Every floor in your home should be a retreat that’s warm and cozy in the winter 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 main floor.
This could merely be because most thermostats in a house are on the first floor, which is where people spend the most 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 because of problems with your HVAC system. Some of these issues can be resolved fairly quickly while others might require more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the professionals 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 It Hot Upstairs?
The phenomenon of the upstairs of a two-story home getting hotter than the downstairs can be traced to several factors. For starters, heat rises, so it’s natural for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the ground 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 HVAC system is not strong enough to cool the entire home, causing it to fight to cool the upstairs sufficiently.
To tackle these issues, homeowners could install additional insulation in the attic and make sure their home has proper ventilation. If there’s a possibility the air conditioning unit is the ideal size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Lanz Furnace and Fireplace inspect the unit. A skilled professional also can help find a unit that's better suited for your home if you require air conditioning installation or replacement.
Why Is My Upstairs So Cold/Not Heating?
When the downstairs of your home is warm, but it’s very cold upstairs, that makes for an ice-cold night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most prevalent reasons an upstairs not heating like it ought to are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation permits cold air to leak through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, resulting in colder temperatures on higher floors. It’s essential to make sure your home has a solid, 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 circulating conditioned air throughout different locations of the building. However, troubles with the ductwork can contribute to the upstairs being colder than the downstairs. A common cause for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the proper size or in the appropriate layout, creating an uneven distribution of air between the floors. This can cause more warm air to be directed to the downstairs, which creates insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the upper story.
Another possible issue with the ductwork is the placement of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper floor or they aren't well installed, it can restrict air circulation and cause inadequate heating or cooling. Additionally, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can allow air loss, lowering the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and making the temperature difference more pronounced.
To figure out why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork examined by skilled professionals like the team at Lanz Furnace and Fireplace to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and putting in more vents or adjusting existing ones can help enhance 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 house, an HVAC zoning system could be an effective solution.
An HVAC zoning system separates the home into different zones, which each have their own thermostat and damper system so the homeowner can modify the heating or cooling of each zone.
This system can be very helpful in scenarios where the upstairs of a multi-story home is quite hot or really cold while the main floor is comfortable. By implementing a zoning system, homeowners can manage the temperature independently in each zone, enabling them to address specific hot or cold spots easily.
To find out 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 work in your home.
Why Is the Humidity So High Upstairs?
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 upstairs is more humid than the lower level.
A typical reason for excess upper floor humidity is inadequate ventilation on the upper floor, which can produce higher humidity levels. As is often the case with temperature differences between floors, insufficient insulation or sealing in the attic or walls may let 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 create unwanted moisture in that area of a home.
To manage humidity problems, homeowners can add more ventilation by getting 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 extremely important.
Depending on the levels of moisture found in the home, a whole-home dehumidifier could be another worthwhile tool to control humidity on the upper and lower floors.