Your entire home should be a sanctuary that’s warm and comfy in the winter and cool and comfortable in the summer. However, residents in some homes with multiple levels find the upper floor is stubbornly hotter or colder than the rooms on ground level.
This could just be because 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 as a result they tend 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 trouble with your HVAC system. Some of these challenges can be sorted out somewhat quickly while others might necessitate more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the team at Northwest Services 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 feeling hotter than the downstairs can be traced 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 worsen this problem by letting 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 fight to cool the upstairs properly.
To tackle these issues, homeowners could put in additional insulation in the attic and make sure their home has proper ventilation. If there’s a possibility the air conditioner is the right size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Northwest Services inspect the unit. A qualified professional also can help select a unit that's better suited for your home if you want 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 an ice-cold night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most prevalent explanations for an upstairs not heating like it should are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation permits cold air to leak through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, resulting in colder temperatures on higher floors. It’s crucial to make sure your home has a thick, 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 fundamental role in disseminating conditioned air throughout different rooms of the building. However, issues with the ductwork can contribute to the upstairs being colder than the lower floor. A common cause for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the correct size or in the appropriate layout, causing an uneven distribution of air between the floors. This can cause more warm air to flow downstairs, leaving insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the upper story.
Another factor with ductwork is the layout of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper level 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 allow air loss, reducing the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and actually making the temperature difference worse.
To find out why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork examined by experienced experts like the team at Northwest Services to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and adding new vents or adjusting existing ones can help increase 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 lower floors of your house, an HVAC zoning system could be a highly effective solution.
An HVAC zoning system divides the home 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 very effective in instances where the upstairs of a multi-story home is too 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, allowing them to address specific hot or cold spots effortlessly.
To discover more about an HVAC zoning system in Swanton, call Northwest Services. 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 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 higher levels are more humid than the first floor.
A common 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, inadequate insulation or sealing in the attic or walls may permit warm, humid air from outside the house infiltrate the upstairs rooms. Plus, if there are any leaks or plumbing concerns on the upper floor, that can also create excess moisture in that level of a home.
To address 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 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 on the upper and lower floors.