Every floor in your home should be a retreat 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 main floor.
This could merely be due to the fact 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 caused by trouble with your HVAC system. Some of these difficulties can be fixed relatively quickly while others might require more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the specialists at Select Comfort Systems 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 becoming hotter than the downstairs can be chalked up to several factors. For starters, heat rises, so it’s common for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the main floor. Lack of insulation in the attic or roof can worsen this problem by allowing heat transfer from the roof into the upstairs rooms.
Another common reason is that the air conditioning is not powerful enough to cool the entire home, causing it to struggle to cool the upstairs effectively.
To tackle these issues, homeowners could install additional insulation in the attic and make sure their home has proper ventilation. If there’s a possibility the air conditioning unit is the proper size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Select Comfort Systems inspect the unit. A skilled professional also can help find a unit that's better suited for your home if you require 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 a frosty night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most common explanations for an upstairs not heating like it ought to are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation enables cold air to seep through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, creating colder temperatures upstairs. It’s crucial 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 disseminating conditioned air throughout different rooms of the building. However, problems with the ductwork can contribute to the upstairs being colder than the downstairs. A common explanation for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the proper size or design, creating an uneven distribution of air between the floors. This can cause more warm air to flow downstairs, leaving insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the upper story.
Another potential problem area in the ductwork is the layout 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 inadequate heating or cooling. Additionally, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can allow air loss, reducing 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 inspected by trusted experts like the team at Select Comfort Systems to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and adding additional vents or adjusting existing ones can help enhance 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 rest of your home, an HVAC zoning system could be a great solution.
An HVAC zoning system breaks 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 useful in scenarios where the upstairs of a multi-story home is quite hot or extremely cold while the main floor is comfortable. By investing in a zoning system, homeowners can regulate 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 West Valley City, call Select Comfort Systems. We’ve developed 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 upstairs is more humid than the first floor.
A common reason for excess upper floor humidity is inadequate ventilation on the upper floor, which can result in increased humidity levels. As is often the case with temperature differences between floors, poor insulation or sealing in the attic or walls may allow warm, humid air from outdoors infiltrate the upstairs rooms. In addition, if there are any leaks or plumbing concerns on the upper floor, that can also cause excessive moisture in that area of a home.
To manage humidity problems, homeowners can improve ventilation by installing fans or opening windows to promote airflow. Proper 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 imperative.
Depending on the levels of moisture found in the home, a whole-home dehumidifier could be another worthwhile tool to reduce humidity in your home.