If you reside in a multi-story home, especially an older home, chances are you and your family has probably felt cooler in the basement and a bit warmer upstairs. This is not an uncommon occurrence for houses with more than one floor, but most homeowners assume it happens because heat rises, and typically they do not do anything about it. While that may be scientifically true, there is no reason that you should be spending money on air conditioning when it is not effectively working throughout your entire home. Here are some of Warner Service’s tips to solve uneven cooling in your home:
- The simplest solution is to move any furniture away from the vents or open closed vents. If you are not feeling the air, it might be because the circulation can’t get to you.
- Clean your air ducts with a detachable vacuum hose or, if you are nervous, call a professional to inspect and clean them. These control and redirect airflow throughout the levels in your home. If they are full of dirt, mold, dust, smoke or hair then the air circulation is blocked. While you are up there, check to see if there are any air leaks. This is when air is trafficked away from the vent and instead it flows downward. You should also change your HVAC filters regularly to ensure clean, healthy air is available in your home. When you are changing the filter, make sure it is the right size for your unit. If not then air could be circulating improperly.
- Switch your thermostat’s fan from “auto” to “on.” We are debunking a common misconception: robots are not good at everything. When your thermostat is in the auto position, when your cooling cycle is done and the outdoor unit is off, your fan stops. When your thermostat is in the on position, your fan will remain circulating air throughout your home, even when the cooling cycle is done and the outdoor unit is off. The longer it runs, the more evenly distributed the air will be on each level.
- Pay attention to the attic. It may be seen as a dark, damp place that no one goes to, but it is actually vital to your home’s temperature. Make sure you have enough insulation in the attic to keep the hot air out and the cool air in. You should also double-check the insulation’s proper R-value, which stands for the resistance to heat flow, for your home’s structure and region. For example, higher R-values are recommended for homes that harbor a lot of heat.
- If your wallet permits it, install an electric zoning system, which zones your home into two sections: the downstairs and upstairs. This allows you and your family to independently control the air conditioning from the main thermostat. It also allows you to directly adjust the heating and cooling on each floor to your comfort level, so no more fighting over control of the thermostat. Electric zoning systems are also quieter than traditional air ducts, and most professionals can install them within a day.
There is not a one-size-fits-all solution to this familiar problem, but scheduling a regular HVAC maintenance visit could be the key to avoiding cooling and heating issues with shifts in seasons. Our professionals can perform any repairs on air ducts, air conditioning systems and thermostats during inspection before the seasons’ prime months hit, so feel free to schedule an appointment today.