Your entire home should be a refuge that’s warm and cozy in the cold months and cool and comfortable in the summer. However, owners of some homes with multiple levels find the upper floor is stubbornly hotter or colder than the rooms on ground level.
This could just be due to the fact most thermostats in a house are on the main floor, which is where people spend the greatest amount of time—in the living room, kitchen, etc.—so as a result they tend to 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 issues with your HVAC system. Some of these issues can be sorted out fairly quickly while others might call for more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the team at Stieferman Heating Company Inc will help you determine 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 becoming hotter than the downstairs can be chalked up to several factors. Number one, heat rises, so it’s normal for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the first floor. Poor 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 fight to cool the upstairs sufficiently.
To tackle these issues, homeowners could install extra insulation in the attic and make sure their home has proper ventilation. If there’s concern the AC is the correct size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Stieferman Heating Company Inc 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 extremely chilly upstairs, that can cause a frosty night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most common causes of an upstairs not heating like it is supposed to are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation lets cold air to seep through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, resulting in colder temperatures upstairs. It’s crucial to make sure your home has a deep, level layer of insulation in the attic and adequate insulation in the walls to keep the cold out and the heat inside.
The ductwork in a home plays a fundamental role in disseminating conditioned air throughout different areas of the building. However, troubles with the ductwork can contribute to the upstairs being colder than the downstairs. A frequently reported reason for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the correct size or design, causing an uneven distribution of air between the floors. This can cause more warm air to be directed to the downstairs, leaving insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the higher floors.
Another potential problem area in the ductwork is the location of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper level or they are not correctly placed, it can limit air circulation and cause inadequate heating or cooling. In addition, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can allow air loss, reducing the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and exacerbating the temperature difference.
To understand why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork examined by experienced experts like the team at Stieferman Heating Company Inc to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and installing 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 useful solution.
An HVAC zoning system separates the residence into distinctive 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 especially useful in instances where the upstairs of a multi-story home is too hot or too cold while the main floor is comfortable. By investing in a zoning system, homeowners can manage the temperature independently in each zone, allowing them to address specific hot or cold spots effectively.
To find out more about an HVAC zoning system in Jefferson City, call Stieferman Heating Company Inc. We’ve designed and installed customized home comfort plans for many community members and are happy to show how an HVAC zoning system could benefit 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 upper floors are more humid than downstairs.
A common cause for excess upper floor humidity is poor ventilation on the upper floor, which can cause greater humidity levels. As is often the case with temperature differences between floors, poor insulation or sealing in the attic or walls may permit warm, humid air from outdoors infiltrate the upstairs rooms. And, if there are any leaks or plumbing problems on the upper floor, that can also create excess moisture in that area of a home.
To manage humidity problems, homeowners can increase ventilation by using fans or opening windows to promote airflow. Proper insulation in the attic and better sealing the attic and walls can help stop external moisture from entering the upstairs. Finding 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 worthwhile tool to reduce humidity on the upper and lower floors.