May 29, 2014

A perfectly comfortable home is a home where you never think about being cold or hot. For many home owners, they find themselves hot in one room and cold in another. And when this occurs it often causes a battle of the thermostat and a constant adjusting and re-adjusting in a never ending cycle trying to achieve comfort. Diagnosing comfort problems is complicated and often it takes an expert but here are the fundamentals.

• Drafts – If you have a room that is cold in the winter and hot in the summer look for air leaks in the room. When the wind blows, can you feel air coming in around doors, windows, plug plates, or plumbing penetrations? If so, that could be a key factor in the cold air that you may feel moving across your feet.

• Windows – Windows are a major factor in a room’s comfort. Even the most efficient windows are still not as insulative as your walls. Windows also allow sun rays into the house. This can heat up a room significantly in the summer making it too hot. If your windows face the east or west you can use shades or window films to block the sun’s heat.

• Humidity – Have you ever noticed that 100 degrees in a hot humid climate feels a lot different than 100 degrees in a hot dry climate? High humidity makes your home feel clammy. Even though the temperature of your house may be right, high humidity will keep you from feeling comfortable. Humidity can be caused by improper venting, crawlspace moisture, or a poorly functioning HV/AC system. Since up to 50% of the air that enters your house comes from the crawlspace, managing the moisture in there is very important.

• Balance – When an HV/AC system is installed it is supposed to be designed to supply the right amount of conditioned air to each room. If the HV/AC installer makes an error, or the room is not performing as designed, it can cause there to be either too much or too little conditioned air flowing to a room. If it is too little, it will be cold in the winter and hot in the summer. If it is too much, it will be hot in the winter and cold in the summer. If you think you have this problem you can use the baffles on your duct system to try and adjust the flow to a room. The best option is having your system balanced by a professional who can calculate how much air should be flowing to each room and match the air flow from your system to that calculation.

Your home’s comfort is very important because it can cause your home to be a pleasant or unpleasant place to live. Improving your home’s comfort can also help avoid family feuds over what temperature to set the thermostat at.