Your entire residence should be a sanctuary that’s warm and comfy 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 just be due to the fact most thermostats in a house are on the main floor, which is where people spend the the majority 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 caused by issues with your HVAC system. Some of these difficulties can be sorted out somewhat quickly while others might call for more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the team at Watts Electric & AC 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 common for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the ground floor. Insufficient insulation in the attic or roof can make this worse by allowing 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 have difficulty cooling the upstairs adequately.
To fix these issues, homeowners could install extra insulation in the attic and make sure their home has sufficient ventilation. If there’s concern the AC is the correct size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Watts Electric & AC inspect the unit. A skilled professional also can help locate 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 very cold upstairs, that could result in an ice-cold night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most prevalent causes of an upstairs not heating like it ought to are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation lets cold air to seep through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, resulting in colder temperatures upstairs. It’s crucial to make sure your home has a solid, level layer of insulation in the attic and appropriate 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 areas of the building. However, problems with the ductwork can result in the upstairs being colder than the main level. A typical explanation for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the proper size or design, causing an uneven distribution of air between the floors. This can cause more warm air to go downstairs, causing insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the upper story.
Another possible issue with the ductwork is the placement 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 cause air loss, lowering 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 checked by experienced HVAC pros like the team at Watts Electric & AC to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and putting in additional vents or adjusting existing ones can help increase airflow and ensure a better 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 residence, an HVAC zoning system could be a great solution.
An HVAC zoning system divides the household 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 very useful in scenarios 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 control the temperature independently in each zone, making it possible for them to address specific hot or cold spots effectively.
To find out more about an HVAC zoning system in Columbia, call Watts Electric & AC. 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 higher levels are more humid than downstairs.
A frequent reason 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 let warm, humid air from outside the house infiltrate the upstairs rooms. And, if there are any leaks or plumbing issues on the upper floor, that can also lead to extra moisture in that section of a home.
To correct humidity problems, homeowners can improve ventilation by installing fans or opening windows to promote airflow. Appropriate levels of 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 extremely important.
Depending on the levels of moisture found in the home, a whole-home dehumidifier could be another valuable tool to control humidity on the upper and lower floors.