Winters are chilly in Baltimore, Maryland, and some homes have a hard time keeping up with the demand for warmth. If you’re suffering from cold spots around the house, your furnace probably isn’t operating as efficiently as it should. A few smart upgrades or simple changes could make all the difference in your home comfort this winter.
Rearrange Your Space
The simplest solution for a room with uneven heating is to rearrange the furniture. Look to see if any heating vents are blocked. If you have a large piece of furniture or long drapes over the vent, this will inevitably impede proper air flow, making the farther reaches of the room feel chilly. If your vents are unblocked, look for ways to improve circulation. Leave as much open space as possible around the vent so air can move freely.
Schedule a Tuneup
Cold spots are often a sign that your furnace isn’t operating at peak efficiency. It may simply lack the power to keep your entire home warm. You should schedule a tuneup once a year with a professional HVAC technician. Your technician will clean, lubricate, and tighten essential parts throughout the system. This could give a poorly maintained system the boost it needs to eliminate those cold spots. Your technician can also alert you to other problems, like a system that’s improperly sized or needs replacement parts.
Increase Your Insulation
If your home is lacking proper insulation, heat may seep away through the walls. Turn off the power at the circuit box and remove the faceplate from one of your electrical outlets to get a look at the insulation in your exterior walls. Do this in each room of the house, as insulation may vary from one area to another. If you can’t see insulation in exterior walls, it’s time to add some of your own. You can blow expanding foam insulation into the walls through even a small hole, allowing you to upgrade with minimal renovations.
Check your attic for proper insulation as well. Here, you can roll out batts of insulation between the supports to keep heat from escaping through the ceiling. Duct insulation is another important job that will prevent hot air from escaping as it makes its way from the furnace to your air ducts. Hire a professional to seal and insulate your ducts.
Seal Your Windows and Doors
Check around doors and windows for cracks, particularly if you’re noticing a cold spot near one of these openings. You can easily seal cracks around the frame with caulk. Prevent leaks around the bottom of your windows and doors with weatherstripping.
Check the Fireplace
If you have a fireplace, this can cause fluctuating hot and cold spots depending on whether the fire is lit. Always make sure the damper is securely closed when the fireplace isn’t in use so you don’t suffer from a chilly area here. If you don’t use your fireplace at all, consider a chimney balloon. This flexible installation will completely block the flow of air in your chimney so warm air inside your house can’t rise right up the flue.
Upgrade Your Thermostat
Improper readings or inefficient placement of your thermostat can cause your furnace to turn off before the home is sufficiently warm. If you’re using an old thermostat, it may simply read the home’s temperature inaccurately. Your HVAC technician will check thermostat operation during your annual furnace tuneup to look for this problem.
If the thermostat is operating properly, but placed in a naturally warm area of the house, it will tell the furnace that its job is done long before it’s really finished. Upgrade to a wireless thermostat so you can place it in colder areas of your home and get a more accurate reading.
If you need to schedule annual maintenance or upgrade parts of your heating system, call Griffith Energy Services at 888-474-3391. We can help you diagnose any problems that may be causing cold spots around your home and come up with an action plan that will keep you warm and cozy.
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