Your entire home should be a refuge that’s warm and cozy in the cold months 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 main floor.
This could just be because most thermostats in a house are on the first floor, which is where people spend the most time—in the living room, kitchen, etc.—so they set the temperature according to how it feels on the first floor.
However, temperature variations between the upstairs and downstairs could also be due to issues with your HVAC system. Some of these difficulties can be sorted out fairly quickly while others might require more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the team at Freed Heating & Air Conditioning 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 traced to several factors. First, heat rises, so it’s natural for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the ground floor. Insufficient 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 struggle to cool the upstairs adequately.
To tackle these issues, homeowners could add additional insulation in the attic and make sure their home has sufficient ventilation. If there’s a question of whether the AC is the proper size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Freed Heating & Air Conditioning inspect the unit. A skilled professional also can help select 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 freezing upstairs, that makes for an ice-cold night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most frequent reasons an upstairs not heating like it is supposed to are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation permits cold air to filter through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, creating colder temperatures upstairs. It’s important 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 fundamental role in distributing conditioned air throughout different rooms of the building. However, troubles with the ductwork can cause the upstairs being colder than the main level. A common reason for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the proper size or in the appropriate layout, resulting in an uneven distribution of air between the floors. This can cause more warm air to go downstairs, leaving insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the upper level.
Another possible issue with the ductwork is the layout of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper story or they are poorly positioned, it can limit air circulation and cause inadequate heating or cooling. Also, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can allow air loss, lowering the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and exacerbating the temperature difference.
To determine why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork examined by experienced experts like the team at Freed Heating & Air Conditioning 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 home, an HVAC zoning system could be a highly effective solution.
An HVAC zoning system separates the home 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 especially helpful in scenarios where the upstairs of a multi-story home is too hot or too cold while the main floor is comfortable. By investing in a zoning system, homeowners can regulate the temperature independently in each zone, allowing them to address specific hot or cold spots effortlessly.
To find out more about an HVAC zoning system in Moline, call Freed Heating & 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 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 problem in multi-floor homes is when the higher levels are more humid than downstairs.
A frequent reason for excess upper floor humidity is inadequate ventilation on the upper floor, which can produce greater 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 outside the house infiltrate the upstairs rooms. And, if there are any leaks or plumbing problems on the upper floor, that can also cause extra moisture in that section of a home.
To correct humidity problems, homeowners can improve ventilation by getting fans or opening windows to promote airflow. Adding more insulation in the attic and better sealing the attic and walls can help stop external moisture from entering the upstairs. Locating 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 control humidity on the upper and lower floors.