Your entire residence should be a sanctuary that’s warm and toasty in the winter season 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 main floor.
This could merely be because 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 they set the temperature according to how it feels on the first floor.
However, temperature differences between the upstairs and downstairs could also be caused by problems with your HVAC system. Some of these issues can be fixed fairly quickly while others might require more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the specialists at AZ Air Conditioning and Heating will help you figure out 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 traced to several factors. For starters, heat rises, so it’s normal for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the ground floor. Not enough insulation in the attic or roof can worsen this problem by permitting 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 deal with these issues, homeowners could put in extra insulation in the attic and make sure their home has adequate ventilation. If there’s a question of whether the air conditioner is the right size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like AZ Air Conditioning and Heating inspect the unit. A qualified professional also can help locate a unit that's better suited for your home if you want 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 a very chilly night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most prevalent explanations for an upstairs not heating like it should are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation lets 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 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 locations of the building. However, issues with the ductwork can cause the upstairs being colder than the main level. A typical reason for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the correct size or design, 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 potential problem area in the ductwork is the layout of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper level or they are not correctly installed, it can reduce air circulation and cause substandard heating or cooling. Additionally, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can allow air loss, lowering the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and exacerbating the temperature difference.
To find out why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork inspected by trusted experts like the team at AZ Air Conditioning and Heating to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and adding additional 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 ground level of your house, an HVAC zoning system could be a highly effective solution.
An HVAC zoning system breaks the home into distinct 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 very beneficial in instances where the upstairs of a multi-story home is very hot or extremely cold while the main floor is comfortable. By setting up a zoning system, homeowners can manage the temperature independently in each zone, allowing them to address specific hot or cold spots effortlessly.
To find out more about an HVAC zoning system in Los Angeles, call AZ Air Conditioning and Heating. We’ve designed and installed customized home comfort plans for many community members and are happy to show how an HVAC zoning system could work in 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 issue in multi-floor homes is when the upstairs is more humid than the first floor.
A common reason for excess upper floor humidity is poor ventilation on the upper floor, which can cause 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 issues on the upper floor, that can also create excessive moisture in that level of a home.
To address humidity problems, homeowners can increase ventilation by using 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. Locating 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.