Your entire home should be a retreat that’s warm and toasty in the cold months and cool and comfortable in the summer. However, families who live in some two-story homes find the upper floor is stubbornly hotter or colder than the rooms on ground level.
This could simply be caused by the fact that most thermostats in a house are on the main floor, which is where people spend the most 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 issues 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 team at Phelps Heating & Cooling, Inc. will help you solve 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 traced to several factors. Number one, heat rises, so it’s normal for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the main floor. Not enough 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 big enough to cool the entire home, causing it to have difficulty cooling the upstairs properly.
To fix these issues, homeowners could install additional insulation in the attic and make sure their home has proper ventilation. If there’s concern the AC is the correct size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Phelps Heating & Cooling, Inc. inspect the unit. A knowledgeable professional also can help select 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 extremely chilly upstairs, that can cause a very chilly night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most prevalent causes of an upstairs not heating like it is supposed to are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation enables cold air to leak through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, resulting in colder temperatures on higher floors. It’s crucial 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 very important role in distributing conditioned air throughout different locations of the building. However, troubles with the ductwork can contribute to the upstairs being colder than the downstairs. A frequently reported reason for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the proper size or design, causing an uneven distribution of air between the floors. This can cause more warm air to be directed to the downstairs, causing insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the upper level.
Another potential problem area in the ductwork is the location of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper story or they are poorly positioned, it can restrict air circulation and cause substandard heating or cooling. Additionally, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can lead to air loss, lowering the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and making the temperature difference more pronounced.
To figure out why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork examined by trusted experts like the team at Phelps Heating & Cooling, Inc. to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and installing more 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 residence, an HVAC zoning system could be a great solution.
An HVAC zoning system divides the residence 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 beneficial in situations 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 control the temperature independently in each zone, making it possible for them to address specific hot or cold spots easily.
To learn more about an HVAC zoning system in Hodgenville, call Phelps Heating & Cooling, Inc.. 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 My Upstairs So Humid?
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 higher levels are more humid than downstairs.
A common reason for excess upper floor humidity is weak 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 outdoors infiltrate the upstairs rooms. Plus, if there are any leaks or plumbing problems on the upper floor, that can also create extra moisture in that area of a home.
To deal with humidity problems, homeowners can increase ventilation by installing fans or opening windows to promote airflow. Adding more 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 imperative.
Depending on the levels of moisture found in the home, a whole-home dehumidifier could be another helpful tool to reduce humidity in the residence.