Every floor in your home should be a retreat that’s warm and toasty in the winter 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 rooms on ground level.
This could merely be because most thermostats in a house are on the first floor, which is where people spend the greatest amount 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 caused by problems with your HVAC system. Some of these issues can be resolved relatively quickly while others might require more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the specialists at Integrity AC & Heating LLC 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 feeling 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 make this worse by permitting 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 fight to cool the upstairs effectively.
To address these issues, homeowners could add additional insulation in the attic and make sure their home has adequate ventilation. If there’s a possibility the AC is the correct size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Integrity AC & Heating LLC inspect the unit. A qualified 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 So Cold/Not Heating?
When the downstairs of your home is warm, but it’s very cold upstairs, that could result in a frosty night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most common reasons an upstairs not heating like it ought 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, causing colder temperatures upstairs. It’s crucial to make sure your home has a solid, 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 critical role in disseminating conditioned air throughout different rooms of the building. However, issues with the ductwork can result in the upstairs being colder than the main level. A common reason 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, causing insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the upper level.
Another factor with ductwork is the placement of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper floor or they aren't well placed, it can restrict air circulation and cause inadequate heating or cooling. Additionally, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can allow air loss, lowering the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and making the temperature difference more pronounced.
To find out why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork inspected by experienced experts like the team at Integrity AC & Heating LLC to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and installing new 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 rest of your residence, an HVAC zoning system could be an effective solution.
An HVAC zoning system divides 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 effective in instances where the upstairs of a multi-story home is too hot or extremely cold while the main floor is comfortable. By setting up a zoning system, homeowners can control the temperature independently in each zone, enabling them to address specific hot or cold spots effectively.
To learn more about an HVAC zoning system in Phoenix, call Integrity AC & Heating LLC. We’ve developed and installed customized home comfort plans for many community members and are happy to show how an HVAC zoning system could enhance the comfort 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 problem in multi-floor homes is when the higher levels are more humid than the lower level.
A typical 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, poor insulation or sealing in the attic or walls may permit warm, humid air from outside the house infiltrate the upstairs rooms. And, if there are any leaks or plumbing issues on the upper floor, that can also create unwanted moisture in that section of a home.
To manage humidity problems, homeowners can improve ventilation by getting fans or opening windows to promote airflow. Appropriate levels of insulation in the attic and better sealing the attic and walls can help protect against external moisture from entering the upstairs. Locating 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 useful tool to manage humidity in your home.