More blog posts about heating and air conditioning:

  1. The coils on my heat pump are covered with ice on cold mornings. What’s wrong with it?

  2. What is the SEER of my old air conditioner?

  3. What is the difference between the “ON” and “AUTO” settings on my thermostat?

  4. What is an HVAC system?

  5. What size air conditioner is right for my mobile home?

  6. The coolant line to the outside unit of my air conditioner is frozen. What's wrong?

  7. Why is spray foam used for attic insulation?

  8. What does an ultraviolet air treatment system do?

  9. What does “AUX HEAT” and “EM HEAT” mean on my thermostat?

  10. What is the minimum SEER rating for a new air conditioner?

  11. What does the “AFUE” rating of a furnace mean?

  12. How much life is left in that air conditioner?

  13. What is a geothermal heat pump?

  14. What is a “ton” of air conditioning?

  15. My air conditioner won’t turn on What’s wrong?

  16. What does the MERV rating number on an air conditioner filter mean?

  17. What is wrong with an air conditioner when the air flow out of the vents is low?

  18. How much will it cost to replace my old air conditioning system?

  19. What is the difference between the SEER and EER rating of an air conditioner?

  20. What is the right MERV number for my air conditioning filter?

  21. Should I move the air conditioner into the attic?

  22. My air conditioner outside unit (condenser) won’t start and is making a humming noise. What’s wrong?

  23. What is the best air conditioner for a mobile home?

  24. Why does the air conditioner condensate drain line need a trap in it?

  25. Should I remove an old whole house fan or keep it?

  26. Is it acceptable for an air conditioning condensate drain line to terminate under the house?

  27. Should I have a return air vent in the master bedroom?

  28. Why is there a wall switch next to the furnace or indoor unit of the air conditioner in the garage?

  29. Which one is better for a home heating system: electric or natural gas?

  30. Why does an air conditioner condenser need to be level?

  31. Why is my air conditioner not cooling enough?

  32. When is an auxiliary drain pan required under an air conditioner indoor unit (air handler)?

  33. Why does it take so long to cool a house when the air conditioner has been off for a while?

  34. What are the right words to use when talking about a heating and air conditioning system?

  35. Why is my bathroom vent fan not exhausting enough air?

  36. Why has the thermostat screen gone blank?

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We want you to be an informed homebuyer, and each blog post is a question that we have answered for our friends and customers over the years. Hope they help you make a good choice for your next home.

   Also, an inadequate route for air to return back to the furnace or air handler from each room can cause temperature differences, especially in rooms with closed doors. To learn about this problem, see our blog post “Will closing doors reduce my heating and cooling costs?”
   If you have an unbalanced air conditioning system, an a/c contractor can balance the system through adjusting the blower fan speed, installing dampers, adding insulation, or other techniques. The cost runs from only a few hundred dollars to much more. But your problem could be related to simple maintenance issues. Because you call for service, check the following:

  1. 1)A dirty filter reduces air flow. Check your filter. Many newer houses have filters at multiple return air registers around the home—at two separate hallways and the master bedroom, for example—so make sure you know where each filter is located and confirm they are all clean.
    Double-filtration is not recommended, but occasionally we visit homes that have a filter at or next to the air handler, and also other filters at return air registers. So, again, be sure to verify that they are all clean. However, because having the return air pass through two filters can reduce air flow, you may want to eliminate one set of filters.

  2. 2) Make sure all the registers are open. They don’t have to be open all the way, but completely closing a register is problematic for two reasons. First, it can unbalance your system. And, second, a closed register—with all the slots locked up—tends to develop condensate on the surface of the slats and/or around the perimeter of the register, with the subsequent mold growth over time. Also, look into each register for any debris behind the slats that might be blocking air flow.

  3. 3)This may sound obvious, but check to make sure windows are fully closed and not leaking air. Also, closing blinds or curtains can help stabilize the temperature of a room.

  4. 4)If your ducts run through the attic, poke your head up into the hatch opening and look around with a flashlight for any damaged ducts, specifically at connections Ducts can pull apart at connections over time and small animals that occasionally get into an attic can tear holes in them. If your attic is nearly as cool or warm as your house, investigate further. Also, the newer flexible ducts (like the ones shown in the photo above) sometimes get crimped by their hangers or an abrupt bend around a truss chord, and can get trampled down by careless workmen in the attic—any of which can cause reduced air flow to a room.

   Don’t expect perfection. There will always be one room that’s a little warmer or cooler. But if it’s more than you want to tolerate, and the above measures don’t work, call your favorite a/c service company for a solution.

While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
©2015 - McGarry and Madsen Inspection.

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