Your entire home should be a sanctuary that’s warm and cozy in the winter season 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 first floor.
This could merely be because most thermostats in a house are on the first floor, which is where people spend the the majority 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 variations between the upstairs and downstairs could also be because of trouble with your HVAC system. Some of these difficulties can be solved somewhat quickly while others might necessitate more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the team at Knoechel Heating 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 feeling hotter than the downstairs can be attributed 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. Insufficient insulation in the attic or roof can exacerbate this issue by allowing heat transfer from the roof into the upstairs rooms.
Another common reason is that the air conditioning is not strong enough to cool the entire home, causing it to struggle to cool the upstairs sufficiently.
To deal with these issues, homeowners could install additional insulation in the attic and make sure their home has proper ventilation. If there’s a possibility the air conditioning unit is the proper size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Knoechel Heating inspect the unit. A skilled professional also can help locate a unit that's better suited for your home if you want 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 frequent reasons 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 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 fundamental role in disseminating conditioned air throughout different locations of the building. However, troubles with the ductwork can contribute to the upstairs being colder than the lower floor. A typical reason 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, which creates 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 floor or they are not correctly positioned, it can reduce air circulation and cause inferior heating or cooling. Additionally, 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 determine why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork examined by experienced HVAC pros like the team at Knoechel Heating to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and putting in more vents or adjusting existing ones can help increase 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 residence, an HVAC zoning system could be an effective solution.
An HVAC zoning system breaks the home into different 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 beneficial in instances where the upstairs of a multi-story home is too hot or extremely cold while the main floor is comfortable. By setting up a zoning system, homeowners can manage the temperature independently in each zone, making it possible for them to address specific hot or cold spots effortlessly.
To discover more about an HVAC zoning system in Zelienople, call Knoechel Heating. 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 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 upper floors are more humid than downstairs.
A typical reason for excess upper floor humidity is weak ventilation on the upper floor, which can produce increased humidity levels. As is often the case with temperature differences between floors, insufficient insulation or sealing in the attic or walls may permit warm, humid air from outside the house infiltrate the upstairs rooms. Plus, if there are any leaks or plumbing concerns on the upper floor, that can also create excessive moisture in that area of a home.
To address humidity problems, homeowners can improve ventilation by using fans or opening windows to promote airflow. Proper 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 critical.
Depending on the levels of moisture found in the home, a whole-home dehumidifier could be another helpful tool to manage humidity in the residence.