Cold spots are areas inside the house that are not warm when the heating system is on. The condition can occur due to various reasons, including your furnace needing a heating tune-up. They are not just an inconvenience but also ultimately inflate the heating bills as well.
Various steps can be taken to address cold spots inside the home. Here are five tips that can help you in resolving the heating problem in your house.
Be sure to call Southern Air for any furnace or heating repair needs!
What are cold spots?
In the winter, cold spots are the areas and rooms of your home that are noticeably chillier than the rest of the house. When stepping from your living room into your bedroom, for instance, you might notice that the air in this room is much colder.
In a home with ductless mini-split system providing heating, this might make sense. With a ductless system, this type of temperature differential is a feature, not a bug: you can keep different rooms and areas of your home at different temperatures to save money. However, if you have a traditional heat pump or furnace that uses forced-air heating and ductwork, cold spots are an indicator that something is wrong.
Of course, this article refers to cold spots in the context of winter heating. However, homes can also have “hot spots” in the summer. The same general phenomenon is occurring: not enough cool or hot air is getting to the room or space in question.
What causes cold spots?
Some of the root causes behind the temperature differential between rooms may be related to the room itself. For example, a room that has more windows, or larger windows, will generally have a harder time retaining temperature than a room that does not. Single-pane windows, in particular, are a temperature sieve. In some cases, cold spots are caused by drafts coming in under doors or around windows. A bit of caulking and weatherstripping around trouble areas can help patch that issue up.
An obvious first area to check is the vents and registers. Many homes have registers that can be opened and closed. If the vent is closed, the room is not going to receive the heating that the rest of the home is. In general, you should avoid closing registers and vents: it not only makes your home more prone to hot and cold spots, but it also could make your home less energy-efficient. Make sure there’s no furniture over the register. You’d be surprised how many homeowners place a dresser or couch over a floor register and then wonder why there’s no heating in that room.
However, cold spots can also be caused by issues with HVAC performance. Air leaks in your ductwork could cause significant amounts of heated or cooled air to be lost through the attic and roof well before it ever reaches the room in question. It may indicate that the blower—the component responsible for pushing the air through the ducts—is either malfunctioning or doesn’t have sufficient air intake. Or, it could be that your furnace or heat pump is having issues and needs repairs.
How do you find cold spots?
In most cases, you’ll know a cold spot when you feel it. It’s that chill you get when you walk into a room, or you move into a certain section of the room. Many homeowners just chalk this up as a weird quirk of their home: “Yeah, that room is always cold.” However, there’s typically a root cause behind temperature differences between different spaces of your home.
If you’re looking for an official way to diagnose temperature differential issues in your home, bring in an HVAC expert. HVAC technicians carry air temperature detection equipment that allow them to pinpoint air leaks, drafts, and other issues. This can be used to map out where your home is hot, and where it’s not.
How can you address cold spots?
Well, as we’ve already alluded to, the first step is bringing in an HVAC professional. Once a major problem with your ductwork or heat pump has been ruled out, you should have them look into three core areas: your insulation, your air ducts, and your thermostat placement.
1. Check that you have proper insulation
Most homes in the United States don’t have proper insulation. As a result, warm air leaks from inside the room that is replaced by cool air from the outside. Insulating the house can effectively address the cold spots that are caused by the leakage of air. You should seek a professional to insulate the entire house.
Remember that most of the air loss occurs due to heat loss through the exterior walls. The problem with traditional fiberglass insulation is that they can wear away leaving gaps around light fixtures or electrical boxes that results in drafts. So, it’s recommended that you ask the professional to apply Icynene to the insulation.
Icynene is a type of foam insulation that is much denser than fiberglass. Once injected in the wall cavities, it will reduce air infiltration and thereby the cold spots inside the house. The insulation material is sprayed in directly to the wall that expands and fills the cavity.
2. Take a look at your home’s air ducts
Ducts in some homes can leak around 20 percent of the cool air from the room. This usually happens due to improperly connected ducts. Sometimes holes in the ductworks also contribute to the problem.
You should get the ductwork checked by a professional technician. The technician will inspect the ducts and use metal tape to cover the holes or gaps in the duct work if required.
3. What is the positioning of your thermostat?
Cold spots can also be caused by poorly positioned thermostat. The furnace will not properly heat the house when the thermostat is located in a room that is generally warmer than other rooms such as the kitchen or a room that gets a lot of sun.
A solution to the problem is installing a wireless thermostat. The wireless thermostat can be placed anywhere in the house and can transmit signals up to 500 feet through ceilings, walls, and floors.
Address cold spots with the help of Southern Air
As we’ve discussed, there could be a variety of reasons you have cold and hot spots in your home. The best way forward is talking to a professional. Here in Shreveport, Monroe, and Alexandria, Louisiana, you’ll want to call us. At Southern Air Heating & Cooling, we help homeowners with all their cooling, heating, and home service needs.