Every floor in your home should be a sanctuary that’s warm and cozy in the winter and cool and comfortable in the summer. However, owners of some multi-level residences 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 ground floor, which is where people spend the the majority 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 due to issues with your HVAC system. Some of these challenges can be resolved somewhat quickly while others might require more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the team at West Michigan Heating & Air Conditioning Services 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 chalked up to several factors. For starters, heat rises, so it’s common for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the main 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 powerful enough to cool the entire home, causing it to fight to cool the upstairs adequately.
To deal with these issues, homeowners could add additional insulation in the attic and make sure their home has sufficient ventilation. If there’s concern the air conditioning unit is the right size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like West Michigan Heating & Air Conditioning Services inspect the unit. A skilled professional also can help locate a unit that's better suited for your home if you require air conditioning installation or replacement.
Why Is My Upstairs So Cold/Not Heating?
When the downstairs of your home is warm, but it’s freezing upstairs, that could result in a very chilly 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 lets cold air to leak through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, creating colder temperatures upstairs. 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 critical role in distributing conditioned air throughout different areas of the building. However, troubles with the ductwork can cause the upstairs being colder than the downstairs. A common explanation 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 flow downstairs, leaving insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the upper level.
Another potential problem area in the ductwork is the location of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper level or they are poorly installed, it can restrict air circulation and cause substandard heating or cooling. Also, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can allow air loss, lowering the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and actually making the temperature difference worse.
To find out why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork examined by experienced professionals like the team at West Michigan Heating & Air Conditioning Services to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and putting in more vents or adjusting existing ones can help enhance airflow and ensure a more consistent 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 home, an HVAC zoning system could be a highly effective solution.
An HVAC zoning system divides the household into distinct 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 scenarios where the upstairs of a multi-story home is very hot or extremely cold while the main floor is comfortable. By implementing a zoning system, homeowners can control the temperature independently in each zone, enabling them to address specific hot or cold spots effortlessly.
To discover more about an HVAC zoning system in Hudsonville, call West Michigan Heating & Air Conditioning Services. 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 challenge in multi-floor homes is when the higher levels are more humid than downstairs.
A common explanation for excess upper floor humidity is poor ventilation on the upper floor, which can result in increased 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 outdoors infiltrate the upstairs rooms. In addition, if there are any leaks or plumbing issues on the upper floor, that can also lead to extra moisture in that area of a home.
To address humidity problems, homeowners can improve ventilation by using 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. Locating 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 control humidity in the residence.