Every floor in your home should be a sanctuary that’s warm and cozy in the winter season and cool and comfortable in the summer. However, families who live in some multi-level residences find the upper floor is stubbornly hotter or colder than the first floor.
This could just be caused by the fact that most thermostats in a house are on the ground floor, which is where people spend the most 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 discrepancies between the upstairs and downstairs could also be caused by trouble with your HVAC system. Some of these issues can be solved relatively quickly while others might necessitate more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the specialists at B & B Heating & Cooling 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 feeling hotter than the downstairs can be traced to several factors. Number one, heat rises, so it’s normal 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 have difficulty cooling the upstairs effectively.
To deal with these issues, homeowners could install more insulation in the attic and make sure their home has proper ventilation. If there’s a possibility the air conditioning unit is the correct size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like B & B Heating & Cooling inspect the unit. A skilled professional also can help select 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 freezing upstairs, that can cause a frosty night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most frequent causes of an upstairs not heating like it should are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation allows cold air to filter through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, creating colder temperatures on higher floors. It’s important to make sure your home has a thick, 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 very important role in circulating conditioned air throughout different areas of the building. However, troubles with the ductwork can result in the upstairs being colder than the main level. A frequently reported cause for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the proper size or in the appropriate layout, causing an uneven distribution of air between the floors. This can cause more warm air to flow downstairs, causing insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the higher floors.
Another possible issue with the ductwork is the placement of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper level or they are poorly placed, it can limit air circulation and cause inferior heating or cooling. In addition, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can lead to air loss, lowering the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and exacerbating the temperature difference.
To understand why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork checked by experienced HVAC pros like the team at B & B Heating & Cooling 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 consistent 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 residence, 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 modify the heating or cooling of each zone.
This system can be particularly effective 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 control the temperature independently in each zone, making it possible for them to address specific hot or cold spots effectively.
To discover more about an HVAC zoning system in Florissant, call B & B Heating & Cooling. We’ve developed 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 upstairs is more humid than downstairs.
A typical explanation for excess upper floor humidity is poor ventilation on the upper floor, which can produce 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 outside the house infiltrate the upstairs rooms. Plus, if there are any leaks or plumbing problems on the upper floor, that can also lead to extra moisture in that area of a home.
To fix humidity problems, homeowners can improve 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. Identifying 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 helpful tool to reduce humidity in your home.