Why Is My Bedroom So Hot?

A cooling related question that we get asked often is“why is my bedroom so hot?”, so we decided to answer this question in a short article that explains everything there is to this issue.

The easy answer is that the heat is getting trapped inside your house, and then the heat rises so it goes upstairs and then it gets stuck in your bedroom. People want to open the windows and they want to turn their fans on but if it’s hot over the course of say, three days, the heat keeps building up in your house and it gets infused into everything. It’s not just the fact that the air is hot, your bed’s also hot, the carpet’s also hot, the walls are also hot. Even if you could turn some fans on and take the hot air out of your bedroom in a matter of minutes the heat would just return.

The only real way to make your bedroom and the rest of your house colder is by air conditioning. This process removes the heat from the air passing through your house and brings that heat outside.

A common misconception regarding air conditioning is that the air conditioner’s adding cold to your house. What it actually does is remove the heat from your house, so it has to run for quite a long period of time in order to completely finish this process. Basically, it cools down the air, then more heat gets pulled out of everything around it, aka the carpet, the walls and from everything else, then it cools down the air again. It keeps doing that on and off for a long period of time and eventually it gets all of the heat out of your house.

The main reason as to why your bedroom’s getting warmer and warmer is because there’s too much heat in your room that has come from other areas of your house and you need something to throw that heat out. The bigger the house, the worse the problem is.

Let’s say that for example, you have a three story house, or a four- story high house. This means that there’s a lot more heat that ends up on the top and the basement gets even colder. There are three different ways that you can overcome this, and they are the following:

You can make the air colder by running the furnace fan 24 hours a day, every single day of the week. The only problem with this technique is that it doesn’t really work on the long term. The air will eventually warm up anyway, which is where our second options comes in.

You can buy multiple portable air conditioners from the hardware store, or from Costco. To some degree, these do work. The only problem is the that since they are smaller, they are also less effective. This means that you’ll need to keep them on nonstop, and even though they do work better than the furnace fan, they tend to come with various nuisances, such as leaking water and making a mess or making too much noise

You can buy a whole home air conditioner. A whole home air conditioner will cool down your entire house which prevents the heat from rising upstairs to your bedroom in the first place. This is the most expensive of the options but if you want to get rid of the heated bedroom problem for good, then there really isn’t any other choice.

So, long story short, your only real solution is getting a whole home air conditioner. There are other solutions like ductless mini splits and there’s other niche solutions, but you’ll only need to resort to them if you can’t afford a whole home air conditioner.

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Hot Water Tank Vs Tankless – Advantages & Disadvantages

A question that we get asked about quite often is “Should we put in a hot water tank or a tank less hot water heater, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of either choice?”. So, today we decided to answer this question with this short article.

The obvious answer is that the the upfront advantage of having a hot water tank over having a tankless option is the price tag, which can sometimes be as much as 75% less expensive. The downside is the utilities are considerably different.

It depends on the cost of the utilities in your area, but often times it’s about 1/3 of the cost of utilities going from a gas tank to a gas tankless. If you’re planning on moving in the next few years, I would say probably just put a tank in because you’re not going to recoup your money. In order to actually make a profit you’ll need to use it for a period of, let’s say ten years at least. However, the life span of tankless can be as long as 20 years, or even 25 depending on the water in your area.

Something else that we get asked about quite often is putting in an electric tankless to replace their electric hot water tank. Electric tankless versus gas tankless is not a very good option in any way, shape or form. They’re expensive and they are  maybe10% more efficient than an electric hot water tank, so totally not worth it.

On the comfort side of things, there’s a difference between how the two operate. A tank can almost run an unlimited number of faucets, so let’s say you have four bathrooms in the house and two kitchens. You can turn on everything in the house BUT it will quickly drain the tank down. You could probably run it for about ten minutes and the whole thing will be drained.The advantage of the tank is the fact that you have an unlimited amount of faucets that you can run simultaneously. The problem is that they run out quite quickly.

The tankless option has the opposite problem. It can run a limited number of faucets, sometimes as low as two and as high as six or seven, again depending on the area of the country that you’re in. If you’re in the southern United States or somewhere where the ground water is warmer you’re going to get more hot water that comes out of your tap because the starting temperature is higher.

If you’re in the northern states, you’re going to have less output out of it because the starting temperature of the water is colder. Everything in general is going towards tankless water heaters, as a general rule, so probably in 10, 20 years they’re going to be the dominant option.

For right now I think you really have to consider your current situation:

  • If you’re going to be moving quite soon then stick to the hot water tank that you have at your disposal.
  • If you’re going to be in the place for a long time and you want to invest for the long term, then sometimes the tankless is a better way to go.

But regardless of your choice, you need to take into consideration that if you choose the tankless option you’ll also need to get them serviced, so you’ll have to spend X number of dollars every year in order to get them serviced. That does make this option more expensive

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What’s the in-home experience of having a HVAC contractor at your house?

Something that home owners are concerned about that they don’t often express to us is that they’re not totally comfortable with having some strangers in their houses doing a job, so we just wanted to briefly go over what the experience is from the home owners’ perspective and what the experience is from the contractor perspective aka having somebody work at their house.

