Every floor in your home should be a sanctuary that’s warm and toasty in the winter season and cool and comfortable in the summer. However, residents in some two-story homes find the upper floor is stubbornly hotter or colder than the main floor.
This could just 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 differences between the upstairs and downstairs could also be caused by problems with your HVAC system. Some of these issues can be solved fairly quickly while others might necessitate more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the specialists at B & B Heating & Cooling will help you determine why the upstairs of your home is hotter than downstairs, or vice versa.
Why Is It Hot Upstairs?
The phenomenon of the upstairs of a two-story home getting 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. 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 conditioner is not powerful enough to cool the entire home, causing it to struggle to cool the upstairs adequately.
To address these issues, homeowners could install extra insulation in the attic and make sure their home has adequate ventilation. If there’s concern the air conditioner is the correct size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like B & B Heating & Cooling inspect the unit. A qualified professional also can help find a unit that's better suited for your home if you are considering 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 makes for a very chilly night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most prevalent explanations for an upstairs not heating like it should are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation permits cold air to seep through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, causing colder temperatures on the upper levels. It’s important to make sure your home has a solid, 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 critical role in disseminating conditioned air throughout different rooms of the building. However, problems with the ductwork can result in the upstairs being colder than the lower floor. A typical cause for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the correct size or configuration, creating an uneven distribution of air between the floors. This can cause more warm air to be directed to the downstairs, causing insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the upper story.
Another factor with ductwork is the layout of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper story or they aren't well placed, it can restrict air circulation and cause inferior heating or cooling. Additionally, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can lead to air loss, reducing 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 trusted professionals like the team at B & B Heating & Cooling to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and installing new vents or adjusting existing ones can help increase airflow and ensure a better temperature balance between the upstairs and downstairs.
What Do I Do to Fix a Hot/Cold Upstairs?
If your upstairs is hotter or colder than the ground level of your residence, an HVAC zoning system could be an effective 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 helpful in situations where the upstairs of a multi-story home is quite hot or extremely cold while the main floor is comfortable. By implementing a zoning system, homeowners can regulate the temperature independently in each zone, allowing them to address specific hot or cold spots effortlessly.
To discover more about an HVAC zoning system in Florissant and St. Charles, call B & B Heating & Cooling. 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 the Humidity So High Upstairs?
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 upstairs is more humid than the first floor.
A common cause for excess upper floor humidity is weak ventilation on the upper floor, which can produce higher humidity levels. As is often the case with temperature differences between floors, inadequate insulation or sealing in the attic or walls may permit 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 create excess moisture in that section of a home.
To manage humidity problems, homeowners can add more ventilation by using 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. 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 reduce humidity in the residence.