Your entire residence should be a retreat that’s warm and toasty in the cold months and cool and comfortable in the summer. However, families who live in some multi-level residences find the upper floor is stubbornly hotter or colder than the rooms on ground level.
This could just be because most thermostats in a house are on the first floor, which is where people spend the greatest amount of time—in the living room, kitchen, etc.—so they set the temperature according to how it feels on the first floor.
However, temperature discrepancies between the upstairs and downstairs could also be because of trouble with your HVAC system. Some of these issues can be solved fairly quickly while others might necessitate more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the professionals at Assured Appliance & Heating & Air will help you determine why the upstairs of your home is hotter than downstairs, or vice versa.
Why Is It Hotter Upstairs?
The phenomenon of the upstairs of a two-story home becoming hotter than the downstairs can be chalked up to several factors. Number one, heat rises, so it’s natural for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the first floor. Poor insulation in the attic or roof can make this worse by permitting heat transfer from the roof into the upstairs rooms.
Another common reason is that the HVAC system is not big enough to cool the entire home, causing it to fight to cool the upstairs sufficiently.
To tackle these issues, homeowners could install more insulation in the attic and make sure their home has sufficient ventilation. If there’s concern the air conditioning unit is the correct size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Assured Appliance & Heating & Air inspect the unit. A skilled professional also can help select a unit that's better suited for your home if you need air conditioning installation or replacement.
Why Is My Upstairs So Cold/Not Heating?
When the downstairs of your home is warm, but it’s freezing upstairs, that makes for an ice-cold night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most frequent causes of an upstairs not heating like it is supposed to are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation lets cold air to leak through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, causing colder temperatures upstairs. It’s crucial to make sure your home has a thick, level layer of insulation in the attic and proper insulation in the walls to keep the cold out and the heat inside.
The ductwork in a home plays a critical role in distributing conditioned air throughout different locations of the building. However, issues with the ductwork can cause the upstairs being colder than the main level. A frequently reported explanation for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the correct size or configuration, causing an uneven distribution of air between the floors. This can cause more warm air to go downstairs, which creates insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the upper level.
Another possible issue with the ductwork is the location of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper story or they are not correctly placed, it can restrict air circulation and cause inferior heating or cooling. In addition, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can lead to air loss, lowering the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and actually making the temperature difference worse.
To understand why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork checked by skilled professionals like the team at Assured Appliance & Heating & Air to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and adding new vents or adjusting existing ones can help improve airflow and ensure a more even temperature balance between the upstairs and downstairs.
How You Can Fix a Hot or Cold Upstairs?
If your upstairs is hotter or colder than the lower floors of your house, an HVAC zoning system could be an effective solution.
An HVAC zoning system breaks the household into different zones, which each have their own thermostat and damper system so the homeowner can customize the heating or cooling of each zone.
This system can be especially helpful in instances where the upstairs of a multi-story home is very hot or extremely cold while the main floor is comfortable. By investing in a zoning system, homeowners can control the temperature independently in each zone, making it possible for them to address specific hot or cold spots effortlessly.
To discover more about an HVAC zoning system in Genoa, call Assured Appliance & Heating & Air. We’ve created and installed customized home comfort plans for many community members and are happy to show how an HVAC zoning system could work in your home.
Why Is My Upstairs So Humid?
In addition to the upper story being hotter or colder than the rest of the house, another issue in multi-floor homes is when the higher levels are more humid than downstairs.
A common reason for excess upper floor humidity is inadequate ventilation on the upper floor, which can result in greater humidity levels. As is often the case with temperature differences between floors, poor insulation or sealing in the attic or walls may allow warm, humid air from outside the house infiltrate the upstairs rooms. Plus, if there are any leaks or plumbing problems on the upper floor, that can also cause excessive moisture in that section of a home.
To address humidity problems, homeowners can improve ventilation by installing fans or opening windows to promote airflow. Appropriate levels of insulation in the attic and better sealing the attic and walls can help stop external moisture from entering the upstairs. Locating and repairing any leaks or plumbing issues is also extremely important.
Depending on the levels of moisture found in the home, a whole-home dehumidifier could be another useful tool to control humidity in the residence.