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How to Balance Air Conditioning Vents

Summer is here again and those vexing hot and cold spots in your home that you forgot about are back. As a homeowner, you can try a few things that will even out the temperature throughout the house. Learning how to balance air conditioning vents will involve making some small adjustments. You can expect to spend two or three days on this project. You’ll need the time to evaluate the results of your actions to know if you’re accomplishing anything. Reach out to the exert team at Oliver Heating & Cooling for recommendations.

Hopefully your cooling system was installed correctly to begin with. This means that your ducts incorporate sufficient air intakes in the right locations to make balancing your airflow possible. Additionally, an air conditioner needs to be the correct size for your home. A system that is too big or too small will produce inconsistent cooling while driving up your energy bill. If you live in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, or Delaware and are experiencing this problem, reach out to expert team at Oliver Heating & Cooling for an air conditioner replacement. We can determine exactly what size unit your home requires.

As long your air conditioner is not to blame for hot and cold spots, you can learn how to balance your vents. Air balancing improves circulation, reduces strain on the cooling equipment, and controls electricity consumption.

Tools and Materials How to Balance Air Conditioning Vents

You may not need every item on this list depending on the problems that you discover.

  • Paper and pen
  • Instant-read thermometer
  • Foil duct sealing tape
  • Magnetic vent deflector

Directions for Learning How to Balance Air Conditioning Vents

  1. Install a clean air conditioner filter. Regardless of the source of your problems, a fresh filter is always good for air quality and cooling performance.
  2. Make a sketch of your home’s layout on paper.
  3. Take note of any issues that could influence airflow or cooling. For example, look for furniture blocking a vent or sunny windows.
  4. Write down which rooms get too hot or too cold or feel good to you.
  5. Set your thermostat at 76 to 78 degrees and let it run for a day before assessing the rooms.
  6. In your cold spots, adjust vents to restrict airflow but do not shut them completely.
  7. In a couple hours, use the instant-read thermometer to check the temperature in each room.
  8. If vent adjustment reduced temperature differences between rooms, then you’ve succeeded. If you’re dissatisfied with the results, continue to follow the next steps to learn how to balance air conditioning vents.
  9. Resolve any blockages in front of vents or intakes.
  10. All of the vents and intakes need 18 inches of clear space around them. Furniture or curtains that block the vents restrict airflow. This impedes the cooling system in many ways.
  11. Rearrange furniture or shorten curtains to allow air to move freely in and out of the ducts.
  12. When necessary, a magnetic air deflector that attaches to a vent cover can help shift airflow around a blockage.
  13. Install thermal drapes or blinds. Sunny windows will heat up rooms while your A/C is running. Your system might be unable to cope with the solar radiation heating up a room. As a result, the air conditioner nearly refrigerates some rooms while the sunny room remains uncomfortably warm.
  14. After hanging window treatments to block the sun, check the air temperatures around your house with the thermometer. You should notice some improvement.
  15. Inspect your ducts for leaks. A leaky duct can cause a persistent hot spot that does not seem to be the result of sunny windows.
  16. Enter the basement, crawl space, or attic where the ducts are located.
  17. Make sure that the air is blowing so that you can feel the draft of air leaks.
  18. If you find any holes or poorly sealed seams, cover them with foil duct tape. Also consider contacting Oliver for air conditioning repairs when you discover damaged ducts. In some cases, you may need an additional air return installed to truly balance your airflow.
  19. Upgrade your insulation. Poor insulation could be causing your hot and cold spots. Ducts without insulation in an attic or crawl space could transfer heat to the cooled air flowing through them. An Oliver Comfort Specialist could inspect your home and recommend solutions.
  20. If you have the skills to tinker with the blower fan, then you could try adjusting its speed. Keep in mind this is a job that may be best left to the professionals.

Benefits of Seasonal Air Conditioner Maintenance

Your air conditioner could be struggling for any number of reasons. The best way to ensure it performs at an optimal level is to get professional maintenance every year. An inspection by Oliver can catch problems early. Cleaning and calibration will increase efficiency and protect your system from breakdowns. Contact us today to learn more about our air conditioning maintenance plans or to discuss any of your cooling concerns.

Need help with this project?

If you do not have the time, tools, or experience necessary to complete the project, please contact the professionals at Oliver for help.

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