Every floor in your home should be a refuge that’s warm and toasty 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 simply be because most thermostats in a house are on the main 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 caused by problems with your HVAC system. Some of these issues can be fixed relatively quickly while others might necessitate more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the team at Cooler Tymes LLC 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 getting hotter than the downstairs can be traced to several factors. Number one, heat rises, so it’s common for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the ground floor. Not enough insulation in the attic or roof can exacerbate this issue by permitting heat transfer from the roof into the upstairs rooms.
Another common reason is that the air conditioner is not big enough to cool the entire home, causing it to have difficulty cooling the upstairs sufficiently.
To fix these issues, homeowners could put in more insulation in the attic and make sure their home has sufficient ventilation. If there’s concern the air conditioner is the right size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Cooler Tymes LLC 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 can cause a frosty night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most frequent causes of an upstairs not heating like it ought 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, resulting in colder temperatures upstairs. It’s important to make sure your home has a thick, 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 distributing conditioned air throughout different rooms of the building. However, problems 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 right size or design, causing 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 story.
Another factor with ductwork is the location of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper floor or they are not correctly installed, it can restrict air circulation and cause substandard heating or cooling. Also, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can allow air loss, decreasing the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and exacerbating the temperature difference.
To determine why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork examined by experienced professionals like the team at Cooler Tymes LLC to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and installing 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 a highly effective solution.
An HVAC zoning system separates 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 useful in instances where the upstairs of a multi-story home is very hot or too cold while the main floor is comfortable. By implementing a zoning system, homeowners can manage the temperature independently in each zone, making it possible for them to address specific hot or cold spots easily.
To learn more about an HVAC zoning system in Litchfield Park, call Cooler Tymes LLC. 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 upper floors are more humid than downstairs.
A frequent reason for excess upper floor humidity is weak ventilation on the upper floor, which can result in increased 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 issues on the upper floor, that can also cause excessive moisture in that section of a home.
To deal with humidity problems, homeowners can increase ventilation by getting 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. Locating 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 worthwhile tool to control humidity in the residence.