Your entire home should be a sanctuary that’s warm and cozy in the cold months and cool and comfortable in the summer. However, families who live in some two-story homes find the upper floor is stubbornly hotter or colder than the first floor.
This could just be because most thermostats in a house are on the main 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 variations between the upstairs and downstairs could also be because of issues with your HVAC system. Some of these issues can be sorted out fairly quickly while others might necessitate more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the professionals at Central Heating & Plumbing 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 becoming hotter than the downstairs can be traced to several factors. First, heat rises, so it’s natural for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the main floor. Poor 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 conditioning is not powerful enough to cool the entire home, causing it to have difficulty cooling the upstairs sufficiently.
To tackle these issues, homeowners could install more insulation in the attic and make sure their home has adequate ventilation. If there’s a question of whether the air conditioner is the proper size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Central Heating & Plumbing inspect the unit. A qualified 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 extremely chilly upstairs, that can cause a very chilly night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most common reasons an upstairs not heating like it is supposed to are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation enables cold air to filter through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, creating colder temperatures on the upper levels. It’s essential 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 very important role in circulating conditioned air throughout different rooms of the building. However, problems with the ductwork can result in the upstairs being colder than the lower floor. A frequently reported reason for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the right size or in the appropriate layout, creating 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 story.
Another potential problem area in the ductwork is the placement of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper level or they aren't well placed, it can restrict air circulation and cause substandard heating or cooling. Also, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can allow air loss, lowering the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and exacerbating the temperature difference.
To understand why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork inspected by skilled professionals like the team at Central Heating & Plumbing to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and putting in more vents or adjusting existing ones can help increase airflow and ensure a more even temperature balance between the upstairs and downstairs.
What Do I Do to Fix a Hot/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 distinct zones, which each have their own thermostat and damper system so the homeowner can modify the heating or cooling of each zone.
This system can be especially helpful in scenarios where the upstairs of a multi-story home is too hot or extremely cold while the main floor is comfortable. By installing a zoning system, homeowners can regulate the temperature independently in each zone, making it possible for them to address specific hot or cold spots effortlessly.
To discover more about an HVAC zoning system in New Castle, call Central Heating & Plumbing. 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 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 higher levels are more humid than the first floor.
A frequent explanation for excess upper floor humidity is poor ventilation on the upper floor, which can result in 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 infiltrate the upstairs rooms. In addition, if there are any leaks or plumbing concerns on the upper floor, that can also lead to extra moisture in that level of a home.
To fix humidity problems, homeowners can improve ventilation by using fans or opening windows to promote airflow. Adding more 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 imperative.
Depending on the levels of moisture found in the home, a whole-home dehumidifier could be another worthwhile tool to manage humidity in the residence.