Why are certain rooms in my house hotter than others in the summer?
Hot room culprits
Unfortunately, this is a question that we get asked much too frequently, and we can always solve the problem. Homeowners usually blame the heat gain in certain rooms on their windows. While windows can be a contributing factor, they only contribute to hot rooms if they are directly sun struck with no shading (like trees, shade screens, film or awnings). More often than not, we discover that the cause of a hot room, is not directly related to needing to replace a window, but rather, missing insulation, improperly configured ductwork and duct sizing, and duct leakage.
Let's take a closer look at the three key factors that can contribute to certain rooms being warmer than others in your home.
1) Missing, inadequate, or misaligned insulation -
Many people think that if they pump more insulation into their attic, their problem will be solved, but this is far from the truth. For insulation to function at its full potential and do its job, it has to be touching a continuous surface at ALL times. It can't hover even 2" above the drywall because it will not function the way it's supposed to and insulate the home. Some common areas that insulation contractors fail to address are: dropped soffits, kneewalls, fireplaces and chimney areas, arches, and any other architectural design features.
2) Duct leakage-
Think about it; if there are holes in the supply side of the duct system, conditioned air just gets dumped into the attic, not your home! This deprives your home of the cool air that it needs to keep certain rooms comfortable.
3) Duct configuration and sizing-
More often than not, the home's that we check have return intakes that are extremely undersized, or kinked ductwork. This means that the system is being starved for air, depriving your home of the air that it needs.
Bottom line is that an energy audit is a great place to start when trying to solve the hot room issue. The answer doesn't lie in replacing your windows, or AC unit- there's usually more to it that most contractors don't specialize in.