How to Fix Hot Spots in Your Home
Even in homes with functioning central air conditioners, hot spots can happen. For some reason, the cool air moving through the ducts fails to keep an area or specific room as cool as other areas. Many reasons can cause hot spots. Some are easier to remedy than others, but you do not have to simply put up with inconsistent cooling. Solutions exist, but you first need to identify the exact cause of the hot spot in your home.
Inspect Your Windows and Doors
Solar heat coming through windows or patio doors with southern or late-afternoon sun exposure can cause a hot spot. The radiant heat pours through the glass and builds up while the sun blazes.
If the windows are old, then replacing them with modern windows could significantly reduce the solar heat gain. Look for new windows made from low-E glass that blocks ultraviolet rays. This product reflects the solar heat away from your home instead of letting it penetrate the room. Once the low-E windows are installed, you should notice a reduction in solar heat gain. As a result, the cool air flowing from your central air conditioning should maintain the room’s temperature much more consistently.
If replacing windows is not immediately feasible, then thermal curtains provide an effective barrier to solar hot spots caused by windows. You can find curtains for sale made specifically for this purpose. They have a light-colored lining that reflects sunshine in addition to creating a physical barrier between the outside temperature and your air-conditioned home.
Air leakage around doors and windows can rob you of comfort. The continual penetration of outside air counteracts your air conditioning in that space and forms the hot spot. To quickly check for drafts, light a candle, and move it slowly around the interior perimeter of each window or door. Drafts will make the candle flicker noticeably. If drafts are present, fix them with weatherstripping or caulk.
Look at the Ducts
The culprit for your hot spot could be as simple as compromised ductwork. Your air conditioner produces cold air but it leaks away or gains heat on its way to the room. Dislodged insulation around ducts, loose seams, or holes makes it impossible for cool air to reach the room. This could be the problem if your ducts were never installed correctly, or they suffered damage at some point.
If you have access to your ducts in an attic or crawlspace, you can check for these problems yourself. An air conditioning contractor can do the job for you as well and complete necessary repairs. A comfort specialist like Alps Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. in Anaheim, CA, can evaluate your ducts and recognize problems like poor engineering, improper sizing, broken seals, and other damage. Our technicians have the tools and expertise to fix or upgrade the ductwork in your home.
Investigate Your Insulation
A home lacking in insulation, especially in the walls or attic, will always struggle with cooling challenges. The structure simply has no way to resist the heat of the scorching sun. Even if you have insulation, it may have degraded over the years or been compromised by invasive pests. When insufficient insulation causes a hot spot, installing new insulation will produce immediate improvements in temperature control.
Confirm Cooling Capacity of Air Conditioner
Central air conditioning units cannot perform well if their cooling capacity does not match the square footage of your home. A unit that is meant for a smaller building will deliver poor results and high utility bills. Talk to an air conditioning contractor to find out if your system is responsible for the hot spot. Replacing it with a properly sized unit will solve the problem. Alternatively, you may investigate adding a ductless unit to the hot spot so that you can have zoned control of the temperature.
The NATE-certified technicians at Alps Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. can solve many of the issues that are causing hot spots in your home. We can add insulation, build ducts, and install zoned systems. When you talk to us about your hot spot problem, we can inspect your air conditioner. You can trust us to perform reliable repairs on any AC models or help you select a replacement system. We are your local source for other indoor comfort services as well, including heater repairs or installation, thermostat installation, and indoor air quality solutions. To improve your indoor comfort, contact Alps Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. today.