Your entire home should be a refuge that’s warm and cozy in the winter season and cool and comfortable in the summer. However, owners of some two-story homes find the upper floor is stubbornly hotter or colder than the main floor.
This could simply be due to the fact 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 differences between the upstairs and downstairs could also be caused by issues with your HVAC system. Some of these issues can be solved fairly quickly while others might necessitate more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the professionals at AW Heating & Air Conditioning 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 natural for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the ground floor. Lack of 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 have difficulty cooling the upstairs sufficiently.
To tackle these issues, homeowners could add additional insulation in the attic and make sure their home has sufficient ventilation. If there’s a question of whether the air conditioner is the correct size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like AW Heating & Air Conditioning 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 freezing 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 should are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation permits cold air to seep through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, creating colder temperatures on higher floors. It’s important 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 fundamental role in disseminating conditioned air throughout different areas of the building. However, issues with the ductwork can cause the upstairs being colder than the downstairs. A frequently reported reason for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the proper size or in the appropriate layout, which results in an uneven distribution of air between the floors. This can cause more warm air to flow downstairs, which creates insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the upper level.
Another factor with ductwork is the layout of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper floor or they are poorly positioned, 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 determine why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork inspected by skilled experts like the team at AW Heating & Air Conditioning to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and installing additional vents or adjusting existing ones can help enhance 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 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 modify the heating or cooling of each zone.
This system can be especially helpful in instances where the upstairs of a multi-story home is very hot or really cold while the main floor is comfortable. By implementing a zoning system, homeowners can manage 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 Lincoln, call AW Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ve designed 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 problem in multi-floor homes is when the higher levels are more humid than the first floor.
A frequent cause for excess upper floor humidity is poor ventilation on the upper floor, which can result in higher humidity levels. As is often the case with temperature differences between floors, inadequate insulation or sealing in the attic or walls may let warm, humid air from outdoors infiltrate the upstairs rooms. And, if there are any leaks or plumbing concerns on the upper floor, that can also cause excessive moisture in that section 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. 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 helpful tool to reduce humidity in the residence.