Your entire home should be a retreat that’s warm and comfy in the cold months and cool and comfortable in the summer. However, owners of some two-story homes find the upper floor is stubbornly hotter or colder than the first floor.
This could just be due to the fact most thermostats in a house are on the main floor, which is where people spend the greatest amount of 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 differences between the upstairs and downstairs could also be because of issues with your HVAC system. Some of these challenges can be solved relatively quickly while others might necessitate more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the specialists at Controlled Comfort HVAC will help you determine 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 attributed to several factors. Number one, heat rises, so it’s natural for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the first floor. Poor insulation in the attic or roof can exacerbate this issue by letting 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 sufficiently.
To tackle these issues, homeowners could install more insulation in the attic and make sure their home has proper ventilation. If there’s a question of whether the AC is the right size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Controlled Comfort HVAC inspect the unit. A qualified professional also can help select a unit that's better suited for your home if you are considering 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 very chilly night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most frequent reasons an upstairs not heating like it should are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation allows cold air to leak through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, causing colder temperatures on the upper levels. It’s important to make sure your home has a solid, 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 fundamental role in disseminating conditioned air throughout different rooms of the building. However, issues with the ductwork can contribute to the upstairs being colder than the main level. A common reason for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the proper size or configuration, which results in an uneven distribution of air between the floors. This can cause more warm air to flow downstairs, leaving insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the upper story.
Another possible issue with the ductwork is the location of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper floor or they are not correctly placed, it can reduce air circulation and cause inadequate heating or cooling. Additionally, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can allow air loss, reducing the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and actually making the temperature difference worse.
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 Controlled Comfort HVAC to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and adding new vents or adjusting existing ones can help improve 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 ground level of your residence, an HVAC zoning system could be a highly effective solution.
An HVAC zoning system divides the home 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 very useful in instances 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, enabling them to address specific hot or cold spots effectively.
To discover more about an HVAC zoning system in Carpentersville, call Controlled Comfort HVAC. We’ve created 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 challenge in multi-floor homes is when the upper floors are more humid than downstairs.
A typical cause for excess upper floor humidity is inadequate ventilation on the upper floor, which can cause higher 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 concerns on the upper floor, that can also create extra moisture in that section of a home.
To correct humidity problems, homeowners can improve 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. 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.