Your entire residence should be a retreat that’s warm and cozy 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 first floor.
This could merely be due to the fact 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 challenges can be solved somewhat quickly while others might require more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the team at Speed Air will help you solve 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 becoming hotter than the downstairs can be chalked up to several factors. For starters, heat rises, so it’s normal for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the main floor. Not enough 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 conditioning is not big enough to cool the entire home, causing it to fight to cool the upstairs properly.
To address these issues, homeowners could put in extra insulation in the attic and make sure their home has adequate ventilation. If there’s concern the AC is the right size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Speed Air inspect the unit. A qualified professional also can help locate 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 freezing 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 ought to 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, creating colder temperatures upstairs. It’s crucial 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 critical 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 main level. A frequently reported explanation for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the correct size or configuration, causing 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 potential problem area in the ductwork is the placement of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper story or they are not correctly placed, it can restrict air circulation and cause substandard 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 understand why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork examined by trusted experts like the team at Speed Air to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and installing new 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 residence, an HVAC zoning system could be a great solution.
An HVAC zoning system divides the residence 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 particularly 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 control the temperature independently in each zone, allowing them to address specific hot or cold spots effectively.
To find out more about an HVAC zoning system in Tannersville, call Speed Air. 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 it So Humid Upstairs?
In addition to the upper story being hotter or colder than the rest of the house, another problem in multi-floor homes is when the upstairs is more humid than the first floor.
A typical explanation for excess upper floor humidity is inadequate 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 permit warm, humid air from outside the house infiltrate the upstairs rooms. In addition, if there are any leaks or plumbing concerns on the upper floor, that can also cause excessive moisture in that section of a home.
To address humidity problems, homeowners can add more 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 protect against external moisture from entering the upstairs. Locating 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 useful tool to manage humidity on the upper and lower floors.