Your entire residence should be a sanctuary that’s warm and comfy in the winter season and cool and comfortable in the summer. However, owners of some multi-level residences find the upper floor is stubbornly hotter or colder than the main 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 the majority of time—in the living room, kitchen, etc.—so as a result they tend to set the temperature according to how it feels on the first floor.
However, temperature differences between the upstairs and downstairs could also be due to problems with your HVAC system. Some of these issues can be fixed relatively quickly while others might call for more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the specialists at Smyth 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 attributed to several factors. First, heat rises, so it’s common for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the main floor. Insufficient insulation in the attic or roof can make this worse by permitting heat transfer from the roof into the upstairs rooms.
Another common reason is that the air conditioning is not powerful enough to cool the entire home, causing it to have difficulty cooling the upstairs properly.
To tackle these issues, homeowners could install more insulation in the attic and make sure their home has proper ventilation. If there’s concern the AC is the correct size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Smyth Air Conditioning inspect the unit. A skilled professional also can help select a unit that's better suited for your home if you are considering air conditioning installation or replacement.
Why Is My Upstairs Colder/Not Heating?
When the downstairs of your home is warm, but it’s extremely chilly upstairs, that makes for a very chilly night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most prevalent explanations for an upstairs not heating like it ought to are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation enables cold air to seep through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, creating colder temperatures on higher floors. It’s essential to make sure your home has a solid, level layer of insulation in the attic and appropriate 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 rooms of the building. However, issues with the ductwork can cause the upstairs being colder than the lower floor. A frequently reported explanation for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the correct size or in the appropriate layout, causing 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 higher floors.
Another possible issue with the ductwork is the placement of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper floor or they are not correctly installed, it can reduce air circulation and cause substandard heating or cooling. Also, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can cause air loss, lowering 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 HVAC pros like the team at Smyth Air Conditioning to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and installing additional vents or adjusting existing ones can help increase airflow and ensure a better temperature balance between the upstairs and downstairs.
What Do I Do to Fix a Hot/Cold Upstairs?
If your upstairs is hotter or colder than the ground level of your home, an HVAC zoning system could be a useful 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 particularly effective in scenarios where the upstairs of a multi-story home is quite hot or really cold while the main floor is comfortable. By setting up 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 Lake Worth, call Smyth Air Conditioning. We’ve developed 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 the Humidity So High Upstairs?
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 higher levels are more humid than the lower level.
A frequent explanation for excess upper floor humidity is poor ventilation on the upper floor, which can cause increased 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. In addition, 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 increase ventilation by using fans or opening windows to promote airflow. Appropriate levels of 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 useful tool to control humidity in the residence.