Your entire residence should be a sanctuary that’s warm and toasty in the cold months 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 rooms on ground level.
This could merely 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 they 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 difficulties can be fixed relatively quickly while others might necessitate more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the team at Northern Comfort Inc 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. First, heat rises, so it’s natural for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the ground floor. Not enough 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 big enough to cool the entire home, causing it to struggle to cool the upstairs sufficiently.
To fix these issues, homeowners could put in more insulation in the attic and make sure their home has adequate ventilation. If there’s a question of whether the AC is the proper size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Northern Comfort Inc inspect the unit. A qualified professional also can help select 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 extremely chilly upstairs, that can cause a frosty night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most common 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, creating colder temperatures upstairs. It’s essential to make sure your home has a deep, level layer of insulation in the attic and adequate 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 rooms of the building. However, issues with the ductwork can contribute to the upstairs being colder than the downstairs. A common cause for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the correct size or configuration, causing an uneven distribution of air between the floors. This can cause more warm air to go downstairs, which creates insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the upper level.
Another potential problem area in the ductwork is the location of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper level or they are not correctly located, it can limit air circulation and cause inadequate heating or cooling. Additionally, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can allow air loss, decreasing the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and making the temperature difference more pronounced.
To understand why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork examined by skilled HVAC pros like the team at Northern Comfort Inc to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and installing more vents or adjusting existing ones can help increase airflow and ensure a more even 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 lower floors of your house, an HVAC zoning system could be a useful solution.
An HVAC zoning system separates the household into different zones, which each have their own thermostat and damper system so the homeowner can customize the heating or cooling of each zone.
This system can be especially useful in scenarios where the upstairs of a multi-story home is too hot or too 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 Mankato area, call Northern Comfort Inc. 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 challenge in multi-floor homes is when the higher levels are more humid than the first floor.
A common explanation for excess upper floor humidity is weak 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 the house infiltrate the upstairs rooms. In addition, if there are any leaks or plumbing issues on the upper floor, that can also create excess moisture in that section of a home.
To manage humidity problems, homeowners can increase ventilation by using fans or opening windows to promote airflow. Proper 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 helpful tool to manage humidity in your home.