Every floor in your home should be a sanctuary that’s warm and comfy in the cold months and cool and comfortable in the summer. However, owners of some two-story homes find the upper floor is stubbornly hotter or colder than the main floor.
This could just be caused by the fact that most thermostats in a house are on the ground floor, which is where people spend the greatest amount of time—in the living room, kitchen, etc.—so it makes sense to set the temperature according to how it feels on the first floor.
However, temperature discrepancies between the upstairs and downstairs could also be due to issues with your HVAC system. Some of these issues can be fixed relatively quickly while others might call for more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the team at Dearing's Service & Solutions will help you figure out why the upstairs of your home is hotter than downstairs, or vice versa.
Why Is My Upstairs So Hot?
The phenomenon of the upstairs of a two-story home getting hotter than the downstairs can be traced to several factors. Number one, heat rises, so it’s natural for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the main floor. Not enough insulation in the attic or roof can exacerbate this issue by allowing heat transfer from the roof into the upstairs rooms.
Another common reason is that the air conditioning is not powerful enough to cool the entire home, causing it to have difficulty cooling the upstairs effectively.
To fix these issues, homeowners could install extra insulation in the attic and make sure their home has adequate ventilation. If there’s concern the air conditioner is the proper size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Dearing's Service & Solutions inspect the unit. A knowledgeable professional also can help locate a unit that's better suited for your home if you are considering 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 could result in an ice-cold night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most prevalent explanations for an upstairs not heating like it is supposed to are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation enables cold air to seep through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, causing colder temperatures on the upper levels. It’s important to make sure your home has a thick, level layer of insulation in the attic and appropriate insulation in the walls to keep the cold out and the heat inside.
The ductwork in a home plays a very important role in disseminating conditioned air throughout different locations of the building. However, problems with the ductwork can contribute to the upstairs being colder than the main level. A typical reason for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the correct size or configuration, creating an uneven distribution of air between the floors. This can cause more warm air to go downstairs, causing insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the upper story.
Another possible issue with the ductwork is the layout of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper story or they aren't well positioned, it can limit air circulation and cause inferior heating or cooling. Also, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can allow air loss, reducing the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and making the temperature difference more pronounced.
To understand why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork examined by trusted HVAC pros like the team at Dearing's Service & Solutions to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and putting in more vents or adjusting existing ones can help increase 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 ground level of your home, an HVAC zoning system could be a great solution.
An HVAC zoning system divides the household into different zones, which each have their own thermostat and damper system so the homeowner can control the heating or cooling of each zone.
This system can be very effective in situations where the upstairs of a multi-story home is quite hot or really cold while the main floor is comfortable. By investing in a zoning system, homeowners can manage the temperature independently in each zone, enabling them to address specific hot or cold spots effortlessly.
To learn more about an HVAC zoning system in Huntingburg, call Dearing's Service & Solutions. We’ve developed 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 problem in multi-floor homes is when the upstairs is more humid than the first floor.
A typical reason for excess upper floor humidity is poor ventilation on the upper floor, which can result in greater humidity levels. As is often the case with temperature differences between floors, insufficient insulation or sealing in the attic or walls may permit warm, humid air from outdoors infiltrate the upstairs rooms. In addition, if there are any leaks or plumbing concerns on the upper floor, that can also lead to excess moisture in that level of a home.
To fix humidity problems, homeowners can increase ventilation by using fans or opening windows to promote airflow. Appropriate levels of insulation in the attic and better sealing the attic and walls can help protect against external moisture from entering the upstairs. Identifying and repairing any leaks or plumbing issues is also critical.
Depending on the levels of moisture found in the home, a whole-home dehumidifier could be another helpful tool to manage humidity in the residence.