Why Are Some Rooms In My Home Warmer or Cooler Than Others?

Man checking on air flow coming out of an AC vent

Air duct balancing is often the solution when some rooms in your home are warmer or cooler than others. You may be able to take some actions to improve balancing yourself, and there may be other things you can do to stay comfortable in every room of your home.

What Is Air Duct Balancing?

To balance airflow throughout your home, you can make adjustments to how much air comes through the ducts and into certain rooms. While some people use the directional adjuster on the register to increase or decrease airflow, it is best for your HVAC system if you accomplish this task in other ways. In some cases, you may have to settle for comfort in your most used rooms and a temperature that’s less desirable in rooms you use less.

To balance your air ducts:

  • Make sure all air vents are fully open in all areas of the house. 
  • Consider whether opening all vents fully has corrected the problem or made it worse.
  • Look for dampers – little metal handles – where air ducts come off the supply trunk.
  • Adjust the handles, keeping in mind that sending less air down one line means more will go down others. 

Some systems don’t have dampers, and others have dampers that are inaccessible for some reason. If your air conditioning and heating system has dampers, try adjusting all to the fully open position, then making small adjustments as necessary to improve air duct balancing.

Keep in mind that most systems are balanced by the installer when they are put in, but changes in the home, the ducts or the system can make the original setting no longer valid. You may prefer to have air duct balancing handled by a professional HVAC contractor for best results.

Other Actions To Improve Home Comfort

You can take the following additional actions yourself when some rooms are warmer or cooler than they should be:

  • Ensure that you have enough insulation.
  • Make sure windows and doors close and seal properly.
  • Consider using fans to improve air flow in problem areas.
  • Make sure dirt and debris are not negatively impacting your HVAC system.
  • Clean HVAC system filters to improve system performance.
  • Close or open shades or curtains as appropriate for the season to take advantage of heating from light and to block heat loss through windows.

You don’t have to live with rooms that are uncomfortable. Solutions are available, including both things you can do yourself as well as professional air duct balancing.

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