LESLIE: Stephanie in California is having a heating-and-cooling issue. Well, specifically, a cooling issue in the bedroom. What’s going on?
STEPHANIE: Oh, we don’t know. Right now, we live in a four-bedroom house. Every room in the house, except for the master bedroom, gets cool in the summer. We have not done a winter yet. This bedroom – the master bedroom – is at least 5 to 7 degrees warmer than any part of the house.
TOM: OK. Well, there could be a number of reasons for that. First of all, what side of the house is it on?
STEPHANIE: It would be on the south side of the house.
TOM: The more sun, the cooling you need. So it’s not unusual for a room on the south or the west side to need more cooling power.
So let’s talk about what you could do to try to improve this. First of all, I would check the airflow at the registers to make sure you’re getting good airflow at all of the A/C registers. In some cases, systems can be balanced so that they supply more air to one room and less air to another.
Just as important is to check the return registers, Stephanie, because not only do you have to push cold air into the room, you have to pull the air back so it can be recooled. If you don’t have a return in the bedroom itself, it’s going to be a central return, like in the hallway, perhaps, outside of the bedroom. If that’s the case, you want to make sure that when you close the door of the bedroom, that there’s at least a 1-inch gap under the door. Because that’s how the air gets pulled back and again, recirculated.
Other things that you can do would be to increase insulation over this particular room. So if there’s an attic access above, for example, you could double up the insulation over that and that would also help to keep it cooler.
So I would speak with your HVAC professional, initially, to try to get the balance working a little bit better. And then if that doesn’t work, think about adding some additional insulation. And if that doesn’t work at all, the other thing that you could do is you could add supplemental cooling to that.
I have a room, for example, in my house where I have a split-ductless system because it happens to be on the west side, in my case, and it overheats. It’s far away from the air-conditioning-system supply and so I never quite get enough cooling air into this one room to make it comfortable. So we have a split-ductless system in there that supplements it.
So those are all good options to help even out the temperature of that room in the house. Stephanie, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.