Almost every home has this same issue – one room is too hot, another too cold. In the wintertime, maybe your bathroom is a sauna while your bedroom never seems to warm up. Or, perhaps in the summer, your office is sweltering while the living room is a hockey rink.
If so, you’ve experienced problems with air balancing.
Air balancing is the process in which treated air from your HVAC system is distributed throughout your home. This is how the system is able to keep your home at a relatively stable temperature, regardless of where you are.
This is one of the trickiest parts of a well-designed HVAC system, and one that is particularly challenging for homes in the Wake Forest and Raleigh areas, as North Carolina is well-known for it’s drastic swings in temperature and weather.
To keep every room in a home, regardless of size and design, one temperature can be almost impossible, yet this is the desired outcome for all homeowners. A well-designed and well-maintained system should be able to deliver on this, but it sometimes takes a little trial and error to get it there.
There are several tips that you, as a homeowner, can try to help balance out the system and prevent drastic swings in temperature from room to room. The following are six great tips you can try to help balance the air in your home.
- Check and change your air filters. When was the last time you even looked at your air filters? It should be once a month, but a common issue we see in many homes is air filters that haven’t been changed in months. This can cause system inefficiency, preventing your heating and air from producing at the level they are designed to do. We often recommend homeowners set an alert on their cellphones each month to remind them to change out their filters. And, you should know that the pricey air filters you sometimes see in stores are generally not necessary. Unless you have a specific reason to buy high-end hypoallergenic air filters, you will do just fine with the inexpensive ones.
- Adjust the registers in each room. Registers are the small, grate-covered openings that the air comes from in each room of your home. You typically see them on the floor or on the ceiling.
These typically have an adjustment built into them, called a damper blade. This can be used to help restrict airflow into that particular area. These are designed to help adjust air away from rooms that don’t need it, or to balance out air during different times of the year. For example, one recommendation we suggest (that most homeowners don’t know about) is to open the registers upstairs and partially close registers on downstairs during the warmer months. For the winter months, reverse this process. This helps provide a more even air distribution during the more extreme temperatures.
- Check your rooms for drafts. While this may seem too basic, many times you may be surprised at how many small drafts can be found in even the newest homes. Windows, doors, and attic openings are all common places to find drafts. Eliminating as many of these as possible can have a dramatic effect on maintaining the temperature in your home.
- Use your ceiling fans strategically. While many people utilize their ceiling fans in the summertime to help cool off in brutal North Carolina months, most people are unaware that they can use ceiling fans to help keep their homes warm, too! Use your fans in a counter-clockwise motion to cool things off in the summer, then reverse the motion (typically with a switch on the fans near the base) on a low setting to help distribute warm air during the wintertime.
- Install blinds, curtains, and other window treatments. Keeping your home cool in the summer is a full-time job for HVAC units, but it’s even tougher when the sun is allowed to flood in through your windows. Installing basic window treatments, like blinds and curtains, can help keep the sunlight from ratcheting the temperature up in your home, and heavier curtains can help keep the cold from permeating in during the wintertime.
- Check for airflow restrictions. Do you know where all of your registers are in each room? Have they been covered up by tables, chairs, or even rugs? Obviously, this can have a detrimental effect in trying to heat and cool rooms, so make sure all of the registers in each room have space to distribute air correctly. You may need to move the furniture around or buy different sized appointments, but it will likely be worth it to ensure a comfortable temperature in the room!
In addition to these, there are some professional ways we can help, too!
- Installing new ductwork. The ducts in your home may be inadequate, outdated, or in too poor a condition to continue using. Southern Seasons can help identify and install new ducts that will correctly distribute the air you need to each room of your home.
- Using two air handlers. Air handlers are what pushes air through the home. For most residential uses, one is enough for both hot and cold air, but sometimes using two different air handlers can provide a better experience. Our technicians can provide some analysis and advise you on this process.
- Upgrading to a larger HVAC unit. If a smaller unit was installed previously, or if changes have been made to the interior of the home, if may be necessary to upgrade your system to a larger unit that offers more BTUs and heating/cooling capacity. This can be an expensive course to take, for sure, but if you’ve tried everything else and you still have significant disparity between rooms in your home, this may be the final step to take to get your system working correctly.
While it may be unrealistic to expect every single room in your home to be the exact same temperature 24/7, you should be able to move comfortably through your home without experiencing extreme changes in temperature. There are several ways to help mitigate this, and many of these steps you can try on your own. However, if you need some help, or are unsure what steps to take next, you can always reach out to your friends at Southern Seasons Heating and Air, and we’ll be glad to assess your issues and offer our assistance in maintaining a comfortable home for you and your family!