Every floor in your home should be a sanctuary that’s warm and comfy in the winter season 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 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 the majority 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 because of trouble with your HVAC system. Some of these issues can be solved fairly quickly while others might call for more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the professionals at Morgner Inc. Air Conditioning & Heating 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 becoming hotter than the downstairs can be traced to several factors. First, heat rises, so it’s common for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the first 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 air conditioning is not strong enough to cool the entire home, causing it to have difficulty cooling the upstairs sufficiently.
To fix these issues, homeowners could install additional insulation in the attic and make sure their home has proper ventilation. If there’s a question of whether the air conditioner is the proper size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Morgner Inc. Air Conditioning & Heating inspect the unit. A skilled professional also can help find a unit that's better suited for your home if you are considering 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 makes for an ice-cold night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most frequent explanations for an upstairs not heating like it ought to are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation lets cold air to leak through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, resulting in colder temperatures upstairs. It’s important 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, issues 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 correct size or configuration, resulting 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 possible issue with the ductwork is the location of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper level or they are not correctly placed, it can restrict air circulation and cause substandard heating or cooling. Also, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can lead to air loss, decreasing 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 skilled experts like the team at Morgner Inc. Air Conditioning & Heating to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and putting in additional 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 house, an HVAC zoning system could be an effective solution.
An HVAC zoning system separates the home into different 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 especially effective in situations where the upstairs of a multi-story home is very 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 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 My Upstairs So Humid?
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 upper floors are more humid than downstairs.
A common reason for excess upper floor humidity is inadequate ventilation on the upper floor, which can cause higher 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 outside the house infiltrate the upstairs rooms. Plus, if there are any leaks or plumbing issues on the upper floor, that can also lead to unwanted moisture in that area of a home.
To correct humidity problems, homeowners can increase 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 prevent 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 useful tool to reduce humidity in your home.