Your entire home should be a retreat that’s warm and comfy in the winter season 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 main floor.
This could merely be because most thermostats in a house are on the first floor, which is where people spend the most time—in the living room, kitchen, etc.—so they set the temperature according to how it feels on the first floor.
However, temperature discrepancies between the upstairs and downstairs could also be due to problems with your HVAC system. Some of these issues can be resolved fairly quickly while others might necessitate more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the team at Durable Service will help you figure out 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 traced 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 worsen this problem 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 have difficulty cooling the upstairs properly.
To tackle these issues, homeowners could install additional insulation in the attic and make sure their home has adequate ventilation. If there’s a question of whether the air conditioning unit is the ideal size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Durable Service inspect the unit. A knowledgeable professional also can help locate a unit that's better suited for your home if you are considering air conditioning installation or replacement.
Why Is My Upstairs Always Cold/Not Heating?
When the downstairs of your home is warm, but it’s freezing upstairs, that could result in 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 enables cold air to leak through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, resulting in colder temperatures on the upper levels. It’s essential 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 disseminating conditioned air throughout different locations of the building. However, problems with the ductwork can cause the upstairs being colder than the lower floor. A frequently reported cause for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the correct size or design, resulting in 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 higher floors.
Another factor with ductwork is the location of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper level or they are not correctly located, it can reduce air circulation and cause substandard heating or cooling. Also, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can cause air loss, lowering the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and actually making the temperature difference worse.
To determine why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork examined by experienced professionals like the team at Durable Service to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and putting in new 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 house, an HVAC zoning system could be an effective solution.
An HVAC zoning system divides the residence 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 beneficial in scenarios where the upstairs of a multi-story home is quite hot or extremely cold while the main floor is comfortable. By implementing a zoning system, homeowners can manage the temperature independently in each zone, enabling them to address specific hot or cold spots effectively.
To discover more about an HVAC zoning system in Holdrege, call Durable Service. 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 the Humidity So High Upstairs?
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 upstairs is more humid than the lower level.
A common explanation for excess upper floor humidity is weak ventilation on the upper floor, which can produce higher 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 the house infiltrate the upstairs rooms. Plus, if there are any leaks or plumbing problems on the upper floor, that can also create extra moisture in that level of a home.
To address humidity problems, homeowners can increase ventilation by getting 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 valuable tool to control humidity on the upper and lower floors.