Heating is almost never going to be consistent throughout your entire home. Heat rises, after all, so the upper areas of your home are almost always going to be a little hotter than the lower areas.
When you find that two rooms are drastically different temperatures, however, it could be a sign that there’s a problem with your heating system. We’re going to look at the top 5 causes for uneven heating and provide solutions for each problem. By the end of this article, you should have all the knowledge you need to ensure that every part of your home is at a comfortable temperature. So get cozy, and read on!
The Flow of Heat Is Being Impeded
This is the #1 culprit for uneven heating. This is a “Top 5” article – the power of listicles is nothing to sneeze at – but we’re going to give you a little bonus content. There are a lot of reasons the flow of heat could be blocked or redirected, and we’re going to look at a number of them:
Blocked and redirected flow in forced air systems (furnaces)
The most common cause of blocked flow in forced air systems is a furnace filter that hasn’t been cleaned properly. This can lead to a whole host of problems. The reason that it sometimes results in uneven heating is that not enough hot air can pass through the filter, which leads to some areas of your home receiving heat, while others don’t.
Another common cause is blocked vents. How dusty are your registers or grilles? Are they all open, or are some of them closed? Both this problem and the filter problem are easy fixes, and you won’t even need to call an HVAC technician. That’s why we recommend checking these problems first.
The worst-case scenario? You’ve got a leak in one or multiple air ducts. While you can technically patch these yourself (it’s not called duct tape for nothing), it’s usually best to call a technician – patches will only last so long, and replacing the damaged section of the duct may be the best move.
Blocked flow in radiant heating systems (boilers)
The most common cause of blocked flow in radiant heating systems is trapped air in radiators. The solution here is extremely straightforward: Bleed any radiators with cold spots! That should fix the problem.
On occasion, you may find that no water comes out when you bleed your radiator or that the water that comes out is severely discoloured. This is a sign that your boiler system is full of sludge and needs to be cleaned. It’s not a job you can do yourself, and you’ll need to call a professional.
Your Home Isn’t Properly Insulated
Insulation impedes the flow of heat. When sections of your home aren’t properly insulated, heat will escape through your walls, windows, ceilings, floors, and doors. When some sections of your home are well insulated while others are not, the underinsulated areas will be colder than the properly insulated ones.
If you suspect certain areas of your home are underinsulated, we recommend conducting an energy audit. You can perform one yourself or hire a professional. The audit will show you which areas are underinsulated. From there, you can choose the insulation methods that best suit your needs.
Your Heating System Isn’t Properly Sized
This one’s a doozy, and we hope you never experience it. When you hire someone who is under-qualified to install your heating system, or you attempt to install the system yourself, you may end up with a system that’s too small or too big.
It’s easy to understand why a system that’s too small could lead to uneven heating – there’s simply not enough heat to go around. But too large a system can cause problems, too. The areas near your thermostat will heat very quickly, causing the system to shut off without adequately heating your whole home.
Keep your heating system in mind when building additions to your home. By adding rooms, you’ve increased the work your heating system needs to put in. That can lead to a system that was previously adequately sized becoming too small for your new needs.
Your Heating System Is Getting Old
As your system ages, it may lose its heating power. At that point, you have an undersized system on your hands, which leads to the problems we discussed above. What’s more, old systems are less energy-efficient – you’re literally wasting fuel (and money). That’s one of the reasons it’s a good idea to replace old furnaces and boilers.
There’s a Problem with Your Zone Controls
Obviously, this is only relevant if you have zone controls – thermostats that control the heat in each different section (or zone) of your home. These thermostats may need repairs. You may also have damaged zone dampers. In either case, you’ll need to call a technician.
We’re Here To Help
If you’ve followed this guide and you still can’t figure out why the heating in your home isn’t even, or if you need help repairing one of the problems we’ve described, give us a call. We’re Howell Mechanical Co. We provide heating services in Winnipeg, including boiler and furnace repair. We’ll help you ensure that every part of your home is heated comfortably, so you can stay cozy through the winter!