hot + cold + drafty rooms
What to Know
Temperature differences of up to three degrees from room to room are not uncommon, but often one or several rooms are excessively warm or cold. This could be caused by several factors within your home including inadequate insulation, air leakage, poor duct system design, duct leakage, unwanted heating by the sun in warmer months, or a failure in part of your heating and cooling system.
Some comfort issues may be the result of one main building performance issue or several that are driving the process. Too much westerly facing glass that lacks shading or reflective film may be driving up interior room temperatures. Cold air leaking into your house around windows, doors, electrical outlets, light fixtures, gaps in corners, and lack of blinds can cause rooms to feel drafty and uncomfortable. As cold air is coming in through leaks, warm air is escaping through other leaks. You most likely experience drafty and cold areas in the room over a garage, in the attic, basement and additions.
What to Do
By walking around your house on a cold, windy day, you can find some of the places where cold air is streaming in and heat is escaping during the winter months and warm air is entering and cool air is escaping in the summer. The best way to pinpoint where this air exchange is happening is by having a comprehensive home energy assessment,that includes a blower door test. Your energy assessor will put a fan in the frame of an exterior door to blow air out of the house, lowering the air pressure inside. This pulls outside air in through all those unsealed cracks and openings, exposing some of your biggest problem areas. (link to more info re: assessment and blower door) After the assessment, you’ll get a detailed report including recommendations for what to do with all those pesky leaks you discovered.
“We had lived in our home for 16 years, and the entire time the upstairs floor was extremely hot in the summertime despite having central air. Several conversations with HVAC people over the years yielded only one suggestion for relief: put in a window air conditioner. Once we had our home energy assessment, the LEAP Certified Contractor came up with a plan to make the house dual zone. The work has been completed, and for the first time EVER we are comfortable on the second floor. Apparently it just took someone who knew how to address the problem.”