All homeowners know when they are cold. However, there are things many typical homeowners don’t know, such as how to air seal an attic floor, show to light a pilot light, and how to balance their home heating system, but they do know when they are cold.
Of all the rooms in the house, the bedrooms are often the coldest. Unfortunately, this is the room where many people spend the bulk of their time. When the bedroom gets too cold, there are things you can do to keep warm. For example, if your child is cold, you can throw an extra blanket or two on their bed. When you get cold, you can dress warmly and put an extra blanket on your own bed.
It can be frustrating when your bedroom is cold. You can turn up the heat to keep your room warm, but this will make the rest of the rooms in the home too warm. Some people will try to close the heating registers in every room in the house except for the bedroom; however, this can put too much back pressure on your furnace, which can cause problems. When you try to adjust the temperature in one room by closing the registers in other rooms, your heating system will have to work overtime to keep the home at the setting on the thermostat.
The heating system in your home was designed by an HVAC professional. These professionals are required to go to school for several hours a day for multiple years. Before an HVAC tech can be licensed, they must pass an apprentice program. When they pass the apprentice program, they must pass a test to earn their journeyman license.
When a person takes classes to become licensed in the heating and cooling field, they learn how to perform a heating load calculation in a home.
Using the heating load, they can create a designed heating system that includes:
*The size of the furnace
*The capacity of the fan
*The duct size
*The air flows
*The register size
When designing the heating system, the objective is to heat every room evenly so that it works as a complete system when all the registers are open.
If there is a bedroom in your home that is always cooler than the rest of the house, there are two possible reasons. The first is that the heating system was designed by an HVAC tech who could barely pass the test. The other possible reason is that your heating system isn’t functioning properly.
If you have a room in your home that is colder than the rest, an HVAC tech will test the airflow at the register in the colder room compared to the rest of the house. If the tech finds a significant decrease in airflow in the colder room, they can remove the register grill to take a look inside the heating duct using a mirror and a flashlight. The mirror is necessary because it allows the tech to see around the initial elbow.
During the inspection, the HVAC tech will check the flow damper valve installed in the heating duct. They will also inspect every heating duct in the home, which is installed close to the registers. During the inspection, it is possible that the damper in the colder room is closed most of the way. Unfortunately, some homeowners don’t realize that the flow dampers are part of their home’s heating system.
Heating Duct Damper
Flow dampers are relatively uncommon, and they aren’t used often. Flow dampers are often added to a heating system to allow the homeowner to manually adjust airflow to the registers. The dampers allow you to balance the conditioned air, so you won’t need to deal with warm or cool areas in the home. If you want to prevent putting excess pressure on the furnace fan motor, you need to open one damper when another is closed down.
Problems can arise when an HVAC tech isn’t sure how large to make the heating ducts or the number of registers necessary for one room.
Five Ways To Boost the Heat In a Cold Bedroom
#1 Repair the Heating Duct
The reason your bedroom is cold could be an issue with the duct system that has to be repaired. The duct could be partially or completely disconnected, and the flexible ducts could be pinched off, or it may have collapsed. This is the first thing that should be checked, and it is one of the most important. Not only will repairing the issue keep the bedroom warm, but it can also save energy, which will help save money on your energy bills. The first step of the inspection involves checking the duct that goes from the plenum to the register, ensuring it is secured completely. Next, the duct will be checked for holes, collapsed areas, and crimping. Finally, the duct will be inspected for damage caused by animals in the ducts. If the heating duct is disconnected, reconnecting it will solve the problem. However, if the heating ducts are damaged, they will need to be replaced because it is difficult to make this type of repair.
#2 Check the Damper
The HVAC contractor who installed your system may have installed a damper in the heating duct and didn’t mention it during the installation process. To find out if this is why the bedroom is cold, you can remove the register cover and the insulation from the outside of the duct, particularly near the register. When everything is removed, check for the signs that a damper was installed. If you see a metal rod with a small handle and a couple of screws, there is a damper inside the heating duct. If you find a damper, opening it will heat your room, resolving the problem.
#3 Balance Room Pressure With a Cross Over Duct
There is another test to help you determine why your bedroom is cold. Crack your bedroom door open about an inch and turn on the furnace. If the pressure builds up in the room, the door will close. Your heating system works like a circle of air. First, the air is heated in the furnace; then, it moves through the air ducts into each room. Next, it is sucked out of the room by the furnace and back through the return air ducts back to the furnace. If the air in the room is unable to get back to the furnace, air pressure will build up in the room, restricting the airflow of heated air into the room. When too much pressure builds up in the bedroom, the heated air will be forced to pass through a different duct in a room next door. Fortunately, there is a way to fix this problem. You can have a cross-over duct installed over the door or in the ceiling to allow the air in the bedroom to get back to the hallway, even if the bedroom door is closed. If you have the money in your budget, you can install a return air register in all the rooms in your house. If the room pressure balance is causing the problem, there are two simple ways to resolve the problem. The first is to install a cross-over duct through the wall. You can also cut a portion of the bottom of the door, so there is a wider gap between the door and the floor.
#4 Increase the Size Of the Duct
If the HVAC tech installed your system used the wrong sized duct, it could be why your bedroom is cold. If they ran out of 8 inch ducting and decided to go with 6 inch, your room will be cold. If it is a back bedroom that is cold, the heating duct system may not have been properly engineered. If this is the problem, you can have the smaller ducts replaced with larger ones. If your home is fairly new and you can call the same HVAC contractor, they might do the work for free. Making the repair will allow the cold room to get more heated air coming from the furnace. If you don’t want to call a professional, you can make this job a do-it-yourself project. You can purchase both ridged and flex duct material from your local hardware store. You will also need to buy zip ties, sheet metal screws, a pair of tin snips, and a sharp knife. These items are essential in handling the repair yourself. If you don’t want to replace the small duct, there are two other ways to resolve the problem. The first is to install a booster fan in the duct. You can also add a complete second duct with a register.
#5 Duct Booster Fan
You can place a baffle in the heating plenum, which is a section of the main heating truck. This adjustment is effective mainly in manufactured homes. A section of the main heating trunk can be opened to install a metal shield in the main trunk line. This will help direct more air into the heating duct in the cold bedroom. The shield will pull more heated air that passes through the heating trunk and direct it where you need it to go. This is an inexpensive repair, and it will solve the issue permanently.
With thanks to Total Comfort Solutions, a Barstow HVAC contractor.