Why Are My Rooms Heating Unevenly?

image of a homeowner who has uneven heating in house

According to the United States Department of Energy (DOE), thermostats ought to be set at 68 degrees Fahrenheit in winter. At that setting, you will be able to save energy, but also prevent issues like frozen pipes and hypothermia. It is also very important to make sure that there are even temperatures in all the rooms of the house. What sometimes happens is that when people realize that there is uneven heating in house, they just increase the thermostat’s temperature. However, what they might not know is that they will be increasing their home energy bill since they will be using more energy. It is therefore wise to find out what is causing the uneven temperatures in your home early and to have the problem fixed before it gets worse.

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Why Are The Rooms In My Home Heating Unevenly?

Below are eight reasons why there are certain rooms in your house that are not heating evenly.

Wrong Size Furnace

Maybe the furnace that was installed in your house is actually too small. A heating unit that is too small for your home is forced to work extra hard just to maintain the preferred temperature. Consequently, it will remain on for longer than it should. This inevitably strains the unit, resulting in uneven heating. You will also have a problem if you have a furnace that is too big. Oversized heating systems can overheat the rooms, causing the thermostat to switch off earlier than it should. This can ultimately lead to short cycling and system failure.

It is therefore important to ensure that the furnace that is installed in your home is the perfect size. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), a perfect size furnace will heat your home evenly, improve the levels of comfort, and lessen your energy bill. To give you a better understanding of how this works, if your house is 1,000 square feet, your furnace should have a 30,000 BTU output. There are other factors that will determine the ideal furnace size for your house. You will need a licensed HVAC contractor to do a Manual J Load Calculation in order to figure out the best heating unit for your home.


Furnace Maintenance

As stated by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), a well-functioning heating system must have not less than 78% Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency for the best performance. Furthermore, if the furnace is not well maintained, this will affect the efficiency of the furnace, which can lead to the uneven distribution of heat around the house. Regular furnace maintenance is the best way to detect and fix problems with your heating unit. The furnace must be serviced at least once per year, and you must make sure that the person who performs the service is a certified HVAC professional.

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Uneven Heating Needs


Heat rises naturally. If you live in a two-story house, the rooms located upstairs will be much warmer than the rooms downstairs. As such, the rooms downstairs will require more heat from your heating unit. This is especially true in cases where there is a single thermostat controlling the temperature in the entire house. The best way to fix such a problem is to install a zoning system. This allows for each part of the house to have its own thermostat.

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Door And Window Air Leaks

sealing window to prevent air drafts

Cracks and openings can also cause the uneven distribution of heat around the house. If you want to enjoy the maximum benefits of a furnace, especially during very cold months, make sure that windows, doors, and other open spaces are sealed so that cold air does not enter into the house. It is also a good way to save energy. If your windows and doors have cracks or gaps, they can be sealed using:

  • Weatherstripping
  • Caulk
  • Door sweeps
  • Foam tape
  • Insulated windows
  • Insulated glass units
  • Window film
  • Door snake

Basically, just make sure that your home’s envelope is sealed appropriately.

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Dirty HVAC Air Filters

replacing hvac air filter

Furnaces come with air filters that block dirt and other particulates, preventing such particulates from getting to the blower via the return duct. As such, as time goes on, the air filters gather a lot of dirt which in turn affects air circulation. If the heated air is distributed too slowly, any rooms that are not close to the furnace will not receive the required heat. It is therefore important to either clean or replace the air filters on a regular basis. Every home will have a different air filter replacement schedule based on several factors. Therefore, it is best to check the filters every month and then clean or replace them if necessary.

Blocked Air Vents

If the air vents are blocked or closed, it means there isn’t enough heated air reaching all the rooms in the house. Apart from causing the uneven distribution of air, blocked vents can also cause pressure to build up in the ventilation unit. The HVAC unit can actually breakdown because of this. Therefore, before looking for other possible problems with your unit, check to see if the air vents are closed or blocked.


Leaking Air Ducts

hvac air ducts

When the air ducts are working properly, heated air should be distributed evenly in all the rooms in your house, even ones that are not close to the heating unit. However, holes can develop along the ductwork, causing leakage or leakages. Such HVAC ductwork leaks are caused by several things including:

  • Deterioration over time
  • Being chewed on by rodents
  • Structural work damage
  • Poor installation

In order to avoid duct leaks, make sure that all the holes are sealed with caulk. Any other damage in the furnace must be repaired.

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Thermostat Fan Settings

If you choose the “auto” setting for your furnace fan, the warm air will only be distributed when the unit is heating. When the furnace is not heating, air will not be distributed. This will continue to happen until the beginning of the following cycle. This causes the furnace to start and stop constantly and will distribute air unevenly in the house. This basically causes the wear and tear of the unit over time.

You should therefore make sure that the furnace is running on the “ON” setting instead of “AUTO” as this setting allows air to flow into the HVAC unit nonstop. The only downside of the “ON” setting is that your furnace will be using more energy, resulting in an increased energy bill. However, you can save energy by using a ceiling fan and making sure that it is going in a clockwise direction and that it is set on low.



Contact an expert HVAC contractor to help you figure out what exactly is causing uneven air distribution in your home. The contractor will also give you some tips on how best you can maintain the ventilation unit so that the problem does not recur.

Contact Lawes Company For All Of Your HVAC Needs

Lawes Company LogoLawes Company offers the best heating and cooling services in Monmouth and Ocean Counties, New Jersey. We only hire well-trained certified technicians who can provide you with first-rate HVAC servicing, repairs, installations, and replacements. All our techs have the necessary expertise to service your HVAC unit properly.

Lawes Company guarantees the most affordable heating and cooling services in the area. Our maintenance services can enhance your level of comfort and improve energy efficiency while lessening your energy bill. If you require a replacement unit, we can recommend an energy-efficient unit that will fit any budget. All our services are backed by a guarantee. To schedule a service appointment, contact Lawes Company today. We give free, in-home estimates.

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