Summer is here, and with warmer temperatures outdoors, many New York homeowners are faced with new challenges in regulating the temperatures indoors. If you’re trying to stay cool and comfortable this summer, but your home seems to have hot and cold spots throughout, then you may need to try air balancing. In today’s post, our air conditioning maintenance experts at Blue Ox Energy will outline our top tips for doing this yourself!
Give them a try today, and if you have any questions about our air conditioner service or repair, then feel free to contact us! Our heating and cooling experts can tackle any HVAC challenge, and we’re ready to help you get your home ready for summer. Contact us online or by phone for expert air conditioning installation, maintenance, and repair in the Oxford area!
What Is Air Balancing?
Air balancing is fairly simple in principle — it entails delivering the appropriate amount of air (hot or cold) to each room in your home to make it more comfortable, optimize energy efficiency, and improve the overall performance of your air conditioning and heating system. Some rooms, like those in upper floors with lots of windows and sunlight, will heat up more quickly and require heavier airflow; others, such as small interior rooms, will cool down fast. Every home is different, and every room will have different airflow needs.
According to Rob Falke, president at the HVAC-based training company National Comfort Institute, “balancing is the single most important step that can be taken to ensure your systems produce comfort and operate efficiently.” Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most difficult processes to get right. If your home seems to have uneven temperatures and hot and cold spots, then a trained HVAC technician will have the tools, knowledge, and skills necessary to test and adjust your air conditioning system — but if you want to try it yourself before bringing in the pros, you can start with these tricks:
1. Adjust Your Vent Openings
Simple and effective! If a part of your home is always freezing, check for nearby air vents, and adjust the damper blades to restrict air flow. Alternatively, if a room is always too hot, check to see whether the vent registers need to be opened wider. Make sure not to completely close the vents, since this can cause other issues with your HVAC system.
Since hot air rises, in summertime, it’s a good idea to open vents wider on upper floors and partially close them on the first floor and in the basement. In wintertime, do the opposite.
To effectively adjust your vent openings:
Set your thermostat to 76 – 78 degrees Fahrenheit and leave alone for 24 hours
In “cold spots,” adjust the vents to allow less air flow
In “hot spots,” open the vents up wide
Incrementally adjust the thermostat back down to your comfort range
Continue to make small adjustments as needed, and repeat until you have reached the desired temperature house-wide
2. Use a 2-Degree Offset On Floors
As noted above, since hot air rises, the different floors in your home will likely have different natural temperature ranges, and you can modify how you use your air conditioning system to support each floor’s unique needs.
For example, your basement will naturally stay the coolest in the hot months, so you can probably afford to bump up the thermostat a few degrees on sub-ground floors. If your main floor is set to 72 degrees, try setting your basement thermostat to 74 degrees. By the same token, your upper floors will heat up more quickly, so setting a cooler thermostat range may help those areas feel more consistent with the rest of the home. Try setting upper floor thermostats to 70 degrees. You can make incremental adjustments if the temperatures still don’t feel right, but a 2-degree offset per floor is a great place to start.
3. Clean Your Filters
If you want to help your air conditioner run at peak performance, then it’s important to routinely clean out your air filters. Not only will this improve your home’s air quality by removing any debris that may have built up on your filters, but it will also improve your control over the air flow throughout your home. Additionally, regular cleaning will extend your HVAC system’s lifespan and keep your energy costs down by allowing your system to run as efficiently as possible.
To stay cool this summer, start by cleaning out your filters!
4. Invest in Window Coverings
Even with a well-balanced air conditioning system, some parts of your home may heat up from prolonged exposure to sunlight throughout the day. Window coverings will help prevent “hot spots” and keep sunny rooms from heating up beyond comfort levels.
Invest in window shades, blinds, or drapes for the sunniest parts of your home. They will improve your household energy efficiency and make your home more appealing and comfortable!
5. Prevent Air Flow Restrictions
As noted above, you should never completely close off an air conditioning vent, since this can cause your heat exchange system to overheat, shut off prematurely, or become damaged. Even if you don’t manually close the vent, if you accidentally block it with furniture, your system will have to work that much harder to provide cool air throughout your home.
Your vents should have at least 18 inches of space in front of them, so make sure to rearrange your furniture — and hem any curtains — to provide each vent in your home with the air flow space it needs. If moving the furniture is not an option, you can invest in a magnetic air deflector that will redirect the air flow around nearby furniture and keep healthy circulation going.
Contact Blue Ox Energy For Air Conditioning Services in Oxford!
If you’ve tried everything and still aren’t happy with the air flow throughout your home, then you can contact the HVAC pros at Blue Ox Energy for expert assistance today! We provide air conditioning installations, maintenance, and repairs to residents of Oxford, and we can properly balance the air flow in your home so that you enjoy maximum comfort, air quality, and energy efficiency. Stay cool and comfortable all summer long — give us a call today!