Your entire home should be a refuge that’s warm and toasty in the winter 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 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 caused by trouble with your HVAC system. Some of these difficulties can be solved somewhat quickly while others might call for more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the team at Morgner Inc. Air Conditioning & Heating will help you solve why the upstairs of your home is hotter than downstairs, or vice versa.
Why Is It Hotter Upstairs?
The phenomenon of the upstairs of a two-story home becoming hotter than the downstairs can be chalked up to several factors. First, 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 worsen this problem by allowing heat transfer from the roof into the upstairs rooms.
Another common reason is that the air conditioning 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 adequate 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 Morgner Inc. Air Conditioning & Heating inspect the unit. A qualified 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 Always Cold/Not Heating?
When the downstairs of your home is warm, but it’s very cold upstairs, that makes for a frosty night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most frequent explanations for an upstairs not heating like it should are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation enables cold air to seep through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, resulting in 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 fundamental role in disseminating conditioned air throughout different rooms of the building. However, issues with the ductwork can cause the upstairs being colder than the main level. A typical cause for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the right size or configuration, resulting in an uneven distribution of air between the floors. This can cause more warm air to flow downstairs, leaving insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the upper story.
Another potential problem area in the ductwork is the layout of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper story or they aren't well placed, it can reduce air circulation and cause inadequate heating or cooling. Also, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can lead to air loss, lowering the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and exacerbating the temperature difference.
To figure out why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork checked by skilled professionals like the team at Morgner Inc. Air Conditioning & Heating to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and adding more vents or adjusting existing ones can help improve airflow and ensure a more even 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 lower floors of your house, an HVAC zoning system could be a highly effective solution.
An HVAC zoning system divides the home into different zones, which each have their own thermostat and damper system so the homeowner can customize the heating or cooling of each zone.
This system can be especially effective in situations 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 regulate the temperature independently in each zone, enabling them to address specific hot or cold spots effortlessly.
To learn more about an HVAC zoning system in Saint Louis, call Morgner Inc. Air Conditioning & 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 challenge in multi-floor homes is when the higher levels are 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 let warm, humid air from outside infiltrate the upstairs rooms. In addition, if there are any leaks or plumbing concerns on the upper floor, that can also create excessive moisture in that level of a home.
To deal with humidity problems, homeowners can increase 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 critical.
Depending on the levels of moisture found in the home, a whole-home dehumidifier could be another useful tool to control humidity in the residence.