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What’s Causing Temperature Imbalances in Your Home?

What’s Causing Temperature Imbalances in Your Home?

In the old days, people heated their homes with wood stoves and fireplaces and relied on open windows and fans for cooling. No two rooms were ever the same temperature. Space heaters and window air conditioners came next, but room temperatures remained inconsistent. Today, most Florida homes are heated and cooled with central HVAC units, and room temperatures are much more balanced.

However, your home may be experiencing wild temperature swings even though you have a central air system. For instance, the temperature in your upstairs guest room may be significantly different than the temperature in your downstairs living room. Such temperature differentials indicate that your HVAC system may not be working properly. There are several reasons that could account for this. Here are five of them:

1. Your HVAC System isn’t Sized Properly

If your HVAC system is undersized, it may not have enough power to condition all the rooms in your home properly. On the other hand, your HVAC system may not run long enough to remove excess humidity if it is oversized. Unfortunately, some contractors simply guess at the proper size or apply a rule of thumb. However, a heating and cooling expert will perform load calculations that take into account such things as the size of your home, its insulation level, and the amount of glass that is exposed to the sun.

2. Your Ductwork is Leaking

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, leaking ductwork is a major culprit in wasting energy that could help balance the temperatures in your home. Your ductwork may have separated at a seam, or it could be damaged in some way. Perhaps your ductwork system was not designed properly to begin with. It is also possible that your ductwork is not insulated adequately. You will need a professional HVAC contractor to inspect your ductwork and repair it if necessary.

3. Mechanical Problems

Mechanical problems in the compressor or air handler could cause temperature imbalances. Your system could have a low refrigerant level due to a leak in your coils. It is also possible that your unit has worn fan belts that need to be replaced. Additionally, your system might be generating excess condensation that backs up into your home and lowers your HVAC’s efficiency. If you suspect that problem, you should have your unit serviced by a professional heating and cooling contractor as soon as possible to prevent water damage to your home.

4. Inadequate Insulation

If your home has inadequate insulation, you may notice a temperature differential when going from room to room. Energy Star recommends that Brandon, Florida, attics be insulated to an R level of 30 to 60. If you have less insulation than that, you may need to have some added. Inadequate insulation will also cause your HVAC system to work harder, which will lead to additional wear and tear on your unit. It is also likely that your energy costs will be higher.

5. Leaking Doors and Windows

The rooms in your home may be at different temperatures because some of your exterior doors and windows have air leaks. You may also notice drafts throughout your home. In most cases, you can reduce the leaks by caulking around doors and windows and replacing the weather stripping. You may also need to install some new door thresholds. However, it is also possible that your double- or triple-pane glass windows or doors have lost their seal. To restore their energy efficiency, they will have to be resealed or replaced.

Bottom line: It can be difficult for the average DIYer to pinpoint the exact cause of your home’s temperature swings. Schedule an appointment with Fairway Heating & Cooling for an experienced professional to inspect your HVAC unit. Call us today at (813) 519-6620.


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