Every floor in your home should be a refuge that’s warm and toasty in the winter season and cool and comfortable in the summer. However, owners of some two-story homes find the upper floor is stubbornly hotter or colder than the rooms on ground level.
This could simply be caused by the fact that most thermostats in a house are on the ground floor, which is where people spend the greatest amount 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 discrepancies between the upstairs and downstairs could also be because of trouble with your HVAC system. Some of these issues can be solved fairly quickly while others might require more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the professionals at Solar Air Inc. 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 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 exacerbate this issue by permitting 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 sufficiently.
To address these issues, homeowners could install more insulation in the attic and make sure their home has adequate ventilation. If there’s concern the AC is the proper size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Solar Air Inc. inspect the unit. A qualified 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 So Cold/Not Heating?
When the downstairs of your home is warm, but it’s very cold upstairs, that can cause an ice-cold night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most common causes of an upstairs not heating like it ought to are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation lets cold air to filter through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, causing colder temperatures on higher floors. It’s important to make sure your home has a deep, 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, problems with the ductwork can contribute to the upstairs being colder than the lower floor. A common explanation for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the right size or configuration, resulting in an uneven distribution of air between the floors. This can cause more warm air to flow downstairs, which creates insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the upper story.
Another factor with ductwork is the location of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper story or they are not correctly placed, it can reduce air circulation and cause substandard 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 figure out why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork inspected by skilled HVAC pros like the team at Solar Air Inc. to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and putting in additional vents or adjusting existing ones can help increase airflow and ensure a more consistent temperature balance between the upstairs and downstairs.
Fixing the Hot or Cold Upstairs Problem?
If your upstairs is hotter or colder than the ground level of your home, an HVAC zoning system could be a highly effective solution.
An HVAC zoning system divides the household 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 very useful in scenarios where the upstairs of a multi-story home is too hot or really 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 effortlessly.
To find out more about an HVAC zoning system in Fort Lauderdale, call Solar Air Inc.. We’ve designed and installed customized home comfort plans for many community members and are happy to show how an HVAC zoning system could enhance the comfort in your home.
Why Is it So Humid Upstairs?
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 the lower level.
A common explanation for excess upper floor humidity is inadequate ventilation on the upper floor, which can cause 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 outside the house infiltrate the upstairs rooms. And, if there are any leaks or plumbing concerns on the upper floor, that can also create excess moisture in that level 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 stop 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 useful tool to manage humidity in your home.