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 homes with multiple levels find the upper floor is stubbornly hotter or colder than the rooms on ground level.
This could merely be because most thermostats in a house are on the main floor, which is where people spend the the majority of time—in the living room, kitchen, etc.—so it makes sense 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 trouble with your HVAC system. Some of these challenges can be solved relatively quickly while others might necessitate more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the specialists at The Frazier Company will help you determine 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 chalked up to several factors. Number one, heat rises, so it’s normal for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the first floor. Lack of 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 deal with these issues, homeowners could add more insulation in the attic and make sure their home has adequate ventilation. If there’s concern the air conditioning unit is the right size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like The Frazier Company inspect the unit. A knowledgeable professional also can help find a unit that's better suited for your home if you need 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 could result in a frosty night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most common explanations for an upstairs not heating like it ought to are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation permits cold air to seep through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, causing colder temperatures on the upper levels. It’s important to make sure your home has a deep, 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 circulating conditioned air throughout different rooms of the building. However, issues with the ductwork can cause the upstairs being colder than the downstairs. A common cause 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 flow downstairs, which creates insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the higher floors.
Another factor with ductwork is the placement of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper level or they are not correctly installed, it can reduce air circulation and cause inferior heating or cooling. Also, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can allow air loss, lowering 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 inspected by skilled HVAC pros like the team at The Frazier Company to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and adding new 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 rest of your home, an HVAC zoning system could be a highly effective solution.
An HVAC zoning system separates the household 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 very helpful in situations where the upstairs of a multi-story home is quite hot or too cold while the main floor is comfortable. By installing a zoning system, homeowners can control the temperature independently in each zone, making it possible for them to address specific hot or cold spots effectively.
To discover more about an HVAC zoning system in Omaha, call The Frazier Company. We’ve created and installed customized home comfort plans for many community members and are happy to show how an HVAC zoning system could work in 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 issue in multi-floor homes is when the higher levels are more humid than downstairs.
A common cause for excess upper floor humidity is inadequate ventilation on the upper floor, which can result in increased humidity levels. As is often the case with temperature differences between floors, inadequate 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 concerns on the upper floor, that can also cause unwanted moisture in that level of a home.
To address humidity problems, homeowners can increase ventilation by installing fans or opening windows to promote airflow. Proper insulation in the attic and better sealing the attic and walls can help protect against external moisture from entering the upstairs. Identifying 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 useful tool to reduce humidity in your home.