Your entire home should be a sanctuary that’s warm and comfy in the winter and cool and comfortable in the summer. However, owners of some homes with multiple levels find the upper floor is stubbornly hotter or colder than the rooms on ground level.
This could simply be caused by the fact that most thermostats in a house are on the main floor, which is where people spend the most time—in the living room, kitchen, etc.—so they 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 solved fairly quickly while others might require more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the specialists at Moyer Total Indoor Comfort 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 chalked up to several factors. Number one, heat rises, so it’s natural for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the first floor. Poor insulation in the attic or roof can make this worse by letting 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 properly.
To tackle these issues, homeowners could put in additional insulation in the attic and make sure their home has proper ventilation. If there’s a question of whether the AC is the right size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Moyer Total Indoor Comfort 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 extremely chilly upstairs, that can cause a very chilly night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most frequent causes of an upstairs not heating like it ought to are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation allows cold air to seep through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, creating colder temperatures on the upper levels. It’s crucial to make sure your home has a thick, 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 very important role in disseminating conditioned air throughout different rooms of the building. However, troubles with the ductwork can cause 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 in the appropriate layout, creating 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 higher floors.
Another factor with ductwork is the location of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper level or they are poorly located, it can restrict air circulation and cause inferior heating or cooling. Also, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can lead to air loss, decreasing the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and making the temperature difference more pronounced.
To find out why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork checked by trusted HVAC pros like the team at Moyer Total Indoor Comfort to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and adding new 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 highly effective solution.
An HVAC zoning system divides the residence into distinct 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 particularly helpful in situations where the upstairs of a multi-story home is quite hot or too cold while the main floor is comfortable. By installing a zoning system, homeowners can control the temperature independently in each zone, enabling them to address specific hot or cold spots easily.
To learn more about an HVAC zoning system in Kutztown and Breinigsville, call Moyer Total Indoor Comfort. We’ve created and installed customized home comfort plans for many community members and are happy to show how an HVAC zoning system could enhance the comfort 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 challenge in multi-floor homes is when the upper floors are more humid than downstairs.
A typical cause for excess upper floor humidity is poor ventilation on the upper floor, which can cause increased 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 lead to extra moisture in that area of a home.
To manage humidity problems, homeowners can increase ventilation by using fans or opening windows to promote airflow. Appropriate levels of 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 imperative.
Depending on the levels of moisture found in the home, a whole-home dehumidifier could be another useful tool to manage humidity in your home.