The key to any HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system operating efficiently and optimally is air flow. This means not only air flowing out from the system, but air returning to it. If you’re experiencing issues with uneven cooling in your home, your first way to troubleshoot should be by inspecting your return air-flow ducting.
Without proper return air ducts, or no return air ducts at all, the air in your house needs to flow back to the air handler on its own. However, since the air handler often is in an out-of-the way place, like at the top of the stairs, or in your attic or basement, it can be difficult for the air to get back to it. This isn’t efficient or optimal.
Imagine your HVAC system being a huge pump in a pond system. It moves air like a pump moves water. If you want the pump to circulate the air, it must be able to move it from every room in the house back to the blower. However, this can cause seriously uneven cooling, and nothing is worse on hot, humid nights than being in a bedroom that isn’t getting cool, conditioned air.
This just doesn’t happen in older houses. In fact, newer homes can suffer from uneven cooling, too. The key to fixing this issue is to retrofit your house with return air ducts in most rooms, where possible. On many single-level houses, this is easy enough to do by running more ducting in your attic. You also can retrofit multilevel homes, although you might want to consult with a professional HVAC contractor, as this takes more expertise and experience.
Does your home suffer from uneven cooling? Then it’s time to call the experts at Paschal Heat, Air, Geothermal & Generators. We’ve proudly served homeowners in Northwest Arkansas for more than 40 years. Paschal is a name that you can trust!
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about preventing uneven cooling and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.