Why Are My Rooms Heating Unevenly?

feeling chilly due to malfunctioning furnace

Per the US Department of Energy (DOE), you should set your thermostat at 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter to save energy as well as avoid problems such as frozen pipes and hypothermia, which could be potentially fatal. Regardless, the heating system should produce a balanced temperature from one room to another. If you notice that you experience uneven heating in house due to one reason or another, then this can lead to discomfort. You may compensate by increasing the thermostat’s temperature, inevitably resulting in costly home heating costs too. Before letting the problem spiral out of control, it is vital that you determine the cause for uneven temperatures throughout your home.

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Why Are My Rooms Heating Unevenly?

Here is a look at eight reasons why some of the rooms in your house may be heating unevenly.

Wrong-Sized Heating Furnace

Usually, a small furnace works too hard in an attempt to keep the room warm and may stay on longer than required. This stresses the system and causes uneven heating. Similarly, an oversized furnace will overheat the rooms and cause the thermostat to shut down earlier than required. Consequently, this may cause a system failure.

With this in mind, make sure you have the right size of the furnace that is capable of heating your house evenly to enhance comfort and reduce home heating costs, as per the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). To give you an idea, a furnace with a 30,000 BTU output is perfect for a 1,000-square-foot house. However, there are many factors that determine the correct size for your home. A licensed HVAC contractor will perform a Manual J Load Calculation to find the furnace size to meet your needs.


Lack Of Furnace Maintenance

According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), a good furnace should have at least 78% Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency for optimum performance. Lack of maintenance can cause the efficiency of the heating furnace to drop significantly, and this may eventually cause uneven heating in rooms. Timely maintenance can enable you to discover and solve issues in your HVAC system. That said, ensure you get a certified HVAC professional to service as well as tune-up your furnace at least once every year, most preferably in the early fall, when the furnace is not in use.

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Uneven Heating Requirements

turning up thermostat during winter

Since heat naturally rises, your upstairs rooms will tend to be warmer than the lower levels of a multi-story house. In other words, the rooms located on the lower level will require more heat from the furnace compared to the rooms located on the upper level. In particular, uneven heating in such a house can happen if your furnace is running on only one thermostat. To solve this, consider installing a zoning system that ensures that each section of your home runs on an independent thermostat according to the heat requirements.

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Air Leaks In Windows And Doors

image of a homeowner sealing window to prevent heated air from escaping

When heating a room, any cracks and openings can allow cold air to enter, leading to uneven temperatures in the room. In colder months such as January and February, it’s important to keep doors, windows, and other spaces closed to prevent cold air from flowing into the house, and also save energy. To prevent cold air from coming through the windows and doors, seal the spaces using items such as:

  • Caulk
  •  Weatherstrips
  •  Door sweeps
  •  Foam tape
  •  Window film
  •  Door snake
  •  Insulated windows
  •  Insulated glass units (IGUs)

In other words, seal your home’s envelope properly.

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Dirty HVAC Air Filters

replacing furnace filter

HVAC air filters in the furnace capture all the dirt and solid particles, preventing them from reaching the blower through the return duct. This means, with time, the air filters accumulate a lot of dirt, which may obstruct and slow down the flow of air in the furnace system. When heated air flows too slowly, rooms that are far away from the furnace won’t get heated up as required. To prevent uneven heating, ensure you clean or replace your furnace filter every three months and increase the frequency in colder months. However, every home is different and so a good rule of thumb is to check monthly and replace it when necessary.

Clogged Air Vents

Blocked or closed air vents prevent sufficient hot air from reaching a room, leading to uneven heating. Even worse, closed or blocked vents can result in a pressure buildup in the ventilation system. This can eventually cause your HVAC system to breakdown. Keeping this in mind, before checking for other possible issues in your HVAC system, first, confirm that all your air vents are unobstructed.


Leaks In The Air Ducts

image of hvac ductwork

In general, good air ducts should evenly deliver warm air to all your rooms, including those that are far away from the furnace. However, this may not happen in case there are holes along the HVAC duct, causing air leakage. Some of the problems that may cause such openings, include, among others:

• Deterioration due to old age
• Chewing by rodents
• Damage from structural work
• Poor installation

To prevent HVAC duct leaks, repair any damages in the HVAC system ductwork. For this, it is best to call an HVAC contractor.

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Thermostat Fan Settings

When a furnace fan is on the “auto” option, it will only distribute air when the furnace is heating and stop when heating stops, until the next cycle starts. This means there will be lots of starts and stops, which may cause uneven distribution of warm air in the house, and in the long run, wear and tear of the fan. To prevent this, let the fan run on the “ON” option, especially during colder months as air will continuously flow into your HVAC system. However, do realize that the “ON” setting will increase your energy costs. You can use a ceiling fan in the clockwise direction on the lowest setting to save on energy costs.



These are some of the main causes of uneven heating in your house. However, to save time and energy, call a professional HVAC contractor who can easily determine the cause of uneven heating in your rooms. Likewise, they can offer the most practical, yet affordable solutions. A qualified HVAC contractor will also recommend to you the best maintenance tips for your ventilation system to prevent the recurrence of the uneven heating problem.

Call McAllister Energy For All Of Your HVAC Requirements

McAllister EnergyMcAllister Energy offers superior heating and cooling services in Camden County, New Jersey. We hire professionally certified technicians who can provide you with excellent HVAC tune-ups, repairs, installations, and replacements. Each of our techs has the knowledge and experience to service your HVAC system correctly.

McAllister Energy guarantees the most competitive heating and cooling service costs in the area. Our maintenance services can improve your comfort, increase your energy efficiency while reducing your home energy costs. If you happen to need an HVAC repair or replacement system, we can recommend the best one for your home while staying within your budget. We back all of our work with a guarantee to ensure your satisfaction. To schedule a service appointment, give McAllister Energy a call today. We offer free, in-home estimates.

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