OFTEN times trades people are running late; the first part of the morning is sometimes a little bit slow for them to start off. They will get to your house and then they’ll start unloading their tools.

At the beginning of the job, the best thing that a contractor can start off with is to go over with you if there are any holes that need to get cut or if there’s a need for any serious modifications around the house. It’s best to do that right up front, because it lets the contractor know what they can do and what they can’t do.

If you don’t want a hole being drilled in a specific location, they can usually find an alternate path to suit your needs.

If the exhaust venting going to go out the side or the back of the house, which is often the case, the contractor needs to drill 2 or 3 inch holes to get the venting out.

There’s usually only a couple of spots that the exhaust pipe can go out through, so they need to pick the perfect spot for it. That’s how you can give some input and then you’ll end up with a job you like. If you’re planning on going out for the day or taking off somewhere, just get them to get any questions out the way right away. That way there won’t be any need for you to rush back to explain anything else.

After they decide the holes they just get down to work. If they’re taking the old furnace out of the house it’s probably best to let the contractor know, just in case, if you want anything covered up. They’ll use drop sheets where it is required, but if there’s anything that you specifically want to protect on the floor then let them know prior.

Usually the contractors and the employees of the contractors get along nicely, and they like to joke around a little bit with the customers because they’re good-natured people, as a general rule, so feel free to chat with them.

Even though they might decline it they always appreciate food and they appreciate customers that appreciate them, so if they’re doing a nice job and you bring them some cookies or something they’ll appreciate it.

You’re not obligated to give any tips or anything else; it’s not that type of industry. If you tell them they did a great job and the furnace looks great, that goes a long way to making them feel good.

After finishing the job they’ll collect their payment or get some paperwork signed off and that’s essentially the whole process in a nutshell. The length of the job completely depends on who’s actually going out and doing it, and what they’re doing and how they’re doing it, but usually for residential installations it’s around one day or less.

BEFORE YOU CALL FOR SERVICE DO THIS: My furnace is not working! Troubleshooting Tips

Being able to troubleshoot your own furnace will always come in handy. This can save you a lot of time, money and effort, since a lot of times the problems are not serious enough to require the assistance of a trained service technician or an expensive HVAC company to come to your home to have a look at your system. So, in this short article we’ll be showing you the basics of troubleshooting your own furnace.

The very first thing that you should do if you notice that it’s cold in your house is to make sure that the furnace power switch is on.

Key Points to look for:

  • The switch for the furnace is not at a normal height for light switches and they do that on purpose to try and differentiate them to make sure they don’t get turned off by accident.
  • The switches are often not put on the right way up, so up might mean off and down might mean on.
  • Make sure that the thermostat is actually calling for heat and make sure it’s not on some setting or program that makes it so it’s not calling for heat. If it’s a digital stat, you just turn the temperature up and make sure that it’s over and above what the setting is.
  • The next place I’d be looking is the main breaker switch, going out to the electrical panel, seeing if the breaker switch is off.
  • Sometimes you can’t immediately tell if the the breakers are on or off. If it’s labeled “furnace”, it doesn’t always mean that it’s actually the furnace. I would suggest looking for any breakers that have been turned off and making sure that it’s safe.

A lot of times people presume the furnace being out indicates that there’s something wrong with their thermostat because that’s the part of the system that they can see. I can tell you from experience that nine times out of ten it’s not the thermostat.

If it’s not the electrical power, I would be going and looking at the furnace to see if it sounds like the furnace is trying to run.

Another very common thing is the filters getting plugged so bad that the furnace overheats, so I’d suggest that you pull the furnace filter out and see if it’s plugged first.

If it is plugged, replace it with a clean filter, put the furnace back together and then just let it sit there. Sometimes it will overheat and go into a lock-out mode where it will sit off for a period of time before it tries again to reignite.Or, you can just turn the power switch off and on again will sometimes reset it.

If it’s not the power switch and it’s not the electrical, I would be looking to see if your furnace was designed to have a pilot light on it.

Regarding pilot lights:

  • Usually, before 1995 furnaces were designed to have a pilot light.
  • After 1995 they’d usually go to something like spark ignition or electronic ignition or other forms of things you won’t be able to fix yourself.

Regardless of what model you have, if the pilot light is out, that could be something you could fix yourself because there usually is a reason that the pilot light went out.

If the pilots out and it’s a furnace that needs a pilot light you can try re-lighting it. I’d say there’s an 80% chance that if the pilot went out, there’s probably a more serious reason as to why it went out and re-lighting it is just a temporary fix. You’re going to still need to do the actual repair because the pilot light will go out again by itself in a relatively short period of time.

If you’ve tried all of that and it’s still not coming on, then it’s about time that you pull out your phone and call a service technician to handle it.

If it’s a newer furnace it could be about a hundred different things, including venter motors and gas valves and control boards and all sorts of various things that you may or may not feel comfortable working on yourself.

Usually for that kind of stuff you want somebody else to diagnose it because if you’re wrong, or the service company is wrong, then they’re going to have to pay for the part that they just ordered incorrectly.

I’d say that if it’s not one of the basics (you have a good 10-15% chance to fix it yourself for free), get yourself some help and phone an HVAC company to help you out.

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