Your entire home should be a sanctuary that’s warm and cozy in the winter and cool and comfortable in the summer. However, residents in some multi-level residences find the upper floor is stubbornly hotter or colder than the first floor.
This could merely be due to the fact most thermostats in a house are on the ground floor, which is where people spend the most 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 problems with your HVAC system. Some of these challenges can be fixed fairly quickly while others might require more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the professionals at Aggressive Mechanical 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 feeling hotter than the downstairs can be attributed to several factors. First, heat rises, so it’s common 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 letting heat transfer from the roof into the upstairs rooms.
Another common reason is that the air conditioning is not powerful enough to cool the entire home, causing it to struggle to cool the upstairs sufficiently.
To fix these issues, homeowners could put in extra insulation in the attic and make sure their home has proper ventilation. If there’s a possibility the air conditioner is the right size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Aggressive Mechanical inspect the unit. A knowledgeable 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 extremely chilly upstairs, that makes for a very chilly night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most common 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 higher floors. It’s essential 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 fundamental role in disseminating conditioned air throughout different areas of the building. However, troubles with the ductwork can result in the upstairs being colder than the lower floor. A frequently reported reason for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the correct size or configuration, which results in an uneven distribution of air between the floors. This can cause more warm air to be directed to the downstairs, causing insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the higher floors.
Another possible issue with the ductwork is the placement of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper level or they are poorly located, it can restrict air circulation and cause inadequate heating or cooling. Additionally, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can lead to air loss, reducing 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 examined by skilled HVAC pros like the team at Aggressive Mechanical to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and installing new vents or adjusting existing ones can help increase 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 ground level of your residence, an HVAC zoning system could be a highly effective solution.
An HVAC zoning system breaks the residence into distinctive 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 especially effective in scenarios where the upstairs of a multi-story home is very hot or too cold while the main floor is comfortable. By implementing a zoning system, homeowners can regulate the temperature independently in each zone, allowing them to address specific hot or cold spots effortlessly.
To discover more about an HVAC zoning system in Neptune City, call Aggressive Mechanical. We’ve designed 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 problem in multi-floor homes is when the higher levels are more humid than the lower level.
A typical cause for excess upper floor humidity is poor ventilation on the upper floor, which can produce higher humidity levels. As is often the case with temperature differences between floors, poor 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 lead to extra moisture in that section of a home.
To fix humidity problems, homeowners can improve ventilation by using 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 worthwhile tool to manage humidity in the residence.