Every floor in your home should be a refuge that’s warm and cozy in the cold months and cool and comfortable in the summer. However, families who live in some two-story homes find the upper floor is stubbornly hotter or colder than the main floor.
This could merely be because most thermostats in a house are on the main floor, which is where people spend the most 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 discrepancies between the upstairs and downstairs could also be due to issues with your HVAC system. Some of these issues can be fixed relatively quickly while others might require more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the team at Farnell Mechanical, Inc. 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 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 first floor. Lack of insulation in the attic or roof can make this worse by permitting heat transfer from the roof into the upstairs rooms.
Another common reason is that the air conditioner is not strong enough to cool the entire home, causing it to have difficulty cooling the upstairs adequately.
To tackle these issues, homeowners could install more insulation in the attic and make sure their home has proper ventilation. If there’s concern the air conditioning unit is the proper size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Farnell Mechanical, Inc. inspect the unit. A qualified professional also can help find a unit that's better suited for your home if you need 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 frequent causes of an upstairs not heating like it should are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation enables cold air to filter 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 thick, 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 critical role in disseminating conditioned air throughout different areas of the building. However, issues 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, causing insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the upper level.
Another possible issue with the ductwork is the location of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper level or they are poorly placed, it can limit air circulation and cause inferior heating or cooling. Additionally, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can cause air loss, reducing 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 Farnell Mechanical, Inc. to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and installing more vents or adjusting existing ones can help enhance airflow and ensure a better 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 home, an HVAC zoning system could be a useful solution.
An HVAC zoning system divides 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 beneficial in instances where the upstairs of a multi-story home is quite hot or too cold while the main floor is comfortable. By implementing a zoning system, homeowners can control the temperature independently in each zone, enabling them to address specific hot or cold spots easily.
To find out more about an HVAC zoning system in Auburn and Opelika, call Farnell Mechanical, Inc.. We’ve developed 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 higher levels are more humid than the first floor.
A typical reason for excess upper floor humidity is poor ventilation on the upper floor, which can cause greater 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 infiltrate the upstairs rooms. In addition, if there are any leaks or plumbing problems on the upper floor, that can also lead to excess moisture in that area of a home.
To fix humidity problems, homeowners can add more ventilation by using fans or opening windows to promote airflow. Proper insulation in the attic and better sealing the attic and walls can help prevent 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 control humidity in the residence.