Your entire home should be a retreat that’s warm and comfy in the winter and cool and comfortable in the summer. However, residents in some two-story homes find the upper floor is stubbornly hotter or colder than the rooms on ground level.
This could just be because 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 variations between the upstairs and downstairs could also be due to problems with your HVAC system. Some of these difficulties can be solved relatively quickly while others might necessitate more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the professionals at Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning will help you determine 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. First, heat rises, so it’s normal for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the first floor. Poor insulation in the attic or roof can make this worse by allowing 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 fight to cool the upstairs properly.
To fix these issues, homeowners could add extra insulation in the attic and make sure their home has adequate ventilation. If there’s a question of whether the air conditioner is the right size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning inspect the unit. A qualified professional also can help find 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 can cause a very chilly night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most prevalent explanations for an upstairs not heating like it should are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation lets cold air to seep through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, resulting in colder temperatures upstairs. It’s crucial to make sure your home has a deep, 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 distributing conditioned air throughout different locations of the building. However, troubles with the ductwork can result in the upstairs being colder than the main level. A typical cause for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the correct size or in the appropriate layout, resulting 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 potential problem area in the ductwork is the layout of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper floor or they are not correctly positioned, it can restrict air circulation and cause inferior heating or cooling. Also, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can allow air loss, decreasing the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and exacerbating the temperature difference.
To determine why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork inspected by experienced experts like the team at Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and adding more vents or adjusting existing ones can help increase airflow and ensure a more even 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 ground level of your house, an HVAC zoning system could be an effective solution.
An HVAC zoning system breaks the household into distinctive 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 especially beneficial in situations where the upstairs of a multi-story home is quite 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 discover more about an HVAC zoning system in Omaha, call Interstate 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 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 upstairs is more humid than downstairs.
A common reason for excess upper floor humidity is inadequate ventilation on the upper floor, which can cause increased 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 issues on the upper floor, that can also cause excessive moisture in that area of a home.
To fix humidity problems, homeowners can improve ventilation by installing 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. Finding 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 worthwhile tool to manage humidity in the residence.