What to do when one room is always colder than the rest

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Few things are more annoying to a homeowner than being unable to get a room to your preferred temperature, and we totally get it. It’s your house, after all, and you want to be able to sit in comfort, without sweating or shivering.

Often, however, homeowners have to contend with one room that’s always colder than the rest. Sometimes, there are other signs that the room isn’t being heated or cooled properly. Cold spots on the floors or ceilings, chilly drafts, and even ice dams forming in corners and on ceilings can all be signs that something is wrong with the heating and cooling system in your house.

Fiddling with the temperature control doesn’t seem to help, either; turn the air conditioning down, and the rest of the rooms may seem too hot. Leave the thermostat where it is, and you’ll have to bundle up whenever you’re in the problem room.

Generally, the ideal thermostat temperature range for comfort is between 68° and 76° F. If the temperature in a room drops any lower than this, you’ll find yourself too chilly. While this issue is fairly common in homes, it can have numerous causes which you must first discover before you can take any further steps.

Here are a few causes, and solutions, when one room is always colder than the rest:

Cause: Poor Insulation

Air is a great conductor of heat, and if the insulation in your home isn’t up to snuff, you’ll find that warm air leaks out of your home and takes the comfortable temperature with it.

If one room is consistently colder than the others it could be because you have old, outdated, or damaged insulation around your doors or windows. This can do more than make the room uncomfortable; it can also drive your energy bill way up.

You’ll find yourself adjusting your heater more and more to try and stay within that crucial thermostat temperature range, and the more you do that, the more you’ll pay in heating and cooling costs.

Solution: Look For Leaks

While poor insulation can really wreak havoc on your comfort level and energy bills, the good news is that it’s usually a simple matter for an experienced professional HVAC company to deal with. They’ll be able to check out your insulation and see if your home is under-insulated or if the existing insulation material is wet, outdated, or damaged. They will also be able to see if you have any issues with door, window, and/or duct sealing; all major causes of warm air loss.

Cause: Poor Ventilation

Poor ventilation is another common cause of heating and cooling problems. While you want to use your insulation to trap warm air to a certain extent, you also need to ensure that air can freely circulate throughout your house. If this isn’t happening, it can lead to even greater problems than just being outside of the ideal thermostat temperature range.

Poor air quality in a home can lead to health problems, especially making life worse for those who suffer from asthma or allergy. If the home is too humid—again, due to problems such as poor ventilation—then this environment will allow mold to thrive, damaging the wood and paint in your home and playing havoc on your allergies.

Not only that, the air in the room will begin to smell stale and lead to an uninviting environment. Poor ventilation can be caused by leaky air ducts, fans that aren’t working properly, and a number of other factors.

Solution: First, Double Check Everything

This problem can be a little bit sneaky; sometimes your vents will be working fine except that you’ve accidentally blocked one with a rug or a piece of furniture. Sometimes, there will be vents in your home that you aren’t even aware of. You’ll want to check to see if there are any vents that have been left shut and make sure these are opened.

If thoroughly inspecting the home doesn’t fix the problem, you’ll need to get a professional HVAC service to take a look at your ventilation system. Look for a contractor that has an eye for the subtle connections between ventilation, insulation, and air leakage. Ensuring that your home is properly ventilated will do wonders for your electric bill, not to mention your family’s health.

Cause: An Outdated HVAC System

Often, the cause of one room being outside the ideal thermostat temperature range is simply due to the home having the wrong HVAC system. HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning and the whole system together includes your ducts, vents, fans, and everything else that keeps your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

In many older homes, the HVAC system has not been updated in years or even decades, leading to problems. In other cases, the HVAC system will technically be working fine, but will was designed for a bigger or smaller home. If, for example, your system was designed for a large house and installed in a small one, it could actually be using too much power for the available space. This can lead to problems like rooms being too cold.

Solution: Get an Upgrade

Your first step toward solving all of your heating and cooling problems should be to find a qualified HVAC contractor. Look for years of experience, read online reviews to find out if customers were satisfied, and don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions of anyone you’re considering.

In the Vancouver and Portland area, Entek is a respected, reliable company that locals often turn to. They’ll be able to upgrade your entire heating and air conditioning system from the ground up, should you require it, or make easier fixes as needed.

The benefits of an HVAC upgrade are numerous: improved health, a lower energy bill, and even increased home value. And, of course, you’ll finally enjoy the temperature in each room, rather than grabbing for a blanket every time you step into your “problem room.”

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