AC Service: How to Eliminate Hot Spots at Home
Dante’s Inferno is a great book title, but you don’t want any part of your house to feel like it. However, during the hottest months of the year along the Texas Gulf Coast, your house may develop some hot spots.
It could be the laundry room or that one spot in the hallway near the front door. Many people have trouble cooling their upstairs or the bonus room over the garage that turns into a sauna during the summer.
Some people say it is because it is almost 100 degrees outside, but the problem is most likely your AC service. There are reasons you may have hot spots in your house.
Let’s learn what they are and what you can do to fix them. Keep reading below!
Hot Spot Causes
One of the most common hot spot causes is a clogged air filter. Many people forget to check their filter and it gets clogged. Another common issue is the air intake for the AC is blocked with furniture or something else.
You may also want to check your attic and make sure you don’t have leaking ductwork that is blowing cool air into your attic. While you are there you can also make sure you have enough insulation.
Your thermostat placement can affect your overall house cooling, too. If the thermostat is directly under an air vent, your AC will turn off too soon. This causes the rest of the house to stay too warm. Conversely, if your thermostat is placed next to a lamp or an appliance that gives off a lot of heat (e.g. plasma televisions), it can have the opposite effect. This why it helps to check your thermostat placement.
Your windows can cause hot spots if they face the west or south and get a lot of afternoon heat from the sun. Windows can also leak cool air if there are gaps around them. Check your exterior doors also and make sure the weather stripping is intact. Installing weather stripping and new doorsweeps is an easy do-it-yourself project to keep that cool air inside.
If lukewarm air is blowing out of your vents, there could be a problem with your ac unit itself. Sometimes HVAC units will develop a refrigerant leak. This means that your AC unit doesn’t have the proper amount of refrigerant to transfer the heat from inside the home to outside the home.
The problem could also be the size of your AC unit. If you have remodeled and added space recently, the existing AC unit may not be big enough to handle your home’s heat load. You want to make sure the HVAC unit you have is properly sized. The age of the system can also affect your HVAC unit’s ability to cool.
At 100 degrees or more, the ac unit will be close to its limit so keeping shades down and doors closed will help the house stay cooler.
Different temperature preferences can also place a role in hot spots. A teenager who keeps their door closed for example won’t get the air flow they need, and their room may seem hotter than it should. You may have family members adjusting the thermostat up and down during the day. You all may have to decide on a compromise everyone can live with.
Hot Spot Solutions
Fixing hot spots can be a simple change or it can involve requesting AC service from a professional. What you want to do is work through the problems step by step so you know which solution to apply.
If you have a bonus room that won’t get cool, ductless AC units can be a great, energy-efficient solution. Ductless mini splits can give an extra boost of cooling to one room, rather than trying to cool the whole house for only one room.
If you have air not blowing cold, check your air filters, vents and registers first to look for blockages. If those are fine, it may be a problem with your unit. Fan motors and run capacitors are common electrical parts that can malfunction in the summer. Don’t try to do-it-yourself with HVAC repairs for your own safety and peace of mind.
Your refrigerant may need to be recharged after a leak is fixed as part of your AC service, but you don’t have the tools or equipment to do it right. This could cause harm to you, the environment, and your AC unit. Suffice it to say that a licensed professional can diagnose the problem and implement a solution to get you cooling quickly. This will save you the hassle of having to fix your AC unit more than once and voiding the manufacturer’s warranty.
Another solution could involve changing the size of your AC unit (i.e. 2 to 3 tons). If you have remodeled and added space, the old unit may not be big enough to handle the air. Because of the high humidity along the Texas Gulf Coast, having an air conditioning unit that is too big is equally if not more problematic.
Many HVAC units come with air distribution systems, which we call ductwork, to ventilate your home. Often air ducts have dampers and vents built in that can be repositioned to distribute air around your house. We call this “balancing the air” which is a fancy way of saying we can put more air where you need it.
You can take this further by dividing your house into zones, so you can keep the main areas cooler than areas not being used. Additional electronic dampers, control boards and thermostats would be installed to balance the air flow around your home so you can direct more air to where it is needed most, eliminating those hot spots for good. A zoned system is best for multi-speed or multi-stage HVAC systems.
AC Service Solutions
The best way to make sure your AC service happens uninterrupted is to have your unit checked regularly. Yearly HVAC maintenance from a certified HVAC technician in the spring can keep your AC unit working all year long.
Many HVAC companies offer maintenance plans for customers to make maintenance care-free. Customers pay a yearly service fee, and the technicians will come once or twice a year to inspect and service their AC unit.
Regular AC service in the spring helps keep the air conditioning unit or heat pump working smoothly before the weather heats up. When a technician comes yearly, they can notice little things and repair them before they get out of hand. They can also give you advance warning if your unit is starting to show its age.
Regular maintenance can save you more money in the long run. Plus, it helps to ensure your AC unit isn’t breaking down during the holiday weekend! Some companies also offer priority service and discounts on parts when you sign up for a maintenance plan.
Air conditioning in the south is a necessity. You want to make sure yours is there when you need it. An HVAC maintenance plan can help you do that.
Let Us Help You Stay Cool
We all want a cool house when it is hot outside. Putting these solutions into place can eliminate hot spots in your home and can help you keep your HVAC unit in top condition.
Don’t just think of AC service when something breaks or your unit is blowing warm air. The key to your air conditioner or heat pump working efficiently all year long is to take care of the little details.
If you attend to the maintenance and have your HVAC unit serviced at least once a year, you are investing in your own peace of mind knowing that your AC unit will work when you need it. Breakdowns happen rarely when ACs get some tender loving care once in a while.
We want to keep you cool all year round. Contact us at 281-495-7830 for AC service and repair in the Fort Bend County and Far West Houston, Texas area. We can help you keep your entire house cool and your AC unit working perfectly.
Photo Credit: Canva.com/AndreyPopov