It’s a phenomenon anyone with central air has probably encountered at least once: the strange room (or two) in the home that is hotter or colder than the others. Regardless of your thermostat settings, these rooms won’t even out. It can be a baffling experience, and if that room is, for instance, a bedroom, it can be a real problem.
Here in Spring Hill, AC repair calls often involve this phenomenon. The hot summers don’t allow for taking chances. If you’re experiencing this inconvenience, you should call for air conditioning service. However, forewarned is forearmed, so in this article we will go over most of the common causes of warmer rooms.
Pro Tip: A few of these you can check yourself, so go through this simple checklist before calling an air conditioning service company.
1. Closed vents. The first and most obvious thing is to make sure that the vents in that room haven’t been closed or obstructed. Commonly, people forget that the vents have been closed. Sometimes, we find that people have even forgotten the vents were there, and a wardrobe or other piece of furniture is blocking airflow.
If the vents in your home are closed, open them, and congratulations on your solved problem! If your vents are open and the room is still refusing to cool off, read on.
2. Drafts or open windows. This is another no-brainer, but if you’re letting the hot summer air into the home, your central air isn’t going to be able to cool that room down properly. It may not be something as obvious as a wide-open window, however.
Check to ensure you haven’t got drafts at the edges of the window frame or similar places. If you do, having those sealed and insulated will allow your room to cool properly, and probably lower your energy bills, to boot!
3. Dirty air filters. Large central air conditioning systems can sometimes struggle to circulate enough air. This is made more difficult if the air filters aren’t cleaned regularly. You should be able to check, and if your air filters are dirty, try cleaning them thoroughly or replacing them.
It may just resolve your temperature inequality. If your air filters are clean, something else is to blame. It could be:
4. Damaged or kinked supply ducts or leaky ducts. Sometimes your ductwork is the problem. If you are able to, check your supply ducts. If they are damaged, crushed, or kinked, certain rooms may not receive the same amount of cooled air. This is also the case if the duct leading to that room is leaking.
In either case, you’ll need to get an estimate from residential contractors to replace or repair the offending ductwork. If none of those issues are at fault in your home, you may have issues with air balancing in your home. That’s a more complex issue and will definitely require professional intervention.
Air Balancing 101
We knew you’d ask that question. Ideally, your central air is distributing cool air evenly to each room in your house. Your air conditioning system is balanced if your rooms are all receiving cool air at approximately the same time, and reaching the same temperatures.
If you’ve got rooms that stubbornly remain warm, and none of the above steps have solved your problem, we call that an unbalanced system. There are a number of factors that could lead to an unbalanced system.
Common Causes of Unbalanced Cooling, and What To Do About It
When your system is installed, an effort should be made to balance it to your home, by running larger ductwork or more elaborate venting to get cool air to rooms that need it more. This happens in conjunction with sizing your system appropriately for your home.
Then dampers are often introduced, splitting your home into heating and cooling “zones,” and restricting access to that ductwork. Often, this process is automatic: when you’ve set your thermostat to ignore a certain space, the damper will shut that area off from the system.
Essentially, a damper is responsible for controlling airflow. So why does your home have balance issues?
1. If you have more than one level or story, your home is more difficult to properly balance. You’ve got rising heat and long duct runs to contend with, and that can sometimes strain the capabilities of your system. Zoning via dampers is actually intended to minimize this problem, and multilevel homes often have such a system in place.
If you do not, you may consider adding dampers. If you do, and are still finding warmer rooms, your dampers may not be functioning properly. A tune-up from your friendly neighborhood Spring Hill AC repair specialists can probably take care of that.
2. Your ducts may not be properly insulated, which will leave rooms at the end of a long duct run much warmer. They’re not receiving the full force of the blower’s recirculation. Having your air conditioning ducts inspected for leaks and insulating them is an easy fix to this, but a more complex restructuring of your ducts may also be in order.
3. Insufficient return vents will fail to suck the warm air away from rooms furthest from the indoor unit. This causes warm air to mix with cooler air, and that slows the cooling process. A good solution is to try leaving all your interior doors open to maximize airflow. If that isn’t an option, your air conditioning service may recommend adding more return ducts to your system.
We are happy to advise you on this or any other cooling questions. We provide AC repair to Spring Hill and the surrounding area.
Call us today at 352-436-1876 and save $35 with any paid repair!