Do you find yourself wearing a sweater in some rooms of your house but just a t-shirt in other rooms?
Or maybe you walk from one room, through a central room, to another part of the house and find that one spot is just a bit cooler.
These “cold spots” in your home are especially noticeable when the temperatures are cooler—during fall, winter, and spring—but it’s possible in some areas that they may exist in all four seasons.
So, what are “cold spots” in your home, anyway?
Your home’s HVAC system works on a simple premise: Air is drawn through vents (internal vents and/or external vents) and pushed into your unit. From there, the air is cooled or warmed and then forced out through the ductwork in your walls, through vents, and into the rooms of your house.
But here’s the thing…air is invisible, but it acts a lot like water: It flows in easy, meandering ways around a room, invisibly bouncing off of walls and furniture. In fact, if you could see the air flow from a vent, you’d notice that it moved and flowed from vents outward throughout the room but then stops and redirects when it hits an obstruction.
Therefore, some areas of your home might not get air flow. The air just sits there. And, depending on the air flow and air pressure in your house, the ambient temperature (and temperature fluctuations) inside your home and outside, as well as other factors, cold and hot spots can be created.
You might especially notice cold and hot spots by windows or exterior doors (no surprise there), but you might also notice cold or hot spots near exterior walls, which could indicate that the insulation has degraded slightly. Or, you may notice spots in unusually shaped rooms, or rooms where the HVAC ducts aren’t venting into the center of the room.
These are just a few of the reasons, and it really depends on a number of factors.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do about it. If you want a simple, temporary solution, add a small fan nearby to circulate the air more effectively in the room. Another option in rooms that are larger but not too unusually shaped is to consider a ceiling-mounted fan.
However, some homeowners want more effective fixes for challenging cold an hot spots, especially in hard-to-reach places. For these scenarios, you can consider installing extra vents to get the air flowing into that area.
There are other options, of course, but this is a great starting point.
Your home should be comfortable—you shouldn’t have to avoid one area of your home just because it’s colder than other areas!
If you notice cold or hot spots in your home, there’s lots you can do about it, so take a walk around your home and make note of all the different temps…and see if you can’t transform them into comfortable areas for you and your whole family.