Your entire home should be a refuge 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 rooms on ground level.
This could simply be caused by the fact that most thermostats in a house are on the ground floor, which is where people spend the the majority 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 variations between the upstairs and downstairs could also be because of issues with your HVAC system. Some of these difficulties can be fixed somewhat quickly while others might necessitate more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the team at Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling will help you solve 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 traced to several factors. First, heat rises, so it’s normal for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the first floor. Lack of insulation in the attic or roof can make this worse 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 struggle to cool the upstairs properly.
To tackle these issues, homeowners could add more insulation in the attic and make sure their home has adequate ventilation. If there’s concern the air conditioner is the right size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling 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 could result in a frosty night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most frequent causes of an upstairs not heating like it should are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation enables cold air to filter through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, creating colder temperatures upstairs. It’s important 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 locations of the building. However, issues with the ductwork can cause the upstairs being colder than the main level. A typical explanation for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the right size or in the appropriate layout, resulting in an uneven distribution of air between the floors. This can cause more warm air to go downstairs, leaving insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the upper story.
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 reduce air circulation and cause substandard heating or cooling. In addition, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can lead to air loss, lowering the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and actually making the temperature difference worse.
To determine why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork inspected by experienced HVAC pros like the team at Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and installing more 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 an effective solution.
An HVAC zoning system divides the residence into distinct 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 beneficial in scenarios where the upstairs of a multi-story home is too hot or really cold while the main floor is comfortable. By installing a zoning system, homeowners can control the temperature independently in each zone, enabling them to address specific hot or cold spots easily.
To discover more about an HVAC zoning system in Rockford, call Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling. We’ve developed 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 challenge in multi-floor homes is when the upstairs is more humid than the lower level.
A common cause for excess upper floor humidity is weak 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 let warm, humid air from outside infiltrate the upstairs rooms. In addition, if there are any leaks or plumbing problems on the upper floor, that can also lead to excess moisture in that section of a home.
To deal with 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 prevent 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 valuable tool to reduce humidity on the upper and lower floors.