Your entire home should be a sanctuary that’s warm and toasty in the cold months and cool and comfortable in the summer. However, residents in some two-story homes find the upper floor is stubbornly hotter or colder than the rooms on ground level.
This could merely be because most thermostats in a house are on the ground floor, which is where people spend the the majority of time—in the living room, kitchen, etc.—so they set the temperature according to how it feels on the first floor.
However, temperature variations between the upstairs and downstairs could also be because of trouble with your HVAC system. Some of these issues can be fixed relatively quickly while others might call for more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the specialists at Farnell Heating & Air Conditioning Inc will help you figure out why the upstairs of your home is hotter than downstairs, or vice versa.
Why Is It Hot Upstairs?
The phenomenon of the upstairs of a two-story home feeling hotter than the downstairs can be chalked up to several factors. First, heat rises, so it’s natural for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the ground floor. Insufficient 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 air conditioner is not powerful enough to cool the entire home, causing it to struggle to cool the upstairs properly.
To tackle these issues, homeowners could install more insulation in the attic and make sure their home has sufficient ventilation. If there’s a possibility the AC is the proper size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Farnell Heating & Air Conditioning Inc 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 extremely chilly upstairs, that can cause a very chilly night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most prevalent reasons an upstairs not heating like it ought to are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation allows cold air to filter through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, resulting in colder temperatures on higher floors. 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 disseminating conditioned air throughout different locations of the building. However, problems with the ductwork can cause the upstairs being colder than the downstairs. A common explanation for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the right size or configuration, creating an uneven distribution of air between the floors. This can cause more warm air to go downstairs, causing 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 poorly positioned, it can reduce air circulation and cause inferior heating or cooling. Also, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can cause air loss, reducing the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and exacerbating the temperature difference.
To find out why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork examined by skilled professionals like the team at Farnell Heating & Air Conditioning 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 more consistent temperature balance between the upstairs and downstairs.
Fixing the Hot or Cold Upstairs Problem?
If your upstairs is hotter or colder than the rest of your home, an HVAC zoning system could be a great solution.
An HVAC zoning system separates the home into distinct 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 very beneficial in situations where the upstairs of a multi-story home is too hot or too cold while the main floor is comfortable. By installing a zoning system, homeowners can manage the temperature independently in each zone, enabling them to address specific hot or cold spots effectively.
To learn more about an HVAC zoning system in Mobile, call Farnell Heating & Air Conditioning 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 enhance the comfort in your home.
Why Is it So Humid Upstairs?
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 higher levels are more humid than downstairs.
A common reason for excess upper floor humidity is poor 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 problems on the upper floor, that can also create unwanted moisture in that level of a home.
To deal with humidity problems, homeowners can increase ventilation by getting fans or opening windows to promote airflow. Adding more insulation in the attic and better sealing the attic and walls can help stop 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 worthwhile tool to control humidity in the residence.