Your entire residence should be a refuge that’s warm and toasty in the cold months and cool and comfortable in the summer. However, families who live in some multi-level residences find the upper floor is stubbornly hotter or colder than the main floor.
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 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 because of problems with your HVAC system. Some of these issues can be fixed somewhat quickly while others might require more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the professionals at Connolly Electric & Mechanical 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 chalked up to several factors. For starters, heat rises, so it’s common for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the first floor. Insufficient 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 struggle to cool the upstairs properly.
To address these issues, homeowners could install more insulation in the attic and make sure their home has sufficient ventilation. If there’s a possibility the air conditioning unit is the ideal size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Connolly Electric & Mechanical inspect the unit. A knowledgeable professional also can help select 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 extremely chilly upstairs, that could result in a frosty 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 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 essential 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 distributing conditioned air throughout different rooms of the building. However, problems with the ductwork can cause the upstairs being colder than the main level. A common reason for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the correct size or design, causing 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 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 aren't well located, it can reduce air circulation and cause substandard heating or cooling. In addition, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can allow air loss, decreasing the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and making the temperature difference more pronounced.
To determine why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork inspected by experienced HVAC pros like the team at Connolly Electric & Mechanical to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and putting in new vents or adjusting existing ones can help enhance airflow and ensure a more consistent 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 rest of your residence, an HVAC zoning system could be a useful solution.
An HVAC zoning system breaks the residence into distinctive 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 very helpful in scenarios where the upstairs of a multi-story home is quite hot or too 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 easily.
To learn more about an HVAC zoning system in Cottonwood & Prescott, call Connolly Electric & Mechanical. We’ve created 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 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 upstairs is more humid than downstairs.
A frequent reason for excess upper floor humidity is weak ventilation on the upper floor, which can produce greater humidity levels. As is often the case with temperature differences between floors, insufficient insulation or sealing in the attic or walls may allow warm, humid air from outdoors infiltrate the upstairs rooms. Plus, if there are any leaks or plumbing issues on the upper floor, that can also lead to excessive moisture in that level of a home.
To correct humidity problems, homeowners can increase 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. Finding 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 worthwhile tool to control humidity in your home.