Do You Even Know if You Need an Energy Assessment? Part 3
Wednesday, August 30th, 2017 by Joy Padgett
This is Part 3 in our series discussing indicators that you should have an energy analysis conducted on your home. If you haven’t kept up or are just finding this blog, be sure to look back through the blogs already published on this website and catch up! If you’ve been keeping up, kudos!!
So far we’ve discussed the first 2 indicators that you should have an energy assessment conducted on your home: High Utility Bills and Drafts. Today we’re going to talk about Uneven Room Temperatures.
I hear this all the time “My (insert name of room) is hotter than the rest of the house in the summer”. Everybody has at least 1 room that is hot in the summer months. And as more and more people are learning about energy efficiency (and accepting the fact they don’t have to live in an uncomfortable house), they are wondering why and wanting it fixed.
Before I began studying houses from a weatherization and energy efficiency standpoint (I used to work for a couple of builders so I had home construction knowledge), I was among those who just figured I’d have to live with the bathroom and the home office being hot in the summer. Once I started learning about fixing uncomfortable homes, though, I decided nobody should have to deal with 1 or 2 rooms being uncomfortable or even un-useable during the summer (and you can reverse this for winter months….rooms that are too cold). After all, you can’t deduct that room from your mortgage payment just because you can’t use it!
For me, I discovered disconnected flex duct was the culprit in both the bathroom and the home office. Above the ceiling, where the walls terminated in the attic, 2 flex ducts had become disconnect with the vents leading one to the bathroom and one to the home office. For this reason, the cool air being generated by my HVAC system was blowing into the attic and not into the desired rooms.
Now, while this might not be a problem if you’ve converted your attic into living space, for me, with the typical roof style trusses present in my home at the time, it was a HUGE issue! I didn’t want to cool my attic! There was nothing up there but a furnace and duct-work.
I had watched the building of this house and knew the HVAC company had planned a system based on the occupants living behaviors so that air would be circulated properly room to room. And while all the duct work was connected while the house was under construction, something happened between construction and a couple years later to cause 2 ducts to become disconnected. So, no matter that the system as a whole was designed to function properly, it was no longer performing correctly due to the disconnects.
Houses settle. Things can shift. Raccoons can invade. Regardless, when one room is too hot, it’s an indicator that you should have an energy assessment conducted on your house. It’s just silly to avoid using a room because it isn’t as comfortable as the rest of the house. Plus, if you have a home office you can’t use….well… maybe that means your work isn’t getting done! This can be fixed. There is a solution!
Duct work issues are only one reason you could be experiencing temperature differences between rooms. The presence of can lighting can also be involved in causing temperature differences between rooms. Although can lights are beautiful, they are leaky. They may look great looking up at them, but looks can be deceiving. Looking at them from the attic, you can see that they haven’t been sealed….and…don’t have insulation over them because they are heat producing devices and most insulation companies don’t know how to address their presence and don’t even bother to inform the homeowner of this because either they don’t want to look stupid or they don’t care….or maybe because they don’t want the homeowner to know there won’t be insulation in those areas but there’s no reduction in the price for the insulation. OK….that was a HUGE run-on sentence, but it achieved the desired effect, I think. Well, anyway, the company I work for knows how to handle them (the can lights, not the other insulation companies)!
I know you have at least 1 room that fits into this category. Don’t you think it’s about time you had the professionals come out and show you what’s causing the problem? I believe you deserve to use every room in your house! Now that you know there’s got to be a reason and a solution, you can’t use ignorance as an excuse. You need an energy assessment if you have uneven temperatures between rooms in your house!