- Heating Systems
- Air Conditioning
- Air Quality & Ducts
- Home Performance
- Plumbing & Water
November 26, 2014
It defies your common sense--and physics: Your upstairs is colder than downstairs. Or the left is colder than the right. Or the front is colder than the back.
"Doesn't heat rise?" you ponder, thinking back to your science classes. "Doesn't heat move towards cold and result in even temperatures?"
Don't worry. You're not living in the Twilight Zone. These uneven temperature issues are pretty common.
However, what's not common is the root cause(s), which vary from home to home. (An energy auditor is best suited for finding the problem quickly).
Causes of uneven temperatures throughout your home
Closed or blocked supply air vents
Check the supply air vents (the ones that blow hot air into your home). Ensure none of them are closed or blocked by furniture or drapes.
Cold air leaking into the upstairs
Do you have cracks/openings in your windows? What about the skylight? Do your attic doors allow cold air to seep in through the sides or bottom? (Adding weatherstripping to the door can solve this.)
Insufficient attic insulation
Got an older home? Your attic may not have enough insulation, allowing too much heat to escape your upstairs.
Learn more in our article, 3 Questions You Must Answer Before Installing Attic Insulation.
Inadequately insulated and leaky air ducts
Your upstairs may not be getting all the hot air from your heating system due to inadequately insulated leaky air ducts.
The typical home loses 20% to 30% of the air that moves through the duct system due to leaks and holes, according to ENERGY STAR.
The solution? Duct sealing.
Also you will lose even more heat if your ducts are located in an attic or crawl space and are not adequately insulated.
Heating system turns on and off frequently
When a furnace turns on and off frequently (or "short cycles") it's not able to circulate enough heated air around the home.
A few causes of short cycling:
- Dirty air filter (Out of filters? Here's an air filter buyers guide)
- Oversized heating system (most heating systems are oversized)
- Issues with the thermostat (dead batteries or it's malfunctioning)
Not enough power
Let's say your air ducts are fine. You have enough attic insulation. And everything else is okie dokie.
The uneven temperature in your home could simply be caused by a furnace that's too small for your home. This is especially common in older Lawton homes.
Usually, if you have a large single level home, or 2 or more stories, you need 2 systems (or at least a system large enough to handle multiple zones).
Need to solve this problem quickly?
Like we said, several problems could cause this uneven temperature problem.
The quickest way to fix it?
This evaluation helps the auditor find what's causing discomfort in your home so they can fix it. It's like a doctor's appointment for your home's energy efficiency.
Pippin Brothers is the Lawton-area's most trusted heating, air conditioning and plumbing company. We've been serving Oklahoma since 1978. Contact us for more information.