Every floor in your home should be a retreat that’s warm and comfy 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 rooms on ground level.
This could simply 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 discrepancies between the upstairs and downstairs could also be due to trouble with your HVAC system. Some of these difficulties can be sorted out somewhat quickly while others might necessitate more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the professionals at Evenaire Heating & Air Conditioning will help you solve why the upstairs of your home is hotter than downstairs, or vice versa.
Why Is It Hotter Upstairs?
The phenomenon of the upstairs of a two-story home feeling hotter than the downstairs can be attributed to several factors. For starters, heat rises, so it’s common for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the main floor. Poor insulation in the attic or roof can worsen this problem by letting heat transfer from the roof into the upstairs rooms.
Another common reason is that the air conditioner is not powerful enough to cool the entire home, causing it to have difficulty cooling the upstairs properly.
To address these issues, homeowners could put in more insulation in the attic and make sure their home has proper ventilation. If there’s a question of whether the air conditioning unit is the proper size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Evenaire Heating & Air Conditioning inspect the unit. A qualified professional also can help find a unit that's better suited for your home if you need 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 can cause an ice-cold night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most frequent explanations for an upstairs not heating like it should are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation allows cold air to seep through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, causing colder temperatures on higher floors. It’s crucial to make sure your home has a solid, 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 disseminating conditioned air throughout different locations of the building. However, issues with the ductwork can contribute to the upstairs being colder than the main level. A common explanation for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the correct size or in the appropriate layout, which results in an uneven distribution of air between the floors. This can cause more warm air to flow downstairs, leaving insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the higher floors.
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 reduce air circulation and cause inadequate heating or cooling. Also, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can lead to air loss, decreasing the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and actually making the temperature difference worse.
To find out why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork examined by skilled HVAC pros like the team at Evenaire Heating & Air Conditioning to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and installing more vents or adjusting existing ones can help enhance airflow and ensure a more even 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 house, an HVAC zoning system could be an effective solution.
An HVAC zoning system breaks the residence 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 helpful in instances where the upstairs of a multi-story home is too hot or too cold while the main floor is comfortable. By implementing a zoning system, homeowners can manage the temperature independently in each zone, enabling them to address specific hot or cold spots easily.
To find out more about an HVAC zoning system in Pflugerville, call Evenaire Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ve designed 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 the Humidity So High 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 typical reason for excess upper floor humidity is inadequate ventilation on the upper floor, which can result in higher 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 lead to excessive moisture in that section of a home.
To address 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 protect against external moisture from entering the upstairs. Locating and repairing any leaks or plumbing issues is also critical.
Depending on the levels of moisture found in the home, a whole-home dehumidifier could be another useful tool to control humidity on the upper and lower floors.