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How to Fix Uneven Cooling in Your Home

residential AC unit

Air Conditioner Maintenance Plays a Role

It’s seemingly a universal experience for all homeowners: you walk from one room to another and experience a big temperature difference, either getting way too hot or way too cold, depending on the season.

If your house was built and insulated correctly, you should not have to suffer with swings in temperature from room-to-room! By understanding what causes these fluctuations, you can identify how to fix them.

An AC Repair Might Be Necessary

If you identify any of these problems in your home, it’s best to look into getting a professional from Meyer Heating and Air to evaluate the situation and suggest air conditioner maintenance or repair tasks.

The ductwork for your central air is leaking or the wrong size.
If your ductwork is leaking, you’ll be able to tell! You might see higher utility bills or abnormal amounts of dust build-up in your home.

To look for leaks, turn your system on full-blast and hold your hand near visible duct joints. If you feel air coming out, you know there’s a leak. You can use a lit incense stick to check for drafts along the length of exposed ductwork; if the smoke swirls in an unusual pattern, there’s a leak! To fix leaks, you should apply foil-faced tape (not duct tape, even though it seems aptly-named) or mastic to those areas of your ductwork.

If you fear your ducts are the wrong size, you’ll probably need to enlist the help of a heating and cooling professional to examine your system and make recommendations based on your needs. If the ducts are too small to get conditioned air distributed throughout your home, you may need larger ones installed. Of course, a pro can offer you other cost-effective solutions, too.

Your air conditioning system is the wrong size for your square footage.
If your air conditioner is undersized, it may struggle to cool your entire house. This can make rooms the farthest from the air conditioner unit warmer than those closer to it. Your AC might be undersized if a previous owner cut corners, or if you’ve recently added onto your house without making changes to your HVAC equipment.

To remedy the problem, you can have a larger air conditioner unit installed, or you can consider adding mini-split AC units in strategic areas of your home to help keep it cooler and take the strain off your central air conditioner.

Your need to upgrade your central air conditioner.
If your central air conditioner is an older model, it may be slowing down or running inefficiently. If your equipment can’t keep up with your need, it’s time for a new air conditioner installation! As an added bonus, your new AC can significantly cut your monthly energy bills. Meyer Heating and Air can help you select your new air conditioner and install it for you to get you cooled back down in no time.

Your thermostat is not in an ideal location.
If your thermostat is located in an already-cool area of your house, it can’t tell your air conditioner to kick on when the hottest areas of the house are getting unbearable. Consider relocating your thermostat to a better location in your home, and installing a programmable or smart thermostat so you can pre-set your cooling rate throughout the day, or take control of the temperature from your smartphone. HVAC professionals like Meyer Heating and Air are ready to answer your toughest thermostat questions.

Other Reasons for Uneven Temperatures in Your Home

If your air conditioning and ductwork are not to blame, there are other reasons for uneven temperatures throughout your home. For some of these, you may need a professional’s assistance, whereas others you can fix yourself.

Your home needs better insulation.
This is a common issue contractors see, especially in rooms located directly above an attached garage. If your home is poorly insulated, you are almost guaranteed to have differences in temperature throughout it.

With so many modern insulation products on the market today, there will be one in your budget to help correct your problem. Insulation levels are measured by R-value, or the product’s ability to resist heat flow. The higher the R-value, the better performance of the insulation. Professionals recommend at least R-38 insulation for attics and R-13 to R-23 for exterior walls.

Your windows are inefficient.
If your home has older windows, you might consider upgrading to vinyl ones with at least two panes of glass. Of course, even new vinyl windows can need repairs to eliminate drafts. Consult with a window professional about how new windows could help keep your home at a consistent temperature.

Your air vents are blocked or misplaced.
If you have furniture in front of, or just too close to, an air vent, the room might feel warmer than you expect. The best strategy is to keep air vents and their surrounding areas clear of items, no matter how small.

If your air vents also are located on your tall ceilings, or toward the top of the walls in your home, you might not get the full benefit of your central cooling. An inexpensive solution is to buy magnetic directional vent covers, which can help to redirect the cool air down into the room. Their magnets stick to the metal of your vent, so no complicated installation is necessary.

You also can employ ceiling fans or pedestal fans to help circulate air around the room.

If you are willing to spend more money on the problem, a professional can relocate vents in your home by modifying your ductwork. However, this is cost-prohibitive for most.

Your window treatments are to blame.
Basking in the sun is your cat’s favorite pastime. We admit that it’s pretty enjoyable for anyone. However, if you let the sun stream in, you’re also adding heat to your home. During the sunniest parts of the day, lower your blinds and close your curtains to keep the heat out. Heavy curtains also can help block drafts in your windows, so they’re a safe bet every month of the year.

Still not sure how you can help keep your house temperatures consistent from room-to-room? Give Meyer Heating and Air a call, or request an appointment online, so we can use our expertise to troubleshoot and solve your problems, no matter how small.

It’s always a pleasure to serve our customers in Fenton, O’Fallon and everywhere else in the St. Louis area, and we look forward to helping you make your home more comfortable. See you soon!