Every floor in your home should be a sanctuary that’s warm and cozy in the cold months and cool and comfortable in the summer. However, families who live in some two-story homes find the upper floor is stubbornly hotter or colder than the main floor.
This could simply be because most thermostats in a house are on the main floor, which is where people spend the the majority 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 variations between the upstairs and downstairs could also be caused by issues with your HVAC system. Some of these challenges can be fixed somewhat quickly while others might require more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the specialists at Lanz Furnace and Fireplace 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 chalked up to several factors. For starters, heat rises, so it’s normal for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the main floor. Lack of 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 strong enough to cool the entire home, causing it to fight to cool the upstairs adequately.
To address these issues, homeowners could put in additional insulation in the attic and make sure their home has sufficient ventilation. If there’s a possibility the air conditioner is the proper size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Lanz Furnace and Fireplace inspect the unit. A knowledgeable professional also can help locate a unit that's better suited for your home if you want 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 can cause a frosty night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most common reasons an upstairs not heating like it should are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation lets cold air to filter through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, causing colder temperatures upstairs. It’s important to make sure your home has a solid, 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 critical role in distributing conditioned air throughout different areas of the building. However, troubles 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, which results in an uneven distribution of air between the floors. This can cause more warm air to flow downstairs, which creates insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the upper level.
Another possible issue with the ductwork is the layout of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper level or they are poorly positioned, it can reduce air circulation and cause inadequate heating or cooling. Additionally, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can cause air loss, reducing the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and making the temperature difference more pronounced.
To find out why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork inspected by skilled HVAC pros like the team at Lanz Furnace and Fireplace to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and installing new vents or adjusting existing ones can help increase airflow and ensure a better 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 rest of your home, an HVAC zoning system could be a useful solution.
An HVAC zoning system breaks the household 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 helpful in scenarios where the upstairs of a multi-story home is quite hot or really cold while the main floor is comfortable. By installing a zoning system, homeowners can regulate the temperature independently in each zone, making it possible for them to address specific hot or cold spots effectively.
To learn more about an HVAC zoning system in Monroe, call Lanz Furnace and Fireplace. We’ve created and installed customized home comfort plans for many community members and are happy to show how an HVAC zoning system could enhance the comfort 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 upper floors are more humid than downstairs.
A frequent cause for excess upper floor humidity is inadequate ventilation on the upper floor, which can cause increased humidity levels. As is often the case with temperature differences between floors, poor insulation or sealing in the attic or walls may let warm, humid air from outside infiltrate the upstairs rooms. And, if there are any leaks or plumbing concerns on the upper floor, that can also cause unwanted moisture in that section of a home.
To address humidity problems, homeowners can improve ventilation by installing fans or opening windows to promote airflow. Adding more insulation in the attic and better sealing the attic and walls can help prevent external moisture from entering the upstairs. Identifying and repairing any leaks or plumbing issues is also imperative.
Depending on the levels of moisture found in the home, a whole-home dehumidifier could be another helpful tool to reduce humidity on the upper and lower floors.