Your entire residence should be a sanctuary that’s warm and comfy 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 first floor.
This could simply be caused by the fact that 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 it makes sense to set the temperature according to how it feels on the first floor.
However, temperature variations between the upstairs and downstairs could also be because of trouble with your HVAC system. Some of these difficulties can be resolved fairly quickly while others might call for more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the professionals at Anderson Heating & A/C will help you figure out 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 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 ground floor. Lack of 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 fight to cool the upstairs adequately.
To tackle these issues, homeowners could put in additional insulation in the attic and make sure their home has adequate ventilation. If there’s concern the air conditioning unit is the right size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Anderson Heating & A/C inspect the unit. A skilled professional also can help locate 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 could result in a frosty night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most prevalent causes of an upstairs not heating like it is supposed to 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, resulting in colder temperatures on the upper levels. It’s essential to make sure your home has a thick, level layer of insulation in the attic and adequate insulation in the walls to keep the cold out and the heat inside.
The ductwork in a home plays a very important role in distributing conditioned air throughout different areas of the building. However, issues with the ductwork can cause the upstairs being colder than the lower floor. A common explanation for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the proper size or configuration, resulting in an uneven distribution of air between the floors. This can cause more warm air to go downstairs, causing 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 story or they aren't well placed, it can reduce air circulation and cause inferior heating or cooling. In addition, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can cause air loss, lowering the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and actually making the temperature difference worse.
To understand why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork examined by trusted professionals like the team at Anderson Heating & A/C to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and installing additional vents or adjusting existing ones can help improve 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 lower floors of your house, an HVAC zoning system could be a useful solution.
An HVAC zoning system separates the household into distinct 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 especially effective in instances where the upstairs of a multi-story home is very hot or too cold while the main floor is comfortable. By implementing a zoning system, homeowners can regulate the temperature independently in each zone, enabling them to address specific hot or cold spots effortlessly.
To learn more about an HVAC zoning system in Carson City, call Anderson Heating & A/C. We’ve created and installed customized home comfort plans for many community members and are happy to show how an HVAC zoning system could work 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 issue in multi-floor homes is when the upstairs is more humid than the lower level.
A frequent cause for excess upper floor humidity is weak ventilation on the upper floor, which can result in higher 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. And, if there are any leaks or plumbing issues on the upper floor, that can also lead to extra moisture in that area of a home.
To deal with humidity problems, homeowners can add more 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 helpful tool to reduce humidity on the upper and lower floors.