floor air vent

If some spots in your home are colder or hotter than others, you may have an air balancing problem. Most heating and cooling systems are forced-air systems, which means they blow air through your home to heat or cool it. There are many things that can stop this flow of air, and thereby create hot or cold spots.

Homeowners can use air balancing to correct these hot and cold spots, or have an HVAC professional do some of the more involved air balancing work for them. Here’s what air balancing entails.

How to Use Air Balancing Techniques

1. Adjust Your Vent Covers

You can adjust your vents each season to distribute the air more evenly throughout your home. In the summer, you want to maximize the cool air on the second floor, as heat will rise to your second floor, creating hot spots.

To do this, slightly close the vents on the first floor, and ensure they are completely open on the second floor. This puts pressure on the air entering the first floor, forcing more of it to the second floor. Just don’t close your vents completely, or you’ll stress your air conditioner and ducts.

You can do the opposite in the winter to heat your first floor. Make sure your upstairs vents are slightly closed, and fully open the vents on the first floor.

Vent covers can also be used to change temperature in rooms that are hotter or colder than others. In the room that is giving your trouble, be sure the vents are completely open, regardless of season. In the nearby rooms, close the vents slightly.

2. Clean Your Ducts

If you haven’t had your ducts cleaned in some time, they have likely collected dirt and dust, which impedes the proper flow of air through your home. Have them cleaned by a professional to restore air balance.

If you have a consistent hot or cold spot in your home, the ducts that supply that room may need to be resized. If they are smaller than normal, they put a bit of pressure on the air, just as if the vent was slightly closed. This will prevent proper airflow in the room. A professional can tell you if your ducts are the wrong size.

3. Clean Your Filters

A stuffed or dirty filter can limit air flow from your furnace, air conditioner, or other HVAC appliance. Most people should have all of these filters cleaned every six months, or more frequently if you have pets.

The Alternative to Air Balancing: Ductless HVAC Systems

If you’d rather not adjust your vent covers every season, or clean your ducts just to get properly air flow, there is an alternative for you. Mitsubishi ductless air conditioning systems don’t use ducts to distribute heat or cooling through your home. They do have filters that need to be cleaned, but they are ultimately less maintenance than a typical forced-air system. Plus, they’re more efficient and can solve your hot or cold spot problems permanently.

If you need more information about air balancing, or are ready to stop doing it altogether, reach out to us at Irish Heating and Air.