When you buy a new home, there’s always a phase of discovering little nuance issues a few months later. Things you never would have even thought about during the purchase. Cold spots are something that doesn’t usually register as a problem until temperature fluctuations are felt firsthand.
Or, maybe you have an older house and are beginning to notice that whenever you walk into a certain room, it feels much colder than the rest of the house. These are called cold spots.
What Is a Cold Spot?
Cold spots are noticeable dips in temperature within your home. You can tell you’ve hit a cold spot when you’re walking through the hallway or into another room and you encounter an air temperature that’s colder than the rest of the abode.
There are several causes for cold spots in a house. This article looks at three of the most common causes for cold spots in residential homes.
Is your furnace or air conditioning unit too small or too large for your home?
This is usually the first thing that comes to mind. A furnace or air conditioning unit that’s not the right size won’t heat or cool a home consistently throughout all the rooms and hallways.
A wrong-sized unit can affect your home in various ways:
- Too Much Heat
- Not Enough Heat
- It Could Throw Off Indoor Humidity
- Temperature May Difficult to Control
- Air Is Too Cold
Sometimes systems get installed by folks working out of the back of a pickup truck, using whatever equipment they can get their hands on. Make sure to have a professional check your furnace and HVAC unit, and do the necessary repairs, if needed.
It’s also not a bad idea to have an HVAC specialist do a separate inspection before putting an offer on a home. This may help provide a bit of insight into the quality and life expectancy of existing equipment, as well as identify any problems.
Are any of the air ducts in your home performing poorly?
Cracks, leaks, holes and poorly connected air ducts are a primary cause of cold spots and are considered one of the top energy wasters in a home. Cracks and holes allow cooled or heated air to leak. In fact, poorly functioning ducts can lose 20 to 30% of the hot or cool air that is supposed to circulate through a home.
One source goes even further in stating that faulty air ducts can lose up to 40% of your heated or cooled air and that air ducts leaking even 20% of cooled air can cause your HVAC system to work 50% harder.
Are faulty air-ducts to blame?
If your ducts are damaged, leaking or not working properly, it’s next to impossible for the temperature to be even throughout your home. The damaged areas can be hard to find, and once found, hard to fix.
Faulty air ducts are also expensive because adjusting the thermostat and blasting the heat or air won’t keep the house comfortable. They're just an energy drain. In order to ascertain whether faulty air ducts are to blame for the cold spots in your home, you will need to have an expert conduct an assessment of your air ducts.
Have you had any extra rooms added onto your home?
This cause is often overlooked. Adding rooms to your home can create cold or hot spots in your house, because an addition can add a considerable amount of cubic space within your home. The extra space must be considered when it comes to the cooling and heating systems in your home.
It’s best to plan for this before you begin making an addition. by having a professional plan free flowing air ducts throughout the new areas or by extending your heating and cooling system into these areas.
Is there anything to be done about cold spots?
If you have cold spots, calling in the experts is the best thing to do. Most hot and cold spots aren’t caused by anything that’s easily fixed as a do-it-yourself project. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking it is.
Attempting to fix cold spots on your own can be costly and require more expertise than you expect. If the cold spots are due to a furnace or air conditioning unit being too large or small, you will need an expert to figure that out.
The same goes for cold spots due to an addition being built that throws off the even distribution of cooled or heated air throughout your home.
Poorly performing air ducts also call for the experts because they’re often hidden in the walls, ceiling, basement or attic. In order to access and fix most of these problem areas, you’ll need an expert.
Make Sure to Take Care of this Common Problem
Cold spots are a common phenomena in most homes, particularly as a house gets older. They're not something to fear or leave as is. Facing them with a professional is the best way to go toward an energy efficient home that is comfortably temperate throughout all rooms and hallways.
Learn More About Solving Cold Spot Problems.
A number of things can also interfere with HVAC efficiency, so be sure to consult with a professional if you’re having problems with temperature fluctuations in your house.