Why is one part of my house colder than another?  Pippin Brothers, Lawton, OK
January 2, 2013

Pippin Brothers Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning encourages you to ask us your home HVAC and plumbing question.

We recently had a homeowner reach out to us with the following question:

We've got a problem we can't find a solution to - one the rooms in our home (the upstairs bedroom) feels hot in the summer and cold in the winter no matter what we do. I've purchased a cheap thermometer from a home improvement store and can see that this room is often several degrees different than the temperature set on the thermostat. Is there anything we can do to make this space more livable?

This is a question we receive, in one form or another, from many different Lawton-area homeowners.

Without a trip to your home, it can be difficult to accurately diagnose the source of the issue because uneven heating and air conditioning can happen in your home for many different reasons.

However, here is the process we recommend for fixing this problem.

  • Ensure your heating and cooling equipment is properly sized - If your heater or air conditioner are too small, it may be having trouble getting enough air into the problem room(s). If the equipment is tool large, it may not run long to properly condition all areas evenly.
  • Plug air leaks - If the room is on an exterior wall, or upstairs, it could be leaking air, making it difficult to keep comfortable.
  • Check air ducts - Likewise, leaking, damaged, poorly designed, incorrectly sized, or improperly installed air ducts can make it more difficult for your heating and cooling system to transport conditioned air throughout your home.
  • Give it more air - Make sure you have enough properly sized return air ducts. If your HVAC system isn't getting enough air, it cannot supply your home with the correct amount of heated and cooled air, either. Like your lungs, your system can only exhale what it inhales.

If you've gone through the above checklist and you are still having problems with the comfort levels of one or more rooms in your home, the next step is zoning.

How Zoning Your Home Improves Comfort

Zoning your heating and cooling system refers to breaking up your home into separate areas or zones. In the customer's case above, we would put the troubled room (or the entire upstairs) on its own zone and the rest of the home on another zone.

This would allow the homeowner to continue to control of most of his home through the existing thermostat. The new zone we created would have its own thermostat so it can be precisely controlled independently of the rest of the home.

Dampers installed within the existing ductwork then direct more or less air into each zone based on the rooms' current and desired temperatures.

Increase Your Comfort Control Even More

For even more comfort control, you can break your home down further and install several zones throughout your home. This allows you to precisely control the temperature of each room via its own thermostat.

These zones are great for families where each person might like their bedroom to be at a different temperature.

These tips should go a long ways toward getting rid of obnoxious hot and cold spots in your home.

Do you have a heating, cooling, plumbing or indoor air quality question you'd like answered? Ask Pippin Brothers for a speedy and accurate answer and we may feature it here in the blog.