all of these issues are easily solved.
Air is moved throughout your home from your HVAC System (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning System) in Supply Ducts that feed air to a designated area, and Return Ducts (sometimes called the cold air return) that moves air from those rooms back into your HVAC system. Proper and balanced air circulation will keep all areas of your home at a consistent temperature and likewise, hot or cold spots are the result of an imbalance of air movement.
Oversized or Undersized HVAC System
There are rare situations that an improperly sized heating and cooling system was installed in the home which can lead to serious comfort issues. An oversized system will turn on and then shut down quickly leaving some areas still too hot or cold. An undersized system will just run and run and may never make you comfortable. Although it is rare that this is the issue, when it is, a properly sized HVAC system will correct the problem.
How do I correct hot and cold spots in my home?
As was stated earlier, hot and cold spots are an air flow issue with the key being to identify which is the culprit…the supply side or the return side.
If a room is hot in the summer with the AC running or cold in the winter when the Furnace is running, chances are this is a supply issue which is easily solved by increasing the amount of air flow to that area.
If a room is too cold in summer with the Air Conditioning running or too hot in winter when the Furnace is running, chances are this is a return duct issue. This means that the room is being supplied plenty of air but that air is not circulating out of that room hence the unbalanced temperature. In this case controlling the air flow by adjusting the balance between the supply and return ducts should correct this issue.
How do I control Air Flow?
Sometimes adding additional supply or return ducts is necessary to regulate air flow to a particular room. However if it is determined that there is plenty of air flow available, then controlling the air flow with Balancing Dampers is the likely solution.
What are Balancing Dampers?
Balancing dampers are simply a mechanism encased in a sleeve inside the HVAC system ductwork that controls air flow through the ducts. By adjusting the position of the damper, it is possible to regulate the airflow and therefore control temperature.
Controlling the damper
Balancing dampers come in two basic options: manual or electric. Manual dampers have a lever that when manually opened or closed controls air flow.
Electric Dampers have a small electric motor that is connected to your thermostat that controls the damper blade based on current room temperature settings. Each of these options has benefits depending on your particular situation.
If you have a room that is closed off periodically, Zone Balancing with Electric Dampers can make this adjustment simple and quick. If there are rooms that are consistently too hot or too cold all the time, then manual dampers will probably solve your issues.
The key is to determine what the issue is and how to solve it based on the room usage. The advisers at Extreme Comfort are experts in all things that have to do with your HVAC system including balancing dampers. If you would like an in home Temperature Evaluation, contact an Extreme Comfort Adviser today.