Not Getting Heat (Or Air) in One Room of House ... Help with Fixing the Problem?

Updated on October 06, 2010
A.B. asks from Bolingbrook, IL
9 answers

My 19-month old son's room has never had great venting in it (it's too hot in the summer and too cold in the weather) and we would really like to get it fixed. Has anyone had the same problem and fixed it without professional help? What did you do to make things better? My husband and I were thinking about having a professional come in and look at the ducts to see what our problem is but we know that this will probably be expensive (even if they are just looking). We would like to try and fix the problem on our own so it isn't so expensive. My husband and father-in-law have looked at the ducts and tried some things (not sure exactly what) but they haven't seemed to work. We currently have been putting a heater fan in his room at night but do not feel that is safe (especially when he moves to a toddler bed) and would like to change that. Any suggestions as to things you have done that fixed it or recommendations for a certain professional (in the Chicagoland area) that may have helped you out. Thanks in advance!

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone for the tips and suggestions ... they were very helpful! My husband and I are going to try a few things this weekend and see if we can get it fixed for good. Hopefully all your brillant suggestions help us get this done so we do not need to use professional help. Wish us luck!

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answers from Chicago on

It looks like a lot of great ideas for you to try! I hope you are able to get hits fixed! If you do end up contacting a professional, I would recommend Leto Plumbing & Heating. They are located in Plainfield. ###-###-####. their website is Good luck!

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answers from Fresno on

I'm a construction manager, and I can tell you that if all the ducts are connected, the next step would be an "air balance." There are specific companies that do nothing but this. They measure the CFMs at each register (cubic feet per minute of air blowing out) and then they adjust the dampers accordingly, until each register has the same amount of air blowing out, per cubic foot of air space, in each room. This way, all of your rooms will be the same temperature.

One way to try and do this yourselves is first of all to ensure that your ducts even have dampers in them. Many older (or less expensively installed) units do not have dampers. Your husband can try and install these himself - he can get the parts at a Johnstone Supply or other HVAC parts supply place (maybe even Home Depot). And then from there, adjusting the dampers would be a little bit of a process - maybe close off the dampers a bit in the rooms that are closer to the HVAC unit, open up the ones that are further away - play around with it until you're happy with the temperatures in each room. Considering the cost of an HVAC or air balance tech to come to your house (anywhere from $75/hr on up), it's definitely worth it to give this a go on your own first. Worst case scenario if you need to have a professional come in afterward and fix it up for you, you'd still be no worse off cost-wise than you are now.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

You should get an HVAC guy in to check it out. It is a good thing to do anyway-just to make sure the furnace is in working order and safe. And you should also get the window film that you blow dry on-this helps.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

Our master was this way, and it turned out that there was a vent inside the ducts somewhere that was closed, I do not know how my husband got it opened. We had a problem with a new house once, they had to come balance the system, and I don't think it was too expensive. You might see if you can find a furnace "checkup" that is a flat fee and ask about them finding the problem while they are there. These are good ideas anyway, to be sure that you are ready for winter.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Have you checked the return air vent (usually located at the top of a wall?) Make sure it's clean. And vacuum out the lower vent with a shop vac or something. We had a similar problem with a four-seasons room, which the previous owners added onto our house. Our handyman added a return air vent (it's a big room and there was only one) and he also added booster fans in the heating ducts -- they only go on when the heat goes on. It helps boost the air to the room. I'm assuming you can get those at a Home Depot or Menards -- I can't remember where he got them. It has helped some. The room is still colder/hotter than the rest of the house because it is mostly all windows.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

We had the same problem in our son's room. We had the ducts checked and everything was working fine. We closed a couple vents in the other rooms to redirect some of the air to his room. That helped a little, but his room was still noticeably cooler than the rest of the house. We had special insulated curtains made for his windows, and they also helped a little. Recently we had someone come out and check the windows and one of the panes had a leak in the seal. That cost about $50 to replace and has made the biggest difference so far. We also suspect that the insulation on the outside is thin, because the walls feel cold to the touch, but that would be a much more expensive repair. Good luck, I hope you figure it out!



answers from Harrisburg on

We have that problem with the room over our garage. We've always assumed it's because there aren't many vents in the room and there must not be very good insulation between the garage and the room. One of my boys sleeps in there and we keep him dressed very warmly in the winter with the door open. We also use a little heater in the room that we put up high on the dresser where he can't get it. In the summer we do the same (dressed lightly, fan on dresser and door open). It seems to do the trick but I think we'd get it fixed by a pro if we were planning to stay here.


answers from San Antonio on

My son's room doesn't get a great "blow" from the air conditioner or heater either. We had a fix-it-guy friend look at it and he didn't find any leaks. The best thing I found to do was close vents that we didn't need open so that air wasn't blowing into those rooms and more air could blow into his (we closed the vent to the guest bedroom and the one near the back door and in the bathroom we don't often use).

Also - we kept him bundled last winter with socks and long sleeved pajamas, plus his blanket. I'd keep his door open a little bit so warmer air could go in his room. I also put old pillows up against some of his windows to help our awfully-insulated rental home keep in a lot of warm air and keep out the cold.



answers from Springfield on

We had a HVAC owner come out to a year old home. He told us we did not have a box to build up pressure and the last bedroom had almost no pressure. Once he added the box$400, it was totally fine.
I believed it because six months earlier, the HVAC leaked into the kitchen because there was no drain or drain pan installed either.
That original HVAC installer lasted 8 months before he was run out of town.