Every floor in your home should be a refuge that’s warm and comfy in the cold months 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 main floor.
This could simply be caused by the fact that most thermostats in a house are on the main floor, which is where people spend the greatest amount of 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 caused by trouble with your HVAC system. Some of these difficulties can be resolved somewhat quickly while others might require more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the team at Mayeuxs AC & Heating will help you figure out 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 traced to several factors. Number one, heat rises, so it’s normal for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the first floor. Poor 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 HVAC system is not big enough to cool the entire home, causing it to struggle to cool the upstairs sufficiently.
To address these issues, homeowners could add additional insulation in the attic and make sure their home has sufficient ventilation. If there’s a possibility the air conditioning unit is the ideal size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Mayeuxs AC & Heating inspect the unit. A knowledgeable professional also can help find a unit that's better suited for your home if you require air conditioning installation or replacement.
Why Is My Upstairs Always Cold/Not Heating?
When the downstairs of your home is warm, but it’s freezing upstairs, that can cause an ice-cold night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most common causes of an upstairs not heating like it is supposed to are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation permits cold air to leak through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, resulting in colder temperatures on the upper levels. It’s essential to make sure your home has a deep, level layer of insulation in the attic and adequate insulation in the walls to keep the cold out and the heat inside.
The ductwork in a home plays a very important role in disseminating conditioned air throughout different areas of the building. However, troubles with the ductwork can cause the upstairs being colder than the downstairs. A frequently reported explanation for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the proper size or configuration, causing 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 upper story.
Another possible issue with the ductwork is the layout of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper story or they are not correctly installed, it can limit air circulation and cause inferior 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 understand why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork inspected by skilled professionals like the team at Mayeuxs AC & 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 consistent temperature balance between the upstairs and downstairs.
Fixing the Hot or Cold Upstairs Problem?
If your upstairs is hotter or colder than the rest of your home, an HVAC zoning system could be a great solution.
An HVAC zoning system separates the residence 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 particularly useful in situations where the upstairs of a multi-story home is very hot or too cold while the main floor is comfortable. By setting up a zoning system, homeowners can regulate the temperature independently in each zone, making it possible for them to address specific hot or cold spots easily.
To discover more about an HVAC zoning system in Norco and St. Charles Parish, call Mayeuxs AC & Heating. We’ve created 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 issue in multi-floor homes is when the higher levels are more humid than the first floor.
A common cause 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, insufficient insulation or sealing in the attic or walls may permit warm, humid air from outside infiltrate the upstairs rooms. Plus, if there are any leaks or plumbing problems on the upper floor, that can also cause excessive moisture in that level of a home.
To manage humidity problems, homeowners can improve ventilation by getting fans or opening windows to promote airflow. Proper 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 valuable tool to reduce humidity on the upper and lower floors.