Your entire home should be a retreat that’s warm and toasty in the winter season and cool and comfortable in the summer. However, families who live in some multi-level residences find the upper floor is stubbornly hotter or colder than the main floor.
This could just be because most thermostats in a house are on the ground floor, which is where people spend the most 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 due to problems with your HVAC system. Some of these issues can be fixed somewhat quickly while others might necessitate more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the professionals at Gee & Missler Heating & Air Conditioning 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 traced to several factors. For starters, heat rises, so it’s normal for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the main floor. Poor insulation in the attic or roof can make this worse by permitting heat transfer from the roof into the upstairs rooms.
Another common reason is that the HVAC system is not powerful enough to cool the entire home, causing it to fight to cool the upstairs properly.
To fix these issues, homeowners could put in more insulation in the attic and make sure their home has adequate ventilation. If there’s concern the air conditioner is the right size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Gee & Missler Heating & Air Conditioning inspect the unit. A qualified professional also can help find 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 prevalent reasons an upstairs not heating like it ought to 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 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 very important role in distributing conditioned air throughout different areas of the building. However, issues with the ductwork can contribute to the upstairs being colder than the main level. A typical reason for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the correct size or configuration, resulting in 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 possible issue with the ductwork is the location of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper story or they are not correctly installed, it can reduce air circulation and cause inferior heating or cooling. Also, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can lead to air loss, lowering the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and making the temperature difference more pronounced.
To figure out why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork checked by trusted professionals like the team at Gee & Missler Heating & Air Conditioning to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and adding new 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 ground level 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 control the heating or cooling of each zone.
This system can be very useful in situations where the upstairs of a multi-story home is quite 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 easily.
To learn more about an HVAC zoning system in Wyandotte, call Gee & Missler Heating & Air Conditioning. 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 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 lower level.
A common cause for excess upper floor humidity is poor ventilation on the upper floor, which can produce higher humidity levels. As is often the case with temperature differences between floors, poor insulation or sealing in the attic or walls may let warm, humid air from outside infiltrate the upstairs rooms. Plus, if there are any leaks or plumbing problems on the upper floor, that can also lead to extra moisture in that section of a home.
To fix humidity problems, homeowners can increase 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 prevent external moisture from entering the upstairs. Locating 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 manage humidity on the upper and lower floors.