Your entire residence should be a refuge that’s warm and toasty in the winter 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 rooms on ground level.
This could just be due to the fact 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 they set the temperature according to how it feels on the first floor.
However, temperature differences between the upstairs and downstairs could also be caused by issues with your HVAC system. Some of these issues can be fixed relatively quickly while others might require more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the professionals at Stanford Heating & Cooling will help you determine why the upstairs of your home is hotter than downstairs, or vice versa.
Why Is It Hotter Upstairs?
The phenomenon of the upstairs of a two-story home becoming hotter than the downstairs can be attributed to several factors. First, heat rises, so it’s common for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the main floor. Lack of insulation in the attic or roof can exacerbate this issue by letting heat transfer from the roof into the upstairs rooms.
Another common reason is that the air conditioning is not strong enough to cool the entire home, causing it to struggle to cool the upstairs sufficiently.
To address 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 Stanford Heating & Cooling inspect the unit. A qualified professional also can help find a unit that's better suited for your home if you need air conditioning installation or replacement.
Why Is My Upstairs Always Cold/Not Heating?
When the downstairs of your home is warm, but it’s very cold upstairs, that can cause an ice-cold night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most prevalent explanations for an upstairs not heating like it is supposed to are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation lets cold air to filter through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, creating colder temperatures on higher floors. It’s crucial to make sure your home has a deep, 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 critical role in circulating 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 explanation for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the proper size or design, 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 level.
Another potential problem area in the ductwork is the location of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper floor or they are poorly installed, it can restrict air circulation and cause inadequate heating or cooling. In addition, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can lead to air loss, decreasing the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and making the temperature difference more pronounced.
To determine why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork checked by experienced HVAC pros like the team at Stanford Heating & Cooling to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and adding additional vents or adjusting existing ones can help enhance 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 rest of your home, an HVAC zoning system could be an 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 helpful in situations where the upstairs of a multi-story home is quite hot or extremely cold while the main floor is comfortable. By setting up a zoning system, homeowners can manage the temperature independently in each zone, allowing them to address specific hot or cold spots easily.
To discover more about an HVAC zoning system in Bloomfield, call Stanford Heating & Cooling. We’ve created 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 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 higher levels are more humid than downstairs.
A common explanation for excess upper floor humidity is inadequate ventilation on the upper floor, which can result in increased humidity levels. As is often the case with temperature differences between floors, inadequate insulation or sealing in the attic or walls may allow warm, humid air from outside infiltrate the upstairs rooms. Plus, if there are any leaks or plumbing concerns on the upper floor, that can also lead to unwanted moisture in that area of a home.
To correct humidity problems, homeowners can add more ventilation by getting fans or opening windows to promote airflow. Proper insulation in the attic and better sealing the attic and walls can help protect against external moisture from entering the upstairs. Finding 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 valuable tool to reduce humidity on the upper and lower floors.