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Electrical Gremlins And Old Homes


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Electrical Gremlins And Old Homes

When I bought an old house because I fell in love with the charm, I was completely unprepared for some of the issues that come along with homes of that age. One of the biggest surprises to me was the electrical issues I experienced. Everything from having to unplug everything in the kitchen to use a compressor in the garage to tripped breakers from a single air conditioner left me frustrated and confused. I called an electrician and learned a lot during his inspection. If you are thinking about buying an old house, this blog is for you. I hope that my knowledge and first-hand experience can help you avoid some of the disasters that I faced.

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Causes And Solutions For Uneven Cooling

If some areas of your home are cooler than others, you will need to find out why. Not only does uneven cooling make certain areas of the home uncomfortably hot, but it could also be causing your energy bills to skyrocket. Here are some causes for uneven cooling in your home and what you can do about them.

Air Vent Obstruction

If your air vents are obstructed with dirt or other debris, airflow will be impeded and your home will cool unevenly. Vacuuming the vents will help facilitate optimal airflow so that all your rooms are equally cool. In addition to dirty air vents, your air conditioning filters may also be obstructed with dirt. If your unit uses disposable filters, replace the dirty filter with a clean one, and, if the unit uses reusable filters, take the filter out and wash it with mild soap and warm water.

If you are not sure which type of filter your unit uses, or if you're not comfortable maintaining your air filters, call a residential air conditioning technician who will service your unit. Vents and filters get clogged more frequently when pets are in the home because of hair and dander. Your air conditioning technician can tell you how often to change your air filters

Faulty Insulation

Old or worn-out insulation in your attic may also cause uneven cooling in your home. If there are holes in your insulation, heat from the outside may enter certain rooms during the summer months and heat may escape through the worn insulation during the cold weather months.

Your residential air conditioning technician can inspect your attic for signs of compromised insulation, and he or she may recommend that you talk to a roofing contractor about inspecting your roof.

Squirrels and other rodents can access your attic through holes in your roof, and they can destroy your insulation. If you hear scratching or scampering noises in your attic or if you hear squeaking sounds, call a wildlife expert to inspect your attic. Once the animals have been safely removed, have your damaged insulation replaced so that your home cools evenly when your air conditioning is on.

Consider A Zoning System

A residential zoning system is one of the best ways to solve issues with uneven cooling. It allows the homeowner to manage temperatures in specific areas of the house instead of having the entire home cooled by the thermostat. The air conditioning technician will evaluate the configuration of your home so that he or she can individualize a zone system plan for your house.

The number of zones that the technician recommends will be based upon your air conditioning system and the general demographics of your home. A zoning system is a great investment that can help save you money in the long run by keeping your electric bills from getting too high.

The installation of a zoning system is not a do-it-yourself project because only an experienced HVAC professional can correctly estimate which air duct sizes are necessary for optimal airflow and how many zones and dampers you will need. If you have a two-story home, or if you have high ceilings, bay windows, very large rooms, or rooms that are not frequently used, a zoning system may be right for you. 

If some areas of your home are cooler than others, make an appointment with a residential air conditioning technician. When temperature control issues are recognized and addressed early on, you are less likely to need expensive repairs in the future. Talk to your air conditioning professional about setting up a regular maintenance schedule so that potential problems can be avoided.