Every floor in your home should be a sanctuary that’s warm and comfy in the winter season and cool and comfortable in the summer. However, families who live in some homes with multiple levels find the upper floor is stubbornly hotter or colder than the first floor.
This could simply be due to the fact most thermostats in a house are on the first 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 variations between the upstairs and downstairs could also be because of problems with your HVAC system. Some of these issues can be resolved somewhat quickly while others might call for more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the team at Stanford Heating & Cooling 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 getting hotter than the downstairs can be chalked up to several factors. Number one, heat rises, so it’s common for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the first floor. Insufficient 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 air conditioning is not strong enough to cool the entire home, causing it to fight to cool the upstairs properly.
To fix these issues, homeowners could add additional insulation in the attic and make sure their home has proper ventilation. If there’s a possibility the AC is the proper size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Stanford Heating & Cooling 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 So Cold/Not Heating?
When the downstairs of your home is warm, but it’s very cold upstairs, that could result in an ice-cold 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 permits cold air to filter 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 appropriate insulation in the walls to keep the cold out and the heat inside.
The ductwork in a home plays a critical role in distributing conditioned air throughout different rooms of the building. However, issues with the ductwork can result in the upstairs being colder than the main level. A frequently reported reason 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 go downstairs, leaving 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 aren't well placed, it can limit air circulation and cause substandard heating or cooling. In addition, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can allow air loss, decreasing the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and actually making the temperature difference worse.
To figure out why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork checked by skilled professionals like the team at Stanford Heating & Cooling to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and adding new vents or adjusting existing ones can help improve airflow and ensure a more even 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 home, an HVAC zoning system could be a great solution.
An HVAC zoning system breaks the household into distinctive 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 particularly helpful in instances 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, allowing them to address specific hot or cold spots easily.
To learn more about an HVAC zoning system in Bloomfield, call Stanford Heating & Cooling. 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 problem in multi-floor homes is when the higher levels are more humid than the first floor.
A typical explanation for excess upper floor humidity is poor ventilation on the upper floor, which can cause greater humidity levels. As is often the case with temperature differences between floors, poor insulation or sealing in the attic or walls may allow warm, humid air from outside the house infiltrate the upstairs rooms. And, if there are any leaks or plumbing concerns on the upper floor, that can also cause unwanted moisture in that level of a home.
To correct humidity problems, homeowners can improve ventilation by using fans or opening windows to promote airflow. Proper insulation in the attic and better sealing the attic and walls can help stop 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 helpful tool to reduce humidity on the upper and lower floors.