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 homes with multiple levels find the upper floor is stubbornly hotter or colder than the main floor.
This could simply 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 as a result they tend to set the temperature according to how it feels on the first floor.
However, temperature differences between the upstairs and downstairs could also be due to 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 Northglenn Heating & Air Conditioning will help you solve 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. Number one, heat rises, so it’s normal for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the main 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 big enough to cool the entire home, causing it to have difficulty cooling the upstairs properly.
To deal with these issues, homeowners could install more insulation in the attic and make sure their home has adequate ventilation. If there’s a possibility the air conditioner is the correct size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Northglenn 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 Colder/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 reasons 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, creating colder temperatures upstairs. It’s crucial to make sure your home has a solid, level layer of insulation in the attic and appropriate insulation in the walls to keep the cold out and the heat inside.
The ductwork in a home plays a fundamental role in circulating conditioned air throughout different areas of the building. However, troubles with the ductwork can contribute to the upstairs being colder than the downstairs. A frequently reported reason for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the proper size or in the appropriate layout, causing an uneven distribution of air between the floors. This can cause more warm air to flow downstairs, causing insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the upper story.
Another possible issue with the ductwork is the layout of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper level or they are not correctly placed, it can reduce air circulation and cause inadequate heating or cooling. In addition, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can cause air loss, lowering the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and exacerbating the temperature difference.
To figure out why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork inspected by trusted HVAC pros like the team at Northglenn Heating & Air Conditioning to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and installing new vents or adjusting existing ones can help increase airflow and ensure a more even temperature balance between the upstairs and downstairs.
What Do I Do to Fix a Hot/Cold Upstairs?
If your upstairs is hotter or colder than the lower floors of your house, an HVAC zoning system could be a useful solution.
An HVAC zoning system breaks the household into distinctive zones, which each have their own thermostat and damper system so the homeowner can control the heating or cooling of each zone.
This system can be particularly effective in instances where the upstairs of a multi-story home is too hot or really cold while the main floor is comfortable. By investing in a zoning system, homeowners can control the temperature independently in each zone, making it possible for them to address specific hot or cold spots effectively.
To learn more about an HVAC zoning system in Northglenn, call Northglenn Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ve developed 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 issue in multi-floor homes is when the upper floors are more humid than the first floor.
A frequent cause for excess upper floor humidity is inadequate ventilation on the upper floor, which can produce higher humidity levels. As is often the case with temperature differences between floors, inadequate insulation or sealing in the attic or walls may let warm, humid air from outdoors infiltrate the upstairs rooms. And, if there are any leaks or plumbing problems on the upper floor, that can also create extra moisture in that section of a home.
To address humidity problems, homeowners can add more ventilation by getting fans or opening windows to promote airflow. Proper insulation in the attic and better sealing the attic and walls can help protect against external moisture from entering the upstairs. Identifying and repairing any leaks or plumbing issues is also imperative.
Depending on the levels of moisture found in the home, a whole-home dehumidifier could be another helpful tool to reduce humidity on the upper and lower floors.