Q - I have trouble with the temperature being uneven in various rooms of my house. It is very uncomfortable, especially the second floor. Does this increase my heating bills and what can I do about it myself? G. U.
A - An unbalanced heating system with uneven temperatures in various rooms may increase your utility bills substantially. Most often, you turn up the furnace thermostat to keep the coldest room comfortable. Then the other rooms are too hot and the heat loss from your house increases.There are several methods to remedy your problem. The least expensive method is to adjust the dampers in the hot air ducts leading to each room. You will usually find the dampers in the ducts near your furnace.
By adjusting the amount that the dampers are open, you can control the amount of heated air flowing to each room. Don't close all of them too far because you shouldn't increase the blower resistance too much. Just close the ones leading to the warmest rooms a little. In the summer, you will have to readjust all the dampers again to get even cooling.
There are new inexpensive warm air outlet registers that automatically control the amount of heated air going to each room. These look like standard floor or wall registers, but they have a special temperature-sensitive spring damper built-in. You just lift out your old register and set in the new automatic one.
There is a small temperature adjustment wheel in each register that you rotate to control the temperature in individual rooms. The temperature-sensitive spring automatically adjusts the damper open area.
This allows only the proper amount of heated air into the room to maintain the desired temperature. Your regular wall furnace thermostat still works the same as before.
This provides better comfort because it continually self-adjusts the amount of heat going to each room. For example, if the sun shines in for an hour, the register senses extra heat and gradually closes while it is warmer.
In addition to increasing your family's comfort, these registers can also cut your utility costs. You can adjust the temperature lower in rooms that you don't often use or don't need as warm. By "zone heating" your house in this way, you can cut your utility bills.
The most sophisticated system uses electric dampers in the furnace ducts. Thermostats, wired to these dampers, are mounted in several locations in your house. Then you can set the temperature you want in each area. These systems are effective, but they are also the most expensive.
You can write to me for UTILITY BILLS UPDATE No. 336 showing information and specifications on the new automatic temperature-sensitive warm air room registers and a list of manufacturers of the sophisticated electric damper systems. Write to James Dulley, The Deseret News, 6906 Royal Green Dr., Cincinnati, Ohio 45244. Please include $1.00 and a self-addressed envelope.
Q - I want to blow some insulation into a wall at one spot, but I don't know how to get the wood shingle off. Is there a good way to remove it without doing more damage than necessary? J. G.
A - One method to remove a wood shingle is to split it vertically at the butt. You should be able to grab it with a pair of pliers and pull the pieces down and out. Slip a hacksaw blade under the remaining shingle and saw off the heads of the nails. When you have finished your insulation job, cut a new shingle to fit the space where you removed the old one.