Your entire home should be a sanctuary that’s warm and cozy 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 merely be caused by the fact that 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 they set the temperature according to how it feels on the first floor.
However, temperature discrepancies between the upstairs and downstairs could also be due to problems with your HVAC system. Some of these challenges can be sorted out relatively quickly while others might call for more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the team at ACS Heating and Air Conditioning will help you figure out 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 getting hotter than the downstairs can be traced 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 permitting heat transfer from the roof into the upstairs rooms.
Another common reason is that the air conditioning is not powerful enough to cool the entire home, causing it to struggle to cool the upstairs sufficiently.
To fix these issues, homeowners could install more insulation in the attic and make sure their home has sufficient ventilation. If there’s concern the air conditioner is the ideal size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like ACS Heating and Air Conditioning inspect the unit. A knowledgeable professional also can help locate 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 could result in a very chilly night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most prevalent explanations for an upstairs not heating like it should are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation allows cold air to seep 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 very important role in circulating conditioned air throughout different locations of the building. However, problems with the ductwork can result in the upstairs being colder than the downstairs. A frequently reported reason for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the correct size or in the appropriate layout, creating 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 reduce air circulation and cause inadequate heating or cooling. In addition, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can allow air loss, decreasing the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and actually making the temperature difference worse.
To determine why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork examined by skilled HVAC pros like the team at ACS Heating and Air Conditioning to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and putting in more vents or adjusting existing ones can help enhance airflow and ensure a more even 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 residence, an HVAC zoning system could be a great solution.
An HVAC zoning system breaks the home into different 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 especially helpful in scenarios where the upstairs of a multi-story home is too hot or really cold while the main floor is comfortable. By implementing 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 Tucker, call ACS Heating and Air Conditioning. We’ve designed 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 frequent explanation for excess upper floor humidity is poor ventilation on the upper floor, which can cause higher humidity levels. As is often the case with temperature differences between floors, poor insulation or sealing in the attic or walls may let warm, humid air from outdoors infiltrate the upstairs rooms. In addition, if there are any leaks or plumbing problems on the upper floor, that can also cause excess moisture in that area of a home.
To manage humidity problems, homeowners can increase 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 prevent 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 valuable tool to reduce humidity on the upper and lower floors.