Your entire residence should be a sanctuary that’s warm and toasty in the winter and cool and comfortable in the summer. However, residents in some multi-level residences find the upper floor is stubbornly hotter or colder than the main floor.
This could simply be caused by the fact that most thermostats in a house are on the first floor, which is where people spend the the majority of time—in the living room, kitchen, etc.—so as a result they tend to set the temperature according to how it feels on the first floor.
However, temperature discrepancies between the upstairs and downstairs could also be because of issues with your HVAC system. Some of these issues can be fixed somewhat quickly while others might necessitate more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the specialists 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 It Hotter Upstairs?
The phenomenon of the upstairs of a two-story home feeling hotter than the downstairs can be chalked up to several factors. First, heat rises, so it’s natural for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the ground 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 air conditioning is not big enough to cool the entire home, causing it to fight to cool the upstairs adequately.
To fix these issues, homeowners could install extra insulation in the attic and make sure their home has adequate ventilation. If there’s concern the air conditioning unit is the correct size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Gee & Missler Heating & Air Conditioning inspect the unit. A knowledgeable professional also can help locate a unit that's better suited for your home if you need 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 frequent reasons an upstairs not heating like it should are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation lets cold air to leak through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, causing 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 fundamental role in circulating conditioned air throughout different locations of the building. However, troubles 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 right 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, leaving insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the higher floors.
Another potential problem area in the ductwork is the placement of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper floor or they aren't well located, it can limit air circulation and cause inferior heating or cooling. In addition, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can cause air loss, decreasing the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and actually making the temperature difference worse.
To find out why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork inspected by experienced professionals like the team at Gee & Missler Heating & Air Conditioning 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 better temperature balance between the upstairs and downstairs.
Fixing the Hot or Cold Upstairs Problem?
If your upstairs is hotter or colder than the lower floors of your home, an HVAC zoning system could be an effective solution.
An HVAC zoning system breaks the residence 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 especially beneficial in situations where the upstairs of a multi-story home is very hot or really cold while the main floor is comfortable. By investing in 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 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 issue in multi-floor homes is when the upper floors are more humid than the first floor.
A typical reason for excess upper floor humidity is weak ventilation on the upper floor, which can cause increased 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 the house infiltrate the upstairs rooms. And, if there are any leaks or plumbing concerns on the upper floor, that can also cause unwanted moisture in that section of a home.
To deal with humidity problems, homeowners can improve ventilation by getting 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 imperative.
Depending on the levels of moisture found in the home, a whole-home dehumidifier could be another helpful tool to manage humidity in the residence.