Your entire residence should be a sanctuary that’s warm and toasty in the winter season 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 just be because most thermostats in a house are on the first floor, which is where people spend the the majority 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 discrepancies between the upstairs and downstairs could also be due to problems with your HVAC system. Some of these issues can be fixed fairly quickly while others might require 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 It Hot Upstairs?
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 common for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the ground floor. Poor insulation in the attic or roof can make this worse by allowing 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 fight to cool the upstairs sufficiently.
To address these issues, homeowners could install more insulation in the attic and make sure their home has sufficient ventilation. If there’s concern the AC is the correct size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like ACS Heating and Air Conditioning 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 So Cold/Not Heating?
When the downstairs of your home is warm, but it’s very cold upstairs, that can cause a frosty night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most common reasons an upstairs not heating like it is supposed to are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation enables cold air to filter through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, resulting in colder temperatures on the upper levels. It’s essential to make sure your home has a thick, level layer of insulation in the attic and proper 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 contribute to the upstairs being colder than the downstairs. A common cause for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the right size or configuration, which results in 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 location of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper level or they are poorly placed, it can limit air circulation and cause inferior heating or cooling. Also, 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 find out why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork examined by skilled professionals like the team at ACS Heating and Air Conditioning to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and installing additional vents or adjusting existing ones can help improve 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 ground level of your house, an HVAC zoning system could be a great solution.
An HVAC zoning system separates 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 scenarios where the upstairs of a multi-story home is very 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 easily.
To discover more about an HVAC zoning system in Tucker, call ACS Heating and Air Conditioning. We’ve developed 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 it So Humid 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 upstairs is more humid than the first floor.
A frequent reason for excess upper floor humidity is inadequate 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 outside 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 level of a home.
To correct humidity problems, homeowners can improve ventilation by installing fans or opening windows to promote airflow. Proper 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 helpful tool to manage humidity on the upper and lower floors.