Every floor in your home should be a retreat that’s warm and cozy in the cold months 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 main floor.
This could merely be caused by the fact that most thermostats in a house are on the ground floor, which is where people spend the greatest amount of 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 differences between the upstairs and downstairs could also be due to problems with your HVAC system. Some of these issues can be sorted out somewhat quickly while others might necessitate more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the specialists at Farris Heating & Air will help you determine 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 getting hotter than the downstairs can be traced to several factors. For starters, heat rises, so it’s common 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 permitting heat transfer from the roof into the upstairs rooms.
Another common reason is that the HVAC system is not strong enough to cool the entire home, causing it to have difficulty cooling the upstairs effectively.
To fix these issues, homeowners could put in additional insulation in the attic and make sure their home has proper ventilation. If there’s a question of whether the AC is the ideal size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Farris Heating & Air inspect the unit. A skilled 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 extremely chilly upstairs, that makes for a very chilly night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most frequent explanations for an upstairs not heating like it should are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation lets cold air to leak 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 solid, 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 locations of the building. However, issues with the ductwork can result in the upstairs being colder than the lower floor. A typical 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, which creates insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the upper level.
Another potential problem area in the ductwork is the layout of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper floor or they aren't well installed, it can restrict air circulation and cause substandard heating or cooling. In addition, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can cause 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 examined by experienced HVAC pros like the team at Farris Heating & Air to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and installing additional vents or adjusting existing ones can help enhance airflow and ensure a more even temperature balance between the upstairs and downstairs.
What Do I Do to Fix a Hot/Cold Upstairs?
If your upstairs is hotter or colder than the rest of your house, an HVAC zoning system could be a great solution.
An HVAC zoning system divides the residence 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 very beneficial in instances where the upstairs of a multi-story home is very hot or extremely 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 easily.
To discover more about an HVAC zoning system in Bartlesville, call Farris Heating & Air. We’ve created 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 the Humidity So High Upstairs?
In addition to the upper story being hotter or colder than the rest of the house, another issue in multi-floor homes is when the upper floors are more humid than downstairs.
A common explanation for excess upper floor humidity is weak ventilation on the upper floor, which can produce greater 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 infiltrate the upstairs rooms. Plus, if there are any leaks or plumbing problems on the upper floor, that can also lead to unwanted moisture in that area of a home.
To manage humidity problems, homeowners can add more 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 critical.
Depending on the levels of moisture found in the home, a whole-home dehumidifier could be another helpful tool to control humidity on the upper and lower floors.