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Hot and Cold Spots: What Do They Reveal About the HVAC System?

Causes and Solutions for Hot and Cold Spots

Ever step into a shower and the hot water feels like it’s burning your skin because it's so cold? Going from one temperature extreme to the next is not always a pleasant experience. The same can be said about hot and cold spots in a house. This is when a person walks into one room and it feels like a bonfire was lit in the room, then they walk into the room right next to it and it feels like Antarctica. It’s quite an odd experience to go from one extreme to another when the rooms are so close together.

When these hot and cold spots start to occur, it tends to be a signal that something is not working properly with the HVAC system, and it needs to be repaired to get things back in order. In order to know if it will need repair or replacement, your first question should be based on the actual HVAC maintenance that the system has received.

Hot and Cold Spots Signal Airflow Problems

airflow problemsHot and cold spots in the house typically end up being caused by an airflow problem. There is either a room getting too much airflow, a room not getting enough airflow, or both. This inconsistency ends up resulting in noticeably different temperatures between rooms, even when they are right next to each other.

Airflow problems can be caused by a variety of different things. The ducts could be the wrong size, the ducts could be damaged or leaking, or the ducts could have been designed wrong when the house was initially built. Because there isn’t a clear cut answer to what’s causing the airflow problem, it’s important that homeowners figure this out first before implementing a solution.

The Best Way to Fix Airflow Problems

One common fix that many homeowners will try to add more airflow. Makes sense right? If a room isn’t getting enough airflow, just add an additional duct and supply vent to get more air into the room. Well, this may be a quick fix, but it isn’t a good long-term solution. Just throwing something in place won’t fix the problem.

why hot and cold spots

The airflow problem should be properly measured first. Many things need to be taken into account to determine a solution including how much air actually blows into each zone of the house, what the insulation levels and ductwork looks like, and what sources of air infiltration exist. Utilizing a professional can help homeowners measure these different aspects of airflow and build a solution that works to balance the airflow throughout the house.

Additional Reasons for Hot and Cold Spots

fixing airflow problemsImproper zoning is another common cause of hot and cold spots. A zoning system helps homeowners control the different rooms or “zones” of the house based on those zones rather than setting a temperature for the entire house.

When a house isn’t zoned, the temperatures can easily become inconsistent between different zones and rooms. Hot and cold spots could also be from a homeowner overworking the HVAC system. If the system is overworked, parts of it can shut down or malfunction and lead to inconsistent airflow.

Finally, hot and cold spots could also be due to different HVAC issues like air leaks around doors, windows, or attic stairs. Checking for these leaks and sealing them will allow the temperatures to balance and put an end to those hot and cold spots.

About Cardinal Heating & Air Conditioning

Cardinal Heating & Air Conditioning is dedicated to providing the best plumbing, electrical and indoor air comfort solutions to its customers. Every job is tailored to the specific situation and budget and all their technicians have completed rigorous training for added customer peace of mind.