Every floor in your home should be a refuge that’s warm and cozy in the winter 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 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 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 trouble with your HVAC system. Some of these issues can be sorted out relatively quickly while others might require more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the professionals at Pliescott HVAC Services LLC 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 becoming hotter than the downstairs can be attributed to several factors. For starters, heat rises, so it’s normal for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the ground floor. Poor insulation in the attic or roof can worsen this problem by allowing heat transfer from the roof into the upstairs rooms.
Another common reason is that the HVAC system is not powerful enough to cool the entire home, causing it to have difficulty cooling the upstairs adequately.
To tackle these issues, homeowners could add additional insulation in the attic and make sure their home has adequate ventilation. If there’s concern the AC is the right size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Pliescott HVAC Services LLC inspect the unit. A qualified professional also can help select 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 frequent causes of an upstairs not heating like it is supposed to are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation permits cold air to seep through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, creating colder temperatures upstairs. It’s important 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 very important role in circulating conditioned air throughout different locations of the building. However, troubles with the ductwork can cause the upstairs being colder than the downstairs. A frequently reported cause for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the proper size or design, which results 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 story.
Another factor with ductwork is the placement of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper floor or they are not correctly positioned, it can limit air circulation and cause inferior heating or cooling. In addition, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can lead to air loss, reducing the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and making the temperature difference more pronounced.
To understand why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork inspected by skilled HVAC pros like the team at Pliescott HVAC Services LLC to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and putting in additional vents or adjusting existing ones can help increase 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 ground level of your house, an HVAC zoning system could be a highly effective solution.
An HVAC zoning system breaks the home into different 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 particularly effective in scenarios where the upstairs of a multi-story home is very hot or really 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 effectively.
To find out more about an HVAC zoning system in Cambridge, call Pliescott HVAC Services LLC. 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 challenge in multi-floor homes is when the upstairs is more humid than the lower level.
A typical reason for excess upper floor humidity is weak ventilation on the upper floor, which can cause higher humidity levels. As is often the case with temperature differences between floors, inadequate insulation or sealing in the attic or walls may allow warm, humid air from outside the house infiltrate the upstairs rooms. In addition, if there are any leaks or plumbing issues on the upper floor, that can also lead to extra moisture in that area of a home.
To deal with 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 prevent 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 helpful tool to reduce humidity in the residence.