It’s lovely to come home to a house that is just the right temperature, especially after a day out in the hot, muggy weather. For some of us, however, there is always that one room that refuses to stay cool. You try turning up the air, you try fans, but nothing seems to work. It’s just too darn hot in there! What is going on in that room?!
This is one of the most common problems we hear about as HVAC professionals. There are many reasons why you could have a stubbornly hot room. Luckily, many of the problems have relatively easy fixes, so you can get a sweltering room under control quickly. These are the issues that you should take into consideration when trying to solve the problem.
It Could Be the Windows
Windows are the number one culprit when it comes to rooms that just won’t cool down, especially if the room receives a lot of direct sunlight. If the windows are older, you have a double problem on your hands. New, energy efficient windows are designed to allow you to enjoy light without the added heat that comes along with it. Older windows, however, lack this feature – they act almost like a sunbeam through a magnifying glass, creating extra heat that keeps your room uncomfortably warm.
If installing new windows isn’t an option, there are a few things you can do to keep the temperature down. Window treatments that block light can be used, especially during the times of day when there is a lot of direct sunlight coming into the room. Checking the window for drafts can also help to keep the air in the room a bit cooler – most drafts are easily fixed with a little weather stripping.
Double Check the Vents
This may seem like a ridiculous step, but double check that your vents are open into the room. You would be surprised how many hot room issues end up being solved by opening a closed vent. If the vent is open, you may want to take the cover off and see if there is a lot of visible dirt or dust in the duct opening. If that’s the case, your next step is to check the air filter.
When Did You Last Change Your Air Filter?
If it has been months since you last checked your air filter, it could be a likely culprit for preventing airflow from reaching the entirety of your home. Air filters are made to keep dust, dirt, allergens, and other debris from flowing into the air of your home. Once the filter is clogged, air flow through your air conditioner is compromised. With less air flow, it is harder for the air to stay cool when traveling to certain rooms of your home, especially if the hot room is far away from the A/C unit itself.
Doing a monthly check of your filter can help prevent hot-spotting, as well as many other air conditioning problems. It’s the best thing you can do to keep your HVAC system happy and your home comfortable.
How is the Room Designed?
There are a lot of things to consider when you have a room that is too hot. For example:
- How old is your home? Could there be draft issues in the room due to older construction?
- What side of the house is the room facing? Some rooms get more sun exposure than others.
- Could there potentially be a roofing or insulation issue in that section of the house that is preventing the room from cooling properly? Poor insulation will make it harder to cool a room.
- How high are the ceilings? High ceilings can create an environment that is harder to cool, which may mean ceiling fans are necessary to help with circulation.
Once you have analyzed these questions, you may find that the cause for overheating in a single room is a little clearer.
Your Ductwork May Need to Be Checked
If none of the questions above have provided a solution to a room that is just too darn hot, it may be time to call in an HVAC tech for an inspection. Before you make the call, however, you might want to take a quick look at your ductwork. If you are removing vent covers and noticing a lot of dirt and debris, it is possible that your ducts need to be cleaned and checked for blockages that could cause airflow problems. It is also possible that there is a hole somewhere in your ductwork, which makes it much harder for cool air to get to where it needs to go.
The A/C Could Be the Wrong Size
It is also possible that the air conditioning unit installed in your home is too small, making it difficult for cold air to consistently reach every room in your home. An HVAC tech will be able to confirm if this is the problem at your home. If the A/C is too small, there are a few options besides investing in a larger system. Solutions such as a window or mini-split unit can help to keep a room cool without the expense of purchasing an entirely new system.