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How to Fix Hot and Cold Spots in Your Home

Someone with their thermostat

What Causes Hot and Cold Spots in Your Home and How You Can Fix Them

One of the most frustrating problems as a homeowner is dealing with hot and cold spots in your home. When you’re experiencing temperature inconsistencies, an upstairs bedroom feels like a sauna while a basement family room is too chilly.

We often get calls about this issue, so we wanted to share advice on why this common problem happens and how you can fix it. At Aspinwall Plumbing & Heating, our family has been serving families like yours across the South Shore for more than 50 years. Whatever comfort issue you’re facing, you can feel good knowing you’re in experienced hands when you call us.

5 Reasons Why Your Home Has Hot and Cold Spots

Here are five of the most common reasons why your home has temperature swings.

1. Your Home is Under-Insulated

Most homes in the United States don’t have enough attic insulation. In fact, the Insulation Institute says 90% of homes are under-insulated. Not having enough insulation can make your home feel less comfortable and drive up energy bills.

It’s simple to figure out if you have enough attic insulation:

  • Get a tape measure and go up to your attic.
  • Measure how deep the insulation is between the joists.
    • If insulation is 4-5” deep, your home is poorly insulated.
    • If insulation is 6-7” deep, your home is inadequately insulated.
    • If insulation is 16-18” deep, your home has ample insulation.
  • If you don’t have enough insulation, you can install more yourself or hire a professional.
  • Check with your energy company after doing your project, as some offer rebates for adding extra insulation to your home. Also, make sure to take advantage of the free energy assessment through Mass Save® to find other ways you can save energy in your home.

2. You Have an Addition or Room Without Ductwork

Some spaces are harder to heat and cool than others. These include:

  • Home additions
  • Sunrooms and four-season rooms
  • Second-floor bedrooms
  • Garage workspaces

If the room is an addition to your home, there’s a good chance it might not have ductwork. Adding ductwork can be costly and the additional square footage can stress your system if it can’t handle the extra load.

In this instance, adding a mini-split can alleviate temperature problems. It doesn’t need ductwork to deliver heating and cooling you can precisely control.

3. Your Heating and Cooling Equipment is Wearing Out

As your home comfort system ages, it becomes less efficient. This is especially true if you’ve skipped annual maintenance, which helps ensure worry-free performance, energy efficiency and improved performance. With proper service, your heating and cooling system may last 15–20 years or longer. But it may also struggle to keep you comfortable as it reaches replacement age.

4. Your Ductwork is Leaky

In most homes, ENERGY STAR® says ductwork can lose 20–30% of the air it handles through leaks, holes or bad connections. If you’re experiencing ductwork issues, certain rooms may be hard to heat, cool or keep comfortable.

5. Your Heating and Cooling Equipment is the Wrong Size

HVAC equipment that’s improperly sized can cause a lot of problems.

  • Too small. Your furnace or air conditioner will have to run more frequently to keep your home comfortable. The repeated on-and-off cycling is hard on your system and may cause it to break down more often or wear out sooner.
  • Too big. In this instance, your home comfort system will heat or cool your home too rapidly, which can cause temperature imbalances.

When you’re having furnace installation or air conditioning installation done, it’s important to choose a reputable company that stands behind its work. Read reviews, ask questions and don’t be afraid to get a second opinion from another company. If you’re adding onto your home or recently completed an addition, make sure your system is properly sized to handle the additional square footage.

Adding a Mini-Split Can Solve Your Comfort Issues

In some instances, solving the hot and cold spots in your home might take more work than you think it does. Adding a ductless mini-split is one of the best ways to alleviate comfort issues. And here’s why.

What Is a Mini-Split?

Unlike your furnace or air conditioner, a mini-split system doesn’t need ductwork. It’s comprised of two small units, one that’s outside and one that’s inside, typically mounted on the wall. Some models can support multiple inside units so you can add comfort to more than one room. With this setup, you’ll enjoy precise, zoned temperatures.

How Does a Mini Split Work?

Mini-splits are often called a mini-split heat pump. That’s because they transfer heat from the air to make your home more comfortable. This is a very energy-efficient way to keep difficult rooms at a stable temperature. In fact, ENERGY STAR says a mini-split unit is 30% more efficient than a window air conditioner and 60% more efficient than an electric space heater.

Do Mini-Splits Heat and Cool?

Because they’re heat pumps, you can enjoy mini-split heating and cooling in one efficient package.

What Size Mini-Split Do I Need?

Mini-split sizing depends on the room where you’ll be using it. Here are some of the most popular sizes we install:

  • 9,000 BTU mini-split: 300 to 500 square feet
  • 12,000 BTU mini-split: 400 to 650 square feet
  • 18,000 BTU mini-split: 600 to 1,000 square feet
  • 24,000 BTU mini-split: 800 to 1,300 square feet

When you work with our professionals at Aspinwall, we’ll help you choose the right size and model, and then provide expert mini-split installation.

How Many Mini-Splits Do I Need?

How many mini-splits you need depends on how many rooms you need to heat and cool, and which model you choose. Our professionals can help you with this important decision.

How Much Do Mini-Splits Cost?

At Aspinwall, we proudly install Mitsubishi mini-splits, which are known for their reliability and energy efficiency. However, mini-split cost varies greatly based on the size you need and the model you choose.

Many mini-splits are ENERGY STAR certified, which often makes you eligible for additional rebates. And with special offers and financing for qualified customers, adding one to your home may be more affordable than you think it is. Contact us at (617) 539-7672 to request a free estimate today. Our mini-split installers serve Quincy, MA, and surrounding areas.

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