Many homeowners in Austin, TX, are spending unnecessary money on their heating and cooling bills. Home energy loss, which is a common problem, happens when conditioned air is allowed to escape through gaps and cracks in your home. This may be from insufficient insulation or poorly maintained ductwork. Regardless of the cause, the result will be hot and cold spots in certain rooms. Having hot spots means that your heater is probably working much harder than necessary to get the job done. The following are five things that you can do to get rid of these warmer-than-average pockets of air.
1. Choose Better Window Coverings
Solar heat is the most common cause of hot spots. Although you might love the look and feel of having natural light beaming through your windows, drawing your curtains or pulling your blinds will keep your HVAC system from having to work unnecessarily hard during the mid-portion of the day. Even if you’re diligent in using your blinds to protect and supplement the efforts of your HVAC system, your current window coverings might not be doing enough to keep solar energy out. Light-blocking treatments will minimize heat gains from your windows. Certain window tints and coverings can also protect your home and brightly colored furnishings from harmful UV rays altogether.
Limiting solar gains through the windows is especially important to do if your thermostat is located in an area that receives a lot of direct sunlight. During the cold season, the afternoon sun can make your thermostat read the indoor temperature as being much higher than it actually is. As a result, your heater won’t come on when you need it to, and all areas outside of your sunlit space will be noticeably cooler. If you’ve already invested in light-blocking curtains or blinds and still believe that solar energy is the cause of hot spots, check your attic’s insulation.
2. Have Your Ductwork Professionally Inspected
Second only to solar heat gain, air loss due to faulty ductwork is another common cause of hot spots. Without regular inspections, your HVAC ductwork can develop leaks, holes, and other structural damages that affect the delivery of conditioned air. With hot spots, this often means that hot air delivery is working fine to certain zones or rooms, while further down the ductwork there may be damage that’s preventing warm air from being properly disbursed. Another sign of leaky or faulty ductwork is a wall that feels unnaturally warm to the touch. In this instance, air leaks are likely causing warm air to be deposited behind the drywall, where it’s of absolutely no benefit to household residents at all.
3. Install a Thermostat With Zoning Capabilities
Installing a zoned thermostat will give you greater control over your indoor climate overall. With zone thermostats, you can establish different zones throughout your home, and each zone can have its own temperature setting. Zoned thermostats allow homeowners to overcome many of the most frustrating limitations of central heating and cooling, including the inability to customize temperatures in different areas of the living environment. If you have areas of your home that are perpetually hot or cold, and other troubleshooting measures have already been taken, invest in a zoned thermostat to better streamline your HVAC system.
4. Have Your Ducts Rerouted or Adjusted to Accommodate New Additions
Whenever homeowners make dramatic changes to their properties, they have to think about how these alterations might impact their existing heating and cooling plans. If you’ve made any significant structural changes in the recent past and are now struggling with hot or cold spots throughout your home, schedule an HVAC inspection to get advice on how best to reroute or adapt your ducts to accommodate the differences.
5. Schedule a Comprehensive HVAC System Inspection
After investing in better window treatments, installing a zoned thermostat, and inspecting or rerouting ducts as needed, you may find that your home still has noticeable hot or cold spots that greatly diminish your comfort. Hot and cold spots often mean that energy is being wasted or air is being lost. In some cases, however, these problems are indicative of a much larger issue. For instance, if your HVAC equipment is nearing the end of its lifespan, this system may no longer have the ability to offer consistent cooling or heating. If that’s the case, we can help you find the perfect replacement.
At Totally Cool AC, we offer reliable HVAC replacement and repair services. Austin locals can count on us to help them identify the underlying causes of their hot or cold spots. We also offer comprehensive ductwork inspections, annual HVAC inspections, environmental assessments, weatherization services, and more. Call us today for more information.