Your entire residence should be a retreat 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 first floor.
This could simply be because 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 it makes sense to 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 trouble with your HVAC system. Some of these issues can be sorted out relatively quickly while others might necessitate more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the professionals at Age Heating & Cooling will help you determine 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 traced to several factors. Number one, heat rises, so it’s normal 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 letting heat transfer from the roof into the upstairs rooms.
Another common reason is that the HVAC system is not big enough to cool the entire home, causing it to fight to cool the upstairs effectively.
To address these issues, homeowners could install additional insulation in the attic and make sure their home has proper ventilation. If there’s a question of whether the AC is the correct size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Age Heating & Cooling inspect the unit. A qualified professional also can help select a unit that's better suited for your home if you are considering air conditioning installation or replacement.
Why Is My Upstairs So Cold/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 seep through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, causing colder temperatures upstairs. It’s crucial to make sure your home has a solid, 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 result in the upstairs being colder than the main level. A common reason 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, causing insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the higher floors.
Another potential problem area in the ductwork is the layout of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper floor or they are not correctly positioned, it can limit air circulation and cause inferior heating or cooling. Also, 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 figure out why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork checked by experienced professionals like the team at Age Heating & Cooling to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and putting in more vents or adjusting existing ones can help improve 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 highly effective solution.
An HVAC zoning system separates the household 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 useful in scenarios 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 control the temperature independently in each zone, making it possible for them to address specific hot or cold spots effortlessly.
To learn more about an HVAC zoning system in Sandpoint, call Age 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 work 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 issue in multi-floor homes is when the upper floors are more humid than downstairs.
A common reason 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 permit warm, humid air from outside infiltrate the upstairs rooms. In addition, if there are any leaks or plumbing problems on the upper floor, that can also cause extra moisture in that area of a home.
To fix humidity problems, homeowners can add more ventilation by installing fans or opening windows to promote airflow. Adding more insulation in the attic and better sealing the attic and walls can help prevent external moisture from entering the upstairs. Finding 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 valuable tool to control humidity on the upper and lower floors.