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Why is one room colder than the rest of the house?

With the cold weather upon us again, people often ask, “Why is one room colder (or hotter) than the rest of the house?” You know the feeling, you’re in the living room under two blankets watching the latest episode of “The Voice.”  Then, you go to bed and find yourself in shorts and a t-shirt. So, what’s the reason for this temperature difference? Air leakage or missing or insufficient insulation may be the reason why the temperature in your home temperature varies from room to room.

Air leaks or drafts

Air leakage near window is shown in blue

Air leakage near window is shown in blue

Excessive air leaks (most commonly referred to as drafts) are one of the main reasons why the rooms in your home are colder or hotter than others. They also raise your energy bill. During the winter, cold air enters the home as your heated air leaves, creating drafts. Whether your home is 100 years old, just renovated, or newly constructed, drafts can be found near electrical outlets, switch plates, door and window frames, baseboards, and recessed lighting. Air leaks hide in your interior wall cavities, attic, basement, crawl space or chimney and can carry moisture into framing cavities. This leads to condensation and is a leading cause of mold and rot in your home.

Missing or improperly installed insulation

Missing insulation in the ceiling is shown in blue

Missing insulation in ceiling is shown in blue

It is not uncommon to find missing or improperly installed insulation in homes.  Batt insulation, generally made of fiberglass, is usually installed in attic spaces and exterior wall cavities.  However, Batt insulation is rarely installed properly–leaving gaps and voids around outlets, switches, ductwork, and piping (causing pipes to freeze). These gaps allow air movement resulting in drafts at windows, doors, outlets, switches and recessed lighting, and cold spots in walls and ceilings. That might be the reason why you were under all those blankets in your living room! Building standards and insulation manufacturers require that fiberglass batt insulation completely fill the wall stud cavities with no voids or gaps. Attic insulation should cover the top plate of exteriors walls,  be divided to fix around wires, and should fill the air space in corners. By utilizing today’s technology, we can detect the reason for varying temperatures in your home.

Detecting varying temperatures

Using infrared thermography (an infrared camera), we can determine what is causing the varying temperature issues in your home. Infrared thermography is a non-contact/non-destructive method of identifying air leaks, missing insulation or improperly installed insulation in residential and commercial structures. Due to the differences in temperature between interior and exterior, winter is an excellent time to scan walls and ceilings. We can pinpoint the exact location of the issue and provide you with a detailed report so that your contractor can make the appropriate repairs. Contact us today. We can help you find the source of your varying temperature issues, help you make your home more energy efficient, and keep you warm all winter long.