Every floor in your home should be a refuge that’s warm and toasty in the winter and cool and comfortable in the summer. However, residents in some multi-level residences find the upper floor is stubbornly hotter or colder than the main floor.
This could merely be caused by the fact that 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 it makes sense to set the temperature according to how it feels on the first floor.
However, temperature discrepancies between the upstairs and downstairs could also be caused by issues with your HVAC system. Some of these challenges can be fixed fairly quickly while others might necessitate more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the specialists at Rescue Heating & Air 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 chalked up to several factors. Number one, 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 make this worse by letting heat transfer from the roof into the upstairs rooms.
Another common reason is that the air conditioner is not strong enough to cool the entire home, causing it to struggle to cool the upstairs sufficiently.
To tackle these issues, homeowners could add extra insulation in the attic and make sure their home has sufficient ventilation. If there’s a possibility the air conditioning unit is the proper size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Rescue Heating & Air inspect the unit. A knowledgeable professional also can help select 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 freezing upstairs, that can cause a very chilly night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most prevalent causes of an upstairs not heating like it should are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation permits cold air to seep through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, creating colder temperatures on higher floors. It’s essential to make sure your home has a solid, level layer of insulation in the attic and proper insulation in the walls to keep the cold out and the heat inside.
The ductwork in a home plays a very important role in distributing conditioned air throughout different rooms of the building. However, issues with the ductwork can contribute to 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 design, 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 story.
Another potential problem area in the ductwork is the layout of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper story or they are not correctly positioned, it can limit 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 actually making the temperature difference worse.
To understand why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork examined by experienced professionals like the team at Rescue Heating & Air to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and putting in more vents or adjusting existing ones can help increase airflow and ensure a more consistent 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 ground level of your home, an HVAC zoning system could be a highly effective solution.
An HVAC zoning system divides the residence into different 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 particularly beneficial in situations where the upstairs of a multi-story home is very hot or extremely cold while the main floor is comfortable. By setting up a zoning system, homeowners can regulate the temperature independently in each zone, enabling them to address specific hot or cold spots effectively.
To learn more about an HVAC zoning system in Alice, call Rescue Heating & Air. We’ve designed 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 upper floors are more humid than the lower level.
A common reason for excess upper floor humidity is inadequate ventilation on the upper floor, which can cause greater humidity levels. As is often the case with temperature differences between floors, insufficient insulation or sealing in the attic or walls may permit warm, humid air from outdoors infiltrate the upstairs rooms. Plus, if there are any leaks or plumbing problems on the upper floor, that can also cause extra moisture in that level of a home.
To fix humidity problems, homeowners can add more ventilation by using 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. Identifying 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 useful tool to control humidity in the residence.