What to Do When You Have Uneven Heat Distribution in Your Home

Not all homes are designed with efficiency in mind, especially when it comes to the distribution of central air. In truth, it’s not at all uncommon to live in a home where portions of the house get hot much more quickly than other rooms when the furnace kicks on. The problem is that when these areas reach a comfortable temperature, the rest of the house is still freezing. And if you let the furnace run until the extremities of the home have warmed up, the central rooms are likely to start feeling like a sauna. This actually isn’t too surprising – you might expect that the areas closest to where the furnace is located are going to get the lion’s share of the heat, while rooms further away will get just a trickle as the heat loses steam, so to speak, with every vent it passes and seeps out of. Luckily, there are ways to deal with the uneven heat distribution in your home. Here are some options to consider that might help you to regulate the temperature throughout.

Heat Distribution in Your HomeProbably the easiest solution is to install dampers in your ductwork, or rather, have your HVAC technician do it for you in order to balance the entire system of ducting in your home. Dampers are like little doors inside your ducts that can be opened, closed, and otherwise adjusted with rods that protrude from the duct (or even electronically in some cases). Since you likely don’t want to crawl around in your attic adjusting dampers, having a qualified and experienced professional do it for you is your best move. And so long as you tell your technician where you’re having problems, he should have no trouble installing and/or adjusting dampers as needed to regulate the airflow throughout your home, helping you to get relatively even heat distribution to every room.

Another option is to install multiple thermostats in order to create separate heating zones. The most common use of zoning systems is on separate floors in a home. For example, you may notice that the top floor of your house is too hot in the summer and the basement is too cold in the winter, while the main floor, where your original thermostat resides, is generally a comfortable temperature. A zoning system would allow you to separately control the temperature on each floor with thermostats located on each floor. So even if you set them all to the same temperature, you might find that the heat on the top floor goes off long before the heat to the bottom floor stops flowing. The system does this by controlling dampers inside your existing ductwork to move the airflow where it is needed.

You could also consider adding individual heating units to problem areas in your home, such as space heaters to use as needed, or even installing ductless heating units (provided there is an exterior wall for the purposes of venting). You might also want to consider adding or upgrading insulation in rooms that are cold all winter long. Some people have the opposite problem and spend their time troubleshooting a furnace that won’t turn off. But if your issue is areas of the home that never seem to get warm, you should know that there are several ways you can address the problem of uneven heat distribution.

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