It seems like everybody has one…one of those rooms in their house that always feels hot, or at least stuffier than the other rooms in their house.
You can tell the minute you walk into one of these rooms. The air seems still because temperature-wise it’s 2-5 degrees warmer than the rest of your house.
If you’ve lived in your house for a while, maybe you’ve learned to dismiss the problem as normal, or no big deal.
After all, we live in South Louisiana so living with “hot” is part of daily life, right?
Not necessarily. A hot room in your house may indicate a bigger problem with your AC system.
Possible Causes of a “Hot” Room
We typically see a few types of rooms which are commonly warm no matter what time of year…
- Western facing rooms with limited shade – rooms which face the sunset in the afternoon are often warmer than other rooms in your house, especially if they don’t have shade to help deflect the heat from the sun. Many times rooms that are hot had shade at one time but lost the nearby trees for one reason or another and are now pretty miserable to be in during the late afternoon hours.
- Upstairs rooms – Upstairs bonus rooms are almost always warmer than the rest of the home. Heat rises, so any warm air trapped in the house winds up there and the AC for that room is often an afterthought (see below).
- Add-on rooms – People often add a room onto their home with a renovation, but they rarely upgrade their AC system when they do so…meaning that new room never really gets sufficient cooling from their now-overworked AC system.
- Rooms with poor AC configuration – Every once in awhile we see a home and just have to ask “who installed this AC system”? We sometimes see vents installed on the wrong side of a room, or too few vents for a large room.
Possible Solutions to Cool That Room Down
If you’ve got any of the problems outlined above, you have a few choices. You can continue living with box fans and being a little sweaty, or you can explore one of a few options for improving the airflow in those hot rooms!
These are a few of the options which address the issue. However your home may be unique so your best bet is a professional inspection of your hot spots.
Option #1 – Check Your Equipment & Improve Your Ductwork
Many people don’t realize that the configuration of the ductwork in your attic which runs the cool air from your unit to each room greatly impacts the temperature and airflow in your home.
That means we may be able to solve the “hot room” problem without changing your AC system.
Options for improving your ductwork include:
- An AC system tune up is a good first step to make sure your system is running at peak efficiency, especially with older AC units.
- Checking ducts for damage or air blockage and rerouting or lifting when necessary to improve airflow
- Checking seals throughout the duct system to prevent leaking & air loss
- Replacing existing ductwork with new ducts that are larger in size to allow for additional airflow (assuming your AC system has the capacity to handle this).
- Redesigning your entire duct system.
Option #2 – Upgrade Your AC System
If your system is running properly, everything is sealed up tight and your ductwork is in good order but your room(s) are still hot, you may simply not have enough AC capacity in your home.
This is most often the case with bonus rooms and additions.
In some cases, you may be able to upgrade your outside unit to get the improvement you need and keep your existing coils. Other times though, replacing the entire system is necessary.
The good news though is that once you replace your system with a correctly sized, energy efficient unit, those hot rooms are guaranteed to be cool again. So whoever is living in those rooms is sure to thank you!
No Matter What, Talk to Us First
Diagnosing what’s causing a hot room might seem easy, but finding the best solution isn’t always as simple – especially when you’re trying to weigh your options for comfort and cost savings against the condition of equipment, cost to replace, etc.
Our suggestion is to let one of our professional technicians inspect your home and make an informed recommendation using calculations and equipment testing, NOT rules of thumb.
The people who live in those hot rooms will be glad you did!