Our newly remodeled kitchen holds a temperature that averages about 5 degrees cooler than the remainder of the house. The house thermostat is set at 70 degrees, and the kitchen has been as low as 63. The furnace servicemen measured the temperature of the outside wall at 65 degrees. They believe that is a bit cool, even for an outside wall. They increased the furnace fan speed, but it has not helped. I am wondering if the drywall contractors neglected to install insulation before they attached the drywall. Could the lack of insulation on one outside wall and one wall between the kitchen and garage account for the temperature difference? I should add that we are new owners of this house and have no history or way to discovery if this was true of the house before we moved in or had the kitchen remodeled.

  • Climate? Location? Crawlspace? Flooring type in kitchen before/after? Is this new, or did it exist before the remodel? Where's the nearest heating vent? The cold air return? – Bryce Nov 26 '13 at 22:48

I use a Black and Decker Thermal Leak Detector to compare the temperature of the walls around rooms, windows, floors, etc. With it you can determine whether an outside wall in the kitchen is colder than one in another part of the house. Also, you can remove the cover plate on an outlet on a suspected wall and use a flashlight to check for insulation.

  • Comparing wall temperature is a good idea . . . don't think the furnace guy did that. I removed the cover plate, and I don't think there is any insulation . . . at least it isn't obvious. While nosing around, I found two drafts . . . both under cabinets and in the spacers that were installed to make the cabinets fit into the proper amount of space. I filled both with paper/plastic, though I don't understand why I had the drafts or where the air is coming from. Any clues? – Janet Nov 26 '13 at 13:03

Increasing the fan speed is an indication of a not-very good furnace serviceman. Whatever that did, it did it everywhere in the house, so the kitchen would have the same relative temperature.

An energy consultant can help you, and bring an IR camera that can "see" if a wall is insulated. You'll also want to "balance" the vents, which means turning down dampers in overheated rooms. You can sometimes add floor insulation to bring up a particular room's perceived temperature.

The space under your cabinets might be extra cold, as it may be bare floor boards with no finished floor.

  • Had to laugh about the increase of fan speed . . . of course! And it has not helped! We have balanced the vents throughout the house. Where do I find an energy consultant. Would the local natural gas company likely do something like you suggest? If not them, any ideas? – Janet Nov 26 '13 at 13:05
  • Add your location, climate and energy provider name to the question to enable a relevant answer @Janet . – Bryce Nov 26 '13 at 22:45

Was any of the ducting worked on during the remodel? Was it cleaned out afterwards? If not, that could compromise airflow. Assuming the work was permitted, it would have required inspection for insulation in most areas.

  • None of the duct work was intentionally worked on, and supposedly, they cleaned it out afterwards. I am a bit suspicious at this point, however, and am thinking that we may want to have it all cleaned out again. I don't think any of the work was permitted or had any inspection, though now that you mention it, it probably should have been. – Janet Nov 26 '13 at 13:11

One likely problem----we discovered that we have no insulation between the kitchen ceiling and the roof! Thanks for all the help, Janet

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    Hi Janet. It looks like you've accidentally created two user accounts. If you'd like to merge them (see the help center for reasons why), follow the instructions here for merging accounts – Niall C. Dec 11 '13 at 15:10

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