Air Balancing – Tips For Avoiding Cool And Hot Spots In Your Home

Does your home have cold or hot spots? If so, your HVAC system is in need of “air balancing”.

The good news is that air balancing is something you can do yourself if you follow these tips.

1. Close or Open Your Register

Simple yet effective. You have the ability to move the damper blade. It will restrict airflow in the room. But, don’t completely close the vents, it could cause other issues to your HVAC system.

During warm weather temperatures, open registers on your upper floor and partially close registers on the first floor and/or your basement. During cold temperatures, reverse the process.

Sierra Air Conditioning put together a handy guide to get your system properly balanced for each season. Try this process first:

Step 1: Set your thermostat to 76-78 degrees. (ideal range to start testing)

Step 2: Leave the temperature alone for at least 24 hours.

Step 3: In areas that are too cool, adjust the vents to allow for less airflow. 

Step 4: Adjust in small increments to feel what works for your comfort.

Step 5: Re-check your adjustments (24 hours later) to feel if you reached the desired temperature.

Step 6: Continue until you reach your ideal temperature.

2. Try a 2 Degree Offset

If you’re in a two-story home and have two thermostats, set the temperatures to have a 2 degree offset.

Here’s what I mean…

Set the thermostat at a 2 degree difference for the floors. For example, upstairs could be set at 74 degrees and downstairs at 72. This will help with uneven temperatures. 

3. Check Filters for Cleanliness

 There are numerous reasons to keep your filters clean…

  • Improves your air quality – cleaning the debris that builds up on your filters will aid with the flow of air.
  • Increases the efficiency of your furnace – reduced airflow through your heating and cooling system can cause your heat exchange to overheat and shut off too quickly. Keep the filter clean and it will aid in the efficiency of your furnace.
  • Extend the life of your HVAC system – would you believe the most common reason an HVAC breaks down is due to a dirty filter? A dirty filter makes your system work harder causing it to overheat.
  • Help keep energy costs down – Heating your home uses more energy and costs more money than any other system in your home — typically making up about 42% of your utility bill. If your filter is not clogged your system will run more efficiently. This alone will help keep your energy costs down. When you regularly change your filter, you can save from 5 to 15% on your bills.

4. Install Window Coverings to Prevent Heat

Your windows will impact the comfort level in each room. Windows without drapes, blinds, shades, etc. can heat up a room faster before a thermostat has the time to turn on and add relief.

Window coverings can make a difference in the overall appeal and comfort level. They also can help improve energy efficiency. In cooling seasons, about 76% of the sunlight that falls on standard double-pane windows enters to become heat.

5. Avoid Placing Electronic Equipment Near Thermostat

Electronic equipment creates a lot of heat and can really affect your comfort. Nowadays with the addition of large-screen TVs and computers, the distribution of heat in the room can change and may require adjustments to your vents.

This is typically noticed if you have a room air conditioner. The thermostat can pick up heat from appliances which can also cause your A/C to operate longer.

6. Check for Drafts 

You want to make sure your windows and doors are sealed properly as these often cause cold spots in your home. 

7. Adjust Ceiling Fans

Changing the directional settings of a fan can have a profound effect on air circulation. Your ceiling fans should go counterclockwise during warming months to create cool downward airflow. However, it should go at a low speed in a clockwise motion during the cooler months so it can help evenly distribute warm air.

8. Prevent Airflow Restrictions

Do not cover registers with furniture or items that will restrict airflow. When you block a vent with furniture your system has to work harder. Vents are there to supply free flow of air.

Here’s a quick fix from Integrity Air:

“Your vents need 18 inches of space. Rearrange your furniture and hem your curtains so you can provide them with the airflow they need. If you have no other choice, get a magnetic air deflector so that the air blows away from the nearby furniture.”

Deflectors can redirect the airflow keeping the intended air circulation.

9. Place Thermostat Fan Setting to “ON”

Your fan setting can have an impact on your indoor air quality and comfort level. Most systems have two fan settings: On and Auto.

By utilizing the “ON” setting, the fan will blow continuously which will filter and always be replacing your indoor air. This, in turn, will keep the air steady. In using the auto position, your air can become more stagnant.

Both come with pros and cons. When flipping to the On setting, you may see an increase in your utility bill. 


Contact Air Care Heating & Air Conditioning

To learn more about air balancing or the other services we can offer you contact us today by clicking here.

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