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Uneven Room Temperatures

Do you have one or more rooms in your home that are too hot in summer and very cold in winter? While most rooms heat to the temperature you want, other rooms may be freezing cold even intolerable. There are a variety of reasons for uneven room temperatures from window drafts to poor weatherization, problems with heat ducts and register, to insulation issues.

Window Drafts

Windows provide homes with light and ventilation but can also impact room temperatures. Older windows don’t offer the energy efficient features of newer windows. Older windows can also be drafty due to air leaks.

Weatherizing your windows to reduce air leakage and improve comfort.  Start with caulking and weather-stripping which can reduce air leakage around windows. It is best to use caulk for stationary cracks, gaps, or joints less than one-quarter-inch wide, and weather-stripping for building components that move, such as doors and operable windows. Window coverings can also reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. Most window treatments, however, aren’t effective at reducing air leakage or infiltration.

Window Weatherizing Suggestions:

  • Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames to reduce drafts.
  • Install tight-fitting, insulating window shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing.
  • Close your curtains and shades at night to protect against cold drafts; open them during the day to let in warming sunlight.
  • Install exterior or interior storm windows, which can reduce heat loss through the windows by approximately 10%-20%, depending on the type of window already installed in the home. They should have to weatherstrip at all movable joints; be made of strong, durable materials; and have interlocking or overlapping joints.
  • Repair and weatherize your current storm windows, if necessary.

Inspect Ducts & Registers

Ducts can lose up to 30% of airflow from leaks. Even small leaks from poorly insulated ducts can affect airflow throughout the house. Large leaks, such as from loose joints, can prevent airflow to distant rooms.

Check your heat registers and ducts. While this may seem like a silly suggestion, most HVAC techs have a story or two about a cold room that was easily corrected by opening a few registers. Make sure floor registers are not covered by furniture or rugs.

Some ductwork contains dampers to adjust airflow. Look for handles and markings on the ductwork such as ‘summer’ and ‘winter.’ Set the damper handle parallel to the duct line for maximum airflow.

Check Furnace Filters

Dirty, dust packed furnace filters can block air flow leading to uneven heating. Changing your furnace filters regularly may be all that is needed.

Inspect Attic Insulation

Insulation plays a key role in keeping living spaces comfortable. Often when rooms don’t retain heat, there is a problem with insulation; usually attic insulation. Uneven or insufficient insulation may lead to certain rooms that don’t retain heat in winter, or cold in summer.

Attic insulation over specific rooms may be compressed, disturbed, damaged, or wet. In these cases, insulating capabilities are stifled. Insulation can be compressed, disturbed, or damaged from activities in the attic, usually related to attic storage of heavy boxes, boards, etc. Wet insualtion can occur if bathroom exhaust fans or dryers exhaust into the attic or when moisture vapors from cooking, bathing etc rise up through crack and gaps into the attic and settle on insulation (wet insulation does not insulate properly).

Correcting Problems Can Make a Big Difference

If your home doesn’t retain heat or cool air, you’re going to end up wasting energy and spending more to condition the entire house. Even if this is only a problem in specific rooms, you’ll be running your system longer than should be necessary to heat and cool them, which will get expensive over time.

Need Help? Call Attic Air

Attic Air offers free attic assessments. We serve homeowners in Chicago and All Suburbs. Call us today at 630.830.3870