What Causes Hot Spots?

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What Causes Hot Spots?

Location 

Some areas of a home are more prone to hot spots than others. The upstairs may be getting too hot compared to downstairs. Rooms with tall ceilings contain more air that needs to be cooled in order to cool the room. Rooms that are more exposed to direct sunlight can also be warmer than others (west side of the house). Rooms that have a lot of large windows. Or if a bedroom has multiple exterior walls. Depending on the time of year, these hot spots will most likely change to cold spots.

Air Flow

When you have hot and/or cold spots, it’s possible that the room is too far away for your HVAC system to provide appropriate air flow. Air likes to take the path of least resistance. If your hot spot is far from the unit, then the air flow will lose velocity and not provide appropriate amounts. We often encounter this problem, typically defined as a temperature difference of more than four degrees among different rooms. This could be due to Ducts not sized properly, Ductwork is damaged, leaky, or poorly installed, or if your ductwork is poorly designed or improperly balanced.

Poor Insulation & Ventilation

Your home’s insulation prevents cool air from escaping and warm outdoor air from entering your house. Insufficient insulation on your A/C system will need to work harder to keep your indoor spaces comfortable. Hot spots can form in the rooms under the attic, especially if the attic isn’t properly ventilated.

How to Get Rid of Hot Spots

Address Broken Window Seals 

A faulty window seal can cause hot, unconditioned air to enter your home. Check your windows and doors for broken seals. Fixing leaky windows and doors get rid of hot spots, helping you save on energy costs.

Use Window Treatments

For windows that get more exposure from the sun, you can use window treatments or black out curtains that will prevent heat from entering the room. If your windows are outdated, consider replacing them with energy-efficient units. These windows will allow natural light into your home while blocking heat from the sun.

Invest in Dampers, Zoning & Quality Thermostats

If your system has dampers installed in the ductwork at the supply plenum, then the dampers can be adjusted to force more air towards hot spots in the house. Zoning refers to the use of multiple thermostats in your home, allowing you to alter temperatures for different parts of the house at different times. This is one of the best ways to avoid hot and cold spots in your home, as well as energy loss.

Get Regular HVAC Inspections 

Your A/C system requires regular maintenance to stay efficient. To ensure your home is as comfortable as possible, have your system routinely checked and serviced. This will also give you peace of mind knowing that your equipment won’t experience a breakdown on the hottest of days.

Common Causes of Hot Spots

Dirty Air Filters

Clogged air filters can result in poor airflow indoors because they can put a strain on your A/C system. Your equipment will need to exert more effort to pull air through the dirty filters. With reduced airflow, it will take longer to regulate the temperature in your home.

Blocked Vents

A central A/C system utilizes ducts to circulate conditioned air into your home through vents. The ducts cycle air from your home back into the equipment through return vents. When return vents are blocked, the air fails to reach your HVAC unit. When the supply vents are blocked, the air fails to enter the room.

When you need air conditioning service, call Total Air Service. We specialize in HVAC installation, maintenance, zoning, indoor air quality and more. Call us at (936) 890-4070 or fill out our contact form to request a free estimate.