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 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 first floor, which is where people spend the greatest amount 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 relatively quickly while others might require more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the team at Rescue Heating & Air 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 chalked up to several factors. Number one, 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 powerful enough to cool the entire home, causing it to struggle to cool the upstairs sufficiently.
To deal with these issues, homeowners could install more insulation in the attic and make sure their home has adequate ventilation. If there’s a question of whether the air conditioner is the ideal size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Rescue Heating & Air inspect the unit. A knowledgeable professional also can help find a unit that's better suited for your home if you want air conditioning installation or replacement.
Why Is My Upstairs Colder/Not Heating?
When the downstairs of your home is warm, but it’s extremely chilly upstairs, that makes for a very chilly night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most common causes of an upstairs not heating like it should are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation lets cold air to leak 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 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 very important role in disseminating conditioned air throughout different areas of the building. However, troubles with the ductwork can result in the upstairs being colder than the downstairs. A common reason for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the correct size or in the appropriate layout, which results in 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 factor with ductwork is the layout of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper story or they are not correctly located, it can limit air circulation and cause substandard heating or cooling. Additionally, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can lead to air loss, reducing the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and exacerbating the temperature difference.
To find out why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork inspected by experienced HVAC pros like the team at Rescue Heating & Air to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and installing new vents or adjusting existing ones can help increase airflow and ensure a more even temperature balance between the upstairs and downstairs.
Fixing the Hot or Cold Upstairs Problem?
If your upstairs is hotter or colder than the ground level of your home, 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 customize the heating or cooling of each zone.
This system can be very useful in situations where the upstairs of a multi-story home is very hot or extremely cold while the main floor is comfortable. By installing a zoning system, homeowners can control 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 Alice, call Rescue Heating & Air. We’ve developed 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 it So Humid 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 first floor.
A typical cause for excess upper floor humidity is weak ventilation on the upper floor, which can result in 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 outdoors infiltrate the upstairs rooms. In addition, if there are any leaks or plumbing concerns on the upper floor, that can also lead to excessive moisture in that area of a home.
To correct humidity problems, homeowners can increase 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 protect against external moisture from entering the upstairs. Locating 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 useful tool to manage humidity in your home.