Ask Our Experts: Stabilizing Air Temperature Throughout Your HomeMarch 25, 2014 | 12:53 pm
Question for Our Experts:
What should I do if the temperature in my home changes drastically from one floor to the next?
Our Experts’ Answer:
The Short Answer
This problem is a common one for many homeowners. The good news is that there are systematic steps that can be taken to eliminate this issue or minimize its impact on your comfort. Some simple fixes exist, while other scenarios may call for more robust repairs, replacement of existing equipment, or the addition of new equipment. Keep reading to learn more!
The Detailed Answer
Great question! This scenario is very common in homes throughout the United States, especially if the existing HVAC equipment and ductwork system has not been sized properly or was installed with an eye toward “lowest cost” rather than “best value.” The good news is that there are systematic steps that you can take – with the help of a trained HVAC professional – to eliminate this issue (or at least minimize its impact as much as possible).
The first step in any home HVAC assessment is to perform a heat loss/gain calculation to determine the capacity needed to properly heat and cool the home. This is basically a tool that helps an HVAC professional determine your home’s unique needs and design your HVAC system accordingly. If the equipment installed is not “properly sized” for your home, then no amount of ductwork reconfiguration will help the situation. The professional sales team at Tuckey Mechanical Services would be happy to evaluate your home and provide a proposal for a properly-sized HVAC system to replace your existing equipment.
If your equipment is already properly sized, the next step would be to determine if there are balance dampers in place. Balance dampers are simply levers on your system’s ductwork that can be adjusted to provide proper air flow to each room or section of the home. They are located where the branch ducts are attached to the main trunk duct (most likely in your basement or nearest the “heart” of your system). It is important to note that air flow generally cannot be adjusted from each supply register in rooms throughout the home (these are designed to be either open or closed). Homeowners with high-low return air vents in each room should be sure to adjust these properly as the seasons change (high returns closed during winter and low returns closed during summer).
If there are no balance dampers in place (or if they’re not easily accessible), it would be advisable to run the system fan constantly (especially during high & low outdoor temps) to keep the air thoroughly mixed throughout the home. Even though the fan is running all the time, this solution may actually be more efficient in the long-run, as air temperature differentials are eliminated and the frequency of energy-intense fan start-ups is minimized.
As the size of the home increases, so will the complexity of the HVAC system that services it. Generally, multi-story homes that are approaching 2,500 square feet or larger will require a zoned system and/or multiple systems in order to be heated and cooled properly. Zoned systems leverage more advanced technology and design to deliver individual, room-by-room temperature control. The ultimate solution would be to have multiple systems installed at the home – for example, one for each floor. This reduces the strain on each individual unit and provides ideal comfort to each section of the home.
Finally, keep in mind that ductless systems, supplemental heaters, or old-fashioned fans may effectively meet your needs in certain circumstances. In light of all the options available, be sure to contact Tuckey Mechanical Services for a professional evaluation of your HVAC system’s performance.
The Bottom Line
The evaluation process starts with a heat loss/gain calculation performed by a trained professional – why not give us a call today? Perhaps some simple tweaks to your system’s balance dampers will do the trick – maybe an inexpensive fan or baseboard heater will meet your needs – or perhaps your equipment needs to be repaired or replaced. The professionals at Tuckey Mechanical Services are committed to providing you with honest answers (not unnecessary up-selling) that deliver top quality at the best value.
To learn more, visit our website at https://www.tuckey.com. To request further information, place a service call, or sign-up for a PM agreement, contact us at (717) 524-1136 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Picture By grantsewell [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
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