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Larry Brownlee
cold room
Larry Brownlee

I have a two story colonial style house with a garage on one end and family room on the opposite side of the house. the house is 24 years old, and I helped to build my house. This has been an on-going problem since I moved in. The family room is usually 7 to 10 degrees cooler than the other rooms on the first floor, ie kitchen, eating area, dining room and living room. Attached to the family room is a add on 16x16 room that we use as a computer room and sitting room. When we sit in the family room you can feel cold air coming from somewhere. I have used candles to determine the whereabouts without success. Under the family room is a full unfinished basement. Under the room addition is a craw space. The floor is insulated. What can I do to resolve this problem Who can I contact that would know how to idenitfy the problem? What are your suggestions?

Re: cold room

Perhaps an energy audit company with an infrared camera would be able to pinpoint the cold air infiltration.
I would guess it's the area between the crawlspace and the family room wall. Maybe cold air from the crawlspace is coming through the bottom plate of the walls.

Re: cold room

I would agree with having an energy audit done---the candle should tell you SOMETHING---there is a SMOKE GUN that the building supply & insulation stores carry (small hand-held the size of a flashlight for $20) that is widely used to locate even minute drafts & air flows.

Another important diy test is the "blower door" or "fan door" test, where a fan is attached to a piece of plywood to fit into the room's door to measure room air loss and pinpoint the source of cold air leaks.

If you have forced hot air with metal ducts, they are notorious for causing cold air to enter the room.

Hard to follow your description of the room layouts--if you could post a photo of the diagrammed layout--great.

Don't ignore vertical wall studs which can act as a chimney to convey cold air up or down---make sure attic insulation (should be R40) covers any wall stud cavities opening into the attic & at the base of the crawl space (should be R19).

Is there adequate or any insulation in all the exterior walls adjacent to the family room???

What is the type of heat (forced air/hot water) & how is it distributed in the family room & adjacent rooms---do you have any zoned heat for these rooms??? zoning can make a big difference in getting equal room temps & thus occupant comfort.

Many zoning projects can be done on a diy basis.


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