Your entire home should be a retreat that’s warm and toasty in the cold months 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 first floor.
This could simply be due to the fact most thermostats in a house are on the first 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 because of issues with your HVAC system. Some of these difficulties can be solved relatively quickly while others might necessitate more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the specialists at Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating will help you determine 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 becoming hotter than the downstairs can be attributed to several factors. Number one, 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 exacerbate this issue by allowing 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 address these issues, homeowners could put in more insulation in the attic and make sure their home has proper ventilation. If there’s a question of whether the air conditioning unit is the ideal size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating inspect the unit. A knowledgeable professional also can help select a unit that's better suited for your home if you need 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 could result in an ice-cold 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 allows cold air to filter through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, creating colder temperatures on higher floors. It’s crucial 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 areas of the building. However, problems with the ductwork can contribute to the upstairs being colder than the main level. A common cause for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the correct size or in the appropriate layout, which results in an uneven distribution of air between the floors. This can cause more warm air to go downstairs, leaving 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 restrict air circulation and cause inferior heating or cooling. Additionally, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can cause air loss, lowering the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and making the temperature difference more pronounced.
To understand why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork examined by experienced experts like the team at Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and putting in new vents or adjusting existing ones can help increase airflow and ensure a better 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 breaks the household 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 particularly helpful in instances where the upstairs of a multi-story home is quite hot or too 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 Pella, call Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating. 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 the Humidity So High 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 weak 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 allow warm, humid air from outdoors infiltrate the upstairs rooms. Plus, if there are any leaks or plumbing concerns on the upper floor, that can also create extra moisture in that section of a home.
To deal with 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. Finding and repairing any leaks or plumbing issues is also extremely important.
Depending on the levels of moisture found in the home, a whole-home dehumidifier could be another valuable tool to manage humidity in the residence.