Many of us have problems with uneven heating in our homes, either because we have a problem room or more generally because sections of the home are too hot (usually upstairs, since hot air rises) or too cold.
While you could tolerate the problem, it’s also possible to solve it – or at least to mitigate it so you can enjoy your whole house without having to make wardrobe adjustments from room to room.
Let’s take a look at some common causes of temperature imbalance between floors or rooms in your eastern Long Island home – and what to do to counteract them.
Causes Of Uneven Heating
Uneven heat in your home is typically caused by one or more of three factors: poor airflow in your heating system, inadequate insulation, or air in your home. More specifically, causes include:
- Restricted airflow between the furnace and vents
- Leaky or poorly installed ductwork
- A mis-sized heating system
- A thermostat giving inaccurate readings (often due to placement)
The challenge is that these problems aren’t always easy to diagnose without the right tools and training. A licensed heating pro can test and assess your system to help you identify the real cause of your heating issues and determine the best course of action to take to solve the problem.
How To Remedy Hot Zones
If you’re experiencing uneven heating in your home, here are some possible solutions a pro might suggest, in order from the simplest to the most complex:
- Close vents in unused or under-used rooms – If you have a forced air system (that is, if you have a furnace and vents rather than a boiler and radiators or baseboards), close vents in rooms. This redirects warm air to rooms you use most.
- Replace your air filter – In a forced air system, a blocked air filter will make it difficult for your blower to force air through your ductwork; inhibited air flow means less warm air reaches your living space. Try replacing your air filter before moving on to more substantial measures.
- Bleed your radiators – If you have a boiler rather than a furnace, trapped air pockets can keep heated water or steam from reaching your radiators. If spots on your radiators or baseboards are cold to the touch, your system probably needs to be bled.
- Air seal your home – Caulk leaky window and door frames, install doorsweeps, and add weatherstripping to door jambs to reduce drafts.
- Add insulation to unconditioned spaces – Most homes – especially older ones – are under-insulated. Insulation is one of the best investments you can make in home comfort; if your home is not insulated to recommended R-Values, consider adding more. Here are some guidelines about where and how much insulation to add to your home.
- Have ductwork inspected and sealed – As much as 15 percent of the air you paid to heat could be lost on the way to vents via leaks in your ductwork. Consider investing in a professional ductwork inspection: since many leaks are located behind walls and in hard to reach spaces, it’s not a DIY job.
- Install a zoning system – A zoning system allows you to control temperatures on each floor of your home independently from its own thermostat. If your heating system can be configured this way, it could solve an uneven heating problem. Contact us today to see if your current equipment can accommodate a zoning system.
- Add a supplemental space heater – A ductless mini split system can add targeted heat to a room without needing to be connected to your central heating system or ductwork, bringing much needed heat to any room and taking some of the pressure off your central heating system. As a bonus, many ductless mini-split systems can also serve as cooling units in the summer.
Experiencing uneven heat in your home? Burt’s Reliable can help. Contact us today to learn more about oil heating system service the North Fork and East End of Long Island!