Many people with older homes are frustrated by the phenomenon of rooms that never seem to warm up, no matter what temperature the thermostat is set on. Luckily, with a little know-how, you may be able to solve this problem yourself. If you would like to learn more about some common ways to combat a chronically chilly room, read on. This article will explain four things you should try before calling a professional furnace repair person.

Check that the register is open.

The hot air produced by your furnace travels through your house by means of ducts, entering each room through a register--that piece of slatted, rectangular metal, located either at the top or the bottom of one wall. Most registers have a sliding knob which allows it to be set in an open or closed position. Believe it or not, many chilly rooms are caused by registers which have been left in the closed position.

Ensure that the register is unblocked.

A blocked register is, in effect, no different than a closed register. When furniture is pushed against low-lying registers, it prevents the hot air from entering the room. After locating the register location, make sure that there aren't any beds or couches pushed up against it. If necessary, rearrange the room to allow for unimpeded heating.

Make sure the furnace dampers are open.

Furnace dampers are much like room registers, with the difference that dampers are responsible for controlling the flow of heated air into greater portions of your home. Dampers are almost always located near the furnace. To find them, just look for the damper handles protruding from the ductwork. Ensure that these handles are parallel to the duct itself; this indicates that the dampers are open all the way.

Inspect your furnace filter.

While you're down near the furnace, it's always a good idea to take a look at your furnace filter. Much like the air filter in your car, a furnace filter is meant to keep dirt and other debris from clogging up the blower motor. A dirty filter will hamper the effectiveness of your furnace. If the situation gets bad enough, it can even cause the motor to burn out.

The good news is that it is both easy and inexpensive to replace dirty filters. To ensure even, efficient heating, plan to check the filter a minimum of once every two months. That said, if you own a pet, you may want to check your filter more frequently. That's because hair and dander will cause the filter to become clogged up much more quickly. 

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