Your entire home should be a refuge that’s warm and comfy in the cold months 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 rooms on ground level.
This could just be due to the fact most thermostats in a house are on the ground floor, which is where people spend the most time—in the living room, kitchen, etc.—so they set the temperature according to how it feels on the first floor.
However, temperature differences between the upstairs and downstairs could also be because of problems with your HVAC system. Some of these challenges can be sorted out somewhat quickly while others might necessitate more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the team at Northglenn Heating & Air Conditioning will help you figure out 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 feeling hotter than the downstairs can be chalked up to several factors. Number one, 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 exacerbate this issue by permitting 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 fight to cool the upstairs adequately.
To address 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 conditioner is the right size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Northglenn Heating & Air Conditioning inspect the unit. A knowledgeable 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 freezing upstairs, that can cause a frosty night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most prevalent causes of an upstairs not heating like it is supposed to are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation lets cold air to leak through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, creating colder temperatures on the upper levels. It’s crucial to make sure your home has a deep, 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 areas of the building. However, problems with the ductwork can cause the upstairs being colder than the downstairs. A typical cause for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the correct size or configuration, resulting in an uneven distribution of air between the floors. This can cause more warm air to go downstairs, which creates insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the upper level.
Another factor with ductwork is the location of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper story or they are not correctly placed, it can limit air circulation and cause substandard heating or cooling. Additionally, 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 find out why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork inspected by skilled HVAC pros like the team at Northglenn Heating & Air Conditioning to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and putting in additional 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 great solution.
An HVAC zoning system separates the household into different 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 particularly effective in situations where the upstairs of a multi-story home is quite hot or too cold while the main floor is comfortable. By investing in a zoning system, homeowners can manage the temperature independently in each zone, making it possible for them to address specific hot or cold spots easily.
To learn more about an HVAC zoning system in Northglenn, call Northglenn 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 work 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 higher levels are more humid than downstairs.
A frequent reason for excess upper floor humidity is inadequate ventilation on the upper floor, which can result in increased humidity levels. As is often the case with temperature differences between floors, poor insulation or sealing in the attic or walls may permit warm, humid air from outdoors infiltrate the upstairs rooms. Plus, if there are any leaks or plumbing problems on the upper floor, that can also create excessive moisture in that level of a home.
To deal with 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 protect against 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 reduce humidity in your home.