Do you have one room in your home that always seems too hot or too cold? A room or area of your home in which you’re never comfortable? Are you experiencing issues with temperatures varying from one floor of your house to another? Balancing the air flow throughout your home is a key element to ensuring total home comfort.
Your forced-air heating system draws air from your home through ductwork to an air conditioner or furnace, where the air is filtered and cooled or heated. The cooled or warmed air is then blown back into the rooms of your home through other ductwork. When the air flow is not balanced throughout your system, you will have some rooms that are too cold or too warm. Balancing the air throughout your home will not only make your home more comfortable, but will also ensure that your HVAC system is running more efficiently which can lower utility bills.
If you have some rooms or areas of your home that get too cold or too hot, the first thing you should do is check and make sure all of the air registers are open throughout your entire home. Air registers are the grill-like vents that are in each room to release the warm or cool air. Air supply registers have a small lever to open or close the vent. Closed air vents can interfere with the balance of air.
In addition, make sure that the air return registers are not obstructed by furniture, drapery or clutter. Also, it’s not a bad idea to vacuum your air return registers on a regular basis, to remove any dust build-up.
Another issue causing uneven air distribution could be caused by your ductwork. If you have a leaky duct or the ductwork leading to a room has become bent or crimped, this may be cutting off the air flow to a particular room or area of your home. In this case, an inspection of the ductwork by a heating and cooling technician may be required.
If you have a room with tall ceilings and/or East or West facing window(s), you may experience too warm or too cool temperatures in that particular room. One way to help restore the air balance is with the installation of a ceiling fan. A ceiling fan helps circulate the cooled or warmed air to the rest of your home. Also make sure to keep doors between rooms open to promote air flow. This flow of air makes it easier for your system to cool or warm the entire home.
Ceiling fans are not only a great way to better distribute cooled or warmed air in your home; but also allow your heating and cooling system to run less. A system that runs less uses less energy and incurs less wear and tear. According to the Department of Energy, if you are using an air conditioner, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.
Another way to control and balance your air is through a zoned system. In a forced air system, a zoned system uses multiple thermostats and automatic dampers in your home’s ductwork, to intelligently control the airflow to every register in your home. It directs the heated or cooled air only to the areas that require it. You can “zone” each room or floor in your home to fit your own specific heating and cooling needs. This will eliminate hot and cold spots from every area of your home and enhance your comfort throughout. This helps eliminate paying for heating or cooling your whole house when you’re only using a portion of it at any given time. Zoning system allows you to tailor your energy use to your lifestyle, saving you money.
Air balancing of your heating and cooling system is a key element to total home comfort. It will not only improve your comfort, but can also reduce your energy usage, improve system efficiencies, and ultimately lower your energy bills. What are you waiting for – walk through your house today and check to see if any of your rooms need air balancing! And if you’re in the Portland, Oregon area, give us a call! We’re here to help with all of your heating and air conditioning concerns.