Your entire home should be a retreat that’s warm and toasty in the winter and cool and comfortable in the summer. However, families who live in some homes with multiple levels find the upper floor is stubbornly hotter or colder than the first floor.
This could just be because 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 they 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 issues with your HVAC system. Some of these issues can be sorted out fairly quickly while others might necessitate more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the professionals at Dave's Diversified Services 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 getting hotter than the downstairs can be traced to several factors. For starters, 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 exacerbate this issue by letting heat transfer from the roof into the upstairs rooms.
Another common reason is that the air conditioning is not big enough to cool the entire home, causing it to struggle to cool the upstairs sufficiently.
To address these issues, homeowners could put in more insulation in the attic and make sure their home has adequate ventilation. If there’s a possibility the air conditioning unit is the ideal size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Dave's Diversified Services inspect the unit. A qualified professional also can help locate 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 could result in a frosty 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 enables cold air to filter through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, creating colder temperatures on the upper levels. It’s crucial 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 critical role in disseminating conditioned air throughout different areas of the building. However, problems with the ductwork can contribute to the upstairs being colder than the main level. A common cause for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the right 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, which creates insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the upper level.
Another possible issue with the ductwork is the location of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper story or they aren't well positioned, it can restrict air circulation and cause substandard heating or cooling. Also, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can lead to air loss, decreasing the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and making the temperature difference more pronounced.
To understand why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork inspected by experienced HVAC pros like the team at Dave's Diversified Services to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and installing additional 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 lower floors of your house, an HVAC zoning system could be a great solution.
An HVAC zoning system separates the residence into distinct 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 beneficial in situations where the upstairs of a multi-story home is very 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, making it possible for them to address specific hot or cold spots effortlessly.
To find out more about an HVAC zoning system in Front Royal, call Dave's Diversified Services. 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 issue in multi-floor homes is when the upper floors are more humid than downstairs.
A common explanation for excess upper floor humidity is weak ventilation on the upper floor, which can result in greater humidity levels. As is often the case with temperature differences between floors, insufficient insulation or sealing in the attic or walls may allow warm, humid air from outside the house infiltrate the upstairs rooms. In addition, if there are any leaks or plumbing problems on the upper floor, that can also create excess moisture in that area of a home.
To fix humidity problems, homeowners can increase 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 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 in your home.