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Balancing Airflow for Uneven Temperatures – Alternatives to Zoning (Part 3)

November 15, 2018

This is part 3 of our 3-part series on alternatives to zoning. Zoning refers to creating separate thermostatically-controlled areas within your home.  But, before doing an expensive retro fit or buying a new multi-zoned system, try some of these things to address and possibly alleviate uneven temperatures in your home.  In this episode, we’ll focus on how Balancing Airflow and employing Spot Treatments may help.

Balancing the Airflow

Some rooms may be hard to heat and cool because of inadequate supply ducts or air register grills.  You may need to increase the size of the supply duct or add an additional duct to provide the needed airflow to the room. Any rooms with a lack of sufficient return airflow may benefit from relatively simple upgrades, such as: installing new or larger return-air registers, undercutting doors for increasing return air flow, or installing a jumper duct to create an air flow connection between rooms.  To see which of these solutions is best for your problem, contact an HVAC professional.

Manual Balancing

You might be able to “manually” balance the air flow by adjusting the dampers in the duct work. For example, in the summer time, you might try partially closing the dampers in the ducts going to the first floor and fully opening the ones to the second floor. This often takes a few tries to get them set right. If you have separate HVAC units feeding each floor, try setting the thermostat for the upstairs about 2-3 degrees cooler than the downstairs in the summer.  This is because heat rises.  In the winter, set the downstairs thermostat 2-3 degrees warmer than the upstairs.

Spot Treatments

Consider installing a ductless mini-split system in the rooms which are always too hot in summer and too cold in winter.  As the name implies, they do not require ductwork, so they’re easy to install and they’re super-efficient.  This will effectively make the rooms that are fed by the mini-split system their own zones, allowing you to control their temperature independently of the rest of the house.  Check out our many previous posts on mini-split systems.

Let the folks at Interstate AC Service help you sort out all the options and find the best solution for addressing your uneven heating and cooling problems. If you live in the Nashville and surrounding area, give us a call at 615-802-2665.  We’re here for all your heating and cooling needs.