Your entire home should be a refuge that’s warm and comfy in the winter and cool and comfortable in the summer. However, residents in some multi-level residences find the upper floor is stubbornly hotter or colder than the first floor.
This could just be due to the fact 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 it makes sense to set the temperature according to how it feels on the first floor.
However, temperature differences between the upstairs and downstairs could also be because of trouble with your HVAC system. Some of these challenges can be fixed relatively quickly while others might call for more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the specialists at B&D Air Conditioning will help you solve 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 becoming hotter than the downstairs can be chalked up to several factors. First, heat rises, so it’s natural for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the main floor. Poor insulation in the attic or roof can exacerbate this issue by permitting heat transfer from the roof into the upstairs rooms.
Another common reason is that the air conditioner is not strong enough to cool the entire home, causing it to fight to cool the upstairs properly.
To deal with these issues, homeowners could add 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 B&D Air Conditioning inspect the unit. A skilled 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 Always Cold/Not Heating?
When the downstairs of your home is warm, but it’s freezing upstairs, that can cause 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, creating colder temperatures on higher floors. 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 fundamental role in disseminating conditioned air throughout different areas of the building. However, issues with the ductwork can cause the upstairs being colder than the downstairs. A common cause for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the correct size or in the appropriate layout, 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 potential problem area in the ductwork is the location of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper story or they are poorly located, it can limit air circulation and cause substandard heating or cooling. In addition, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can cause 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 checked by skilled experts like the team at B&D Air Conditioning to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and adding more vents or adjusting existing ones can help improve 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 ground level of your residence, an HVAC zoning system could be a great solution.
An HVAC zoning system separates the household into different zones, which each have their own thermostat and damper system so the homeowner can control the heating or cooling of each zone.
This system can be particularly beneficial in instances where the upstairs of a multi-story home is quite hot or extremely cold while the main floor is comfortable. By setting up a zoning system, homeowners can control the temperature independently in each zone, allowing them to address specific hot or cold spots effectively.
To find out more about an HVAC zoning system in Safford, call B&D Air Conditioning. 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 challenge in multi-floor homes is when the upper floors are more humid than the lower level.
A typical cause for excess upper floor humidity is poor ventilation on the upper floor, which can cause greater 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. And, if there are any leaks or plumbing problems on the upper floor, that can also lead to excess moisture in that section of a home.
To fix humidity problems, homeowners can increase 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. Locating and repairing any leaks or plumbing issues is also critical.
Depending on the levels of moisture found in the home, a whole-home dehumidifier could be another helpful tool to reduce humidity on the upper and lower floors.