Q: The master bedroom on the ground floor of my seven-year-old home is very cold in the winter compared to the rest of the house. The bedroom ceiling is about 15 feet high, and the room has a bay window that extends the wall about two feet. I have enclosed this area's floor joists, installed insulation, and wrapped the ducting, which helped. I have not extended the overhang of the bay to the ground yet, but I'm considering that. With the door closed, it's almost as if no heat is coming to the room at all, although a little warm air comes out of the vent. Any suggestions? — Mike, Hilliard, OH

A: Richard Trethewey replies: There are a few places to check. First, we need to determine whether the heat loss of the room (the amount of heat that can travel through walls or windows on the coldest day) is greater than the size or number of heating ducts. Any good heating contractor has a heat loss program that can compare heat loss to the output of the duct registers. You may not have enough ducts.

More likely, though, the problem is a lack of return air, because you said that closing the door kills the heat. For every square inch of ducted supply to a room, a traditional forced warm air system should have the same amount of ducted return.
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