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How to Find and Fix Hot and Cold Spots

July 06, 2017

If you find that you have hot and cold spots in your Portland home, you’re not alone. This is a fairly normal occurrence. While it can seem like a larger problem, the good news is that the common causes of hot and cold spots are usually easy to fix with a normal air conditioning service. The most common causes for hot and cold spots are:

  • No zoning or improper zoning
  • Poorly designed or ineffectively sized duct systems
  • Leaky or inefficiently insulated air ducts
  • Improperly sized HVAC equipment

Lack of Zoning or Improper Zoning
A zoning system divides your home into separate areas, known as “zones,” and means you’re able to customize the air temperature in each zone. The system is composed of multiple thermostats that control dampers inside the ductwork of your forced-air system. The thermostats constantly read the temperature of their designated zone, then open or close the dampers to match up with the thermostat's settings. This may be the missing link to keeping that one freezing bedroom warm in the winter, or that hot box sunroom comfortable all summer. Plus, when it’s used with a programmable thermostat, zoning could mean home energy savings of up to 35 percent.*

Poorly Designed or Ineffectively Sized Duct Systems
Some homeowners have hot and cold spots simply because their home’s duct system is the wrong size for the space that needs heated and cooled, or it’s improperly designed. We find this is especially normal in homes that were built before many of today’s tools and training were around. Unfortunately, even the most energy-efficient HVAC equipment can’t meet homeowners’ expectations if the duct system isn’t allowing it to do its job. In fact, a poor duct system could actually cause new equipment to work more often than it should and shorten its life. The pros at Three Rivers Heating & Cooling can help you figure out if your duct work is working for your home.

Leaky or Inadequately Insulated Air Ducts
Even if your duct system is properly designed and sized for your home, it might still be the source of your home’s hot and cold spots. It’s commonplace for the ducts in a home to leak a bit over time. Professionals like Three Rivers Heating & Cooling can inspect your ducts and let you know if they ought to be sealed. They could also find that your ducts aren’t leaking, but they’re not correctly insulated. Fortunately, this is also a generally easy fix.

Improperly Sized HVAC Equipment
So maybe your air duct system is just fine and you have a good zoning system, but you’re still feeling hot and cold spots around your home. Improperly sized HVAC equipment could be the issue. A system that is too small has to run harder to heat or cool your home, which leaves hot and cold spots because it can’t take care of the amount of space it needs to condition. Even a system that’s too big can mean problems because it’ll cycle on and off too often to do its job properly.

No matter what’s the culprit of the hot and cold spots in your home, Three Rivers Heating & Cooling can help. Just give us a call at 503-213-4433 and we’ll help you figure it out and decide if you need air conditioning service, or any other types of HVAC service that could help you keep your home cozy. 

 
 
*Source: U.S. Department of Energy statistics