When you’re heating your home during winter in Maplewood, NJ, the heat should spread out evenly. If it does not, something is wrong. It could be something simple like lack of insulation, or it could be more serious such as the heating system is not operating as intended by the manufacturer. Our team at Primary Service Group is ready to assess the situation. In the meantime, here is some information about cold spots to consider.
Understanding Cold Spots
To know how to fix cold spots, you first have to know what they are and why they occur. Take a stroll through your house. Any time a spot does not feel as warm as the rest of the house, it is a cold spot. How it is created depends on several factors like the size of the house. Those who live in a large home with more than one floor may have trouble heating every room evenly since hot air rises. The bathroom, for example, could tend to stay cold. The kitchen, when it is not in use, may get cold, too.
A professional technician could go through a checklist to figure out the exact causes of your cold spots. The following are some of the most common causes.
Blocked Air Vents
Homes that have a centrally operated HVAC system have vents in several rooms and areas. If the vents are blocked, the air is going to have trouble entering those particular spaces. So, your HVAC system is producing output, but that output has nowhere to go. This is bad for the unit, your energy use, and your bills.
Before the cold weather sets in, you are encouraged to have your HVAC unit inspected. We will also take the opportunity to inspect the vents. If there is too much dust or debris, you may have to schedule a cleaning, too.
Dirty Air Filter
A common culprit of cold spots is a dirty air filter. When the filter gathers so much dust, the air once again has nowhere to go. The output that does manage to escape is far less than what was produced. As the output struggles to get to its destination, cold spots are created.
A dirty air filter has an easy fix. You simply need to clean it or change it. During regular maintenance, the filter is the first thing our team checks out. Often, we will replace it so that it is ready to go for the winter season.
The sun still shines during the winter months — albeit, not as much as it does in the summer. However, there will be days when its solar heat has an effect. If there are portions of your residence that receive direct sunlight, it causes an imbalance. Too many electronics in one room have the same effect. Since those rooms are already heated, you may not be inclined to try to heat the rest of the house. Rooms and areas that are heated through means other than the HVAC system create a conundrum.
To recreate a balance, utilize shades, blinds, or awnings that restrict the effects of direct solar heat on your home. You can also plant a tree on that specific side of your property. During the summer, the tree will provide natural shade for your residence.
Rooms that are heated through electronics and have a vent can be cut off from the output during the winter. Shutting the vent, for example, redirects the heated air. Then, it can travel to areas where the cold spots are occurring.
As HVAC technology has advanced, solutions for issues like cold spots are being created. Something that is gaining in popularity is the HVAC concept of zoning. One way to create heating and cooling zones in your house is through a smart thermostat. Zones can also be created by opening and shutting some vents.
Older houses are more likely to have issues with air leaks. Homes that have a basement or an attic are in the same boat. If your windows have a warped frame, the crevices must be fixed. Otherwise, even though your HVAC unit is producing output at an optimal rate, cold spots are going to be created because the warm air is leaking out.
In states like New Jersey where the temperature drops in the winter, fixing air leaks is a must. You are also going to be encouraged to consider adding insulation to your attic or basement.
Houses of a certain age are most likely to have a central HVAC system that includes ductwork. Ductwork is the method that allows the output to travel to its intended destination. The issue with ducts is that they are not energy-efficient. Industry professionals estimate that 25% of the output is lost during its travel. If there is a buildup of dust, it acts as a blockage. Then, there is the condition of the ducts to consider.
Newly installed ducts got the job done at a time when there was no other viable solution. Over time, though, the ductwork begins to sag. Ducts that are not protected with insulation leak air. If the ducts become damaged, the output has more trouble traveling to its destination because there is no longer a direct path.
The best way to find out how much impact your home’s ducts are having on cold spots is to have professionals like us come in and take a look. We may have to get into hard-to-reach areas, but you can rest assured that we will walk you through our assessment and suggestions.
Heating System Size
If there are cold spots in your residence, the HVAC unit may not be the right size. A unit has to be large enough to handle the demand. Plus, it should never be overused. An HVAC system that has to run frequently is probably too small. The solution is to either replace the appliance with a unit that can handle the load or to think about a new heating system in your home.
Heating solutions today are more efficient. They get the job done without requiring you to waste more energy. So, you are keeping your energy costs manageable, and you are having a positive impact on the environment.
The HVAC unit is the major heating, cooling, and ventilation system in your house. However, there are add-ons you can use to maximize the unit’s output. The ceiling fan is one example. A ceiling fan is inexpensive, easy to install, and energy-efficient. It does not create output; instead, it helps with airflow. Once the heated air has reached its destination, the fan helps it to keep moving. When the fan is strategically placed, cold spots can be eliminated. Additionally, because this is a cost-effective solution, a fan can be installed in more than one room without requiring major work.
To schedule an assessment of your home’s heating system, give us a call at Primary Service Group. We’ll help you even out the heating between rooms. Additionally, we offer HVAC installation, duct cleaning, and plumbing services.