I have a multiple story home and in the summer it is always hot on the top floor but cool on the lower floor. Can anything be done to correct this problem?
Heat rises and the top floor will always be warmer. Your thermostat is usually on the main floor, and when that area reaches temperature the thermostat shuts off the equipment, whether or not the other floors are the same temperature. In some homes, where enough existing duct work is accessible, a multi-zone system can be installed, enabling independent control on each level off of one piece of central heating and or cooling equipment. Often simple reducting, the addition of manual balancing dampers, or the addition of one or more return inlet air ducts can greatly alleviate the problem.
My thermostat is equipped with a two position setting for the fan, “automatic” and “on”. Where should I set it?
The normal setting is on “automatic” and the cycle of the fan will be controlled by the temperature in the room. However, if your home is equipped with an air cleaner (media or electronic) and you wish to keep a continuous flow of air, switch the setting to “on”. Central air cleaning devices only work when the furnace blower is circulating air. Continuous fan operation is also helpful in avoiding air stratification and can afford some relief on warm days by simply keeping the air moving.
I have trouble getting even amounts of heat/cooling to certain parts of my house. How can I get more heat/cooling to the upstairs/downstairs of my home?
Adjust the louvers inside the registers on the wall or floor in the room where too much heat/cooling is present so that the registers are partially closed. For example, to get more heating downstairs during winter months, partially close the registers upstairs to force more airflow to the downstairs registers. However, often the only way to significantly improve airflow to a specific location is to add another duct or increase the size of the ductwork serving the area. In the case of multiple story homes you might consider a zone control system.
What is the cause of weak or non-cool air flow from my registers during the summer?
Weak air flow, if this is a recent development, may be due to a dirty air filter or damaged duct work. Air that is simply not cool enough is typically the result of an air conditioning system that is low on refrigerant due to a leak.