Your entire home should be a sanctuary that’s warm and cozy in the winter season and cool and comfortable in the summer. However, families who live in some multi-level residences find the upper floor is stubbornly hotter or colder than the first floor.
This could simply be due to the fact most thermostats in a house are on the first floor, which is where people spend the most 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 caused by issues with your HVAC system. Some of these issues can be sorted out somewhat quickly while others might require more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the team at TopTec will help you solve why the upstairs of your home is hotter than downstairs, or vice versa.
Why Is It Hotter Upstairs?
The phenomenon of the upstairs of a two-story home becoming hotter than the downstairs can be traced to several factors. Number one, heat rises, so it’s common for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the main floor. Poor insulation in the attic or roof can make this worse by letting 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 struggle to cool the upstairs sufficiently.
To address these issues, homeowners could add additional insulation in the attic and make sure their home has proper ventilation. If there’s a possibility the AC is the right size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like TopTec inspect the unit. A knowledgeable professional also can help locate a unit that's better suited for your home if you are considering air conditioning installation or replacement.
Why Is My Upstairs Always Cold/Not Heating?
When the downstairs of your home is warm, but it’s freezing upstairs, that could result in a frosty night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most common causes of an upstairs not heating like it should are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation permits cold air to filter through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, causing colder temperatures on higher floors. It’s important to make sure your home has a thick, 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 critical role in disseminating conditioned air throughout different areas of the building. However, problems 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 proper size or configuration, causing 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 higher floors.
Another possible issue with the ductwork is the placement of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper story or they are poorly placed, 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 exacerbating the temperature difference.
To understand why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork examined by trusted professionals like the team at TopTec to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and putting in additional vents or adjusting existing ones can help improve 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 lower floors of your home, an HVAC zoning system could be a highly effective solution.
An HVAC zoning system breaks the residence into distinct 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 scenarios where the upstairs of a multi-story home is very 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, making it possible for them to address specific hot or cold spots effortlessly.
To discover more about an HVAC zoning system in Libertyville, call TopTec. We’ve created 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 the Humidity So High Upstairs?
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 upper floors are more humid than the first floor.
A frequent reason for excess upper floor humidity is inadequate ventilation on the upper floor, which can cause increased humidity levels. As is often the case with temperature differences between floors, poor insulation or sealing in the attic or walls may permit warm, humid air from outside the house infiltrate the upstairs rooms. And, if there are any leaks or plumbing issues on the upper floor, that can also create unwanted moisture in that level of a home.
To correct humidity problems, homeowners can improve ventilation by using 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 on the upper and lower floors.