Every floor in your home should be a sanctuary that’s warm and toasty in the winter season and cool and comfortable in the summer. However, owners of some homes with multiple levels find the upper floor is stubbornly hotter or colder than the first floor.

This could simply be because 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 they set the temperature according to how it feels on the first floor.

However, temperature variations between the upstairs and downstairs could also be because of issues with your HVAC system. Some of these difficulties can be sorted out somewhat quickly while others might require more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the specialists at Ameri-Tec 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 feeling hotter than the downstairs can be chalked up to several factors. First, heat rises, so it’s common for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the main floor. Lack of insulation in the attic or roof can worsen this problem by allowing heat transfer from the roof into the upstairs rooms.

Another common reason is that the air conditioner is not powerful enough to cool the entire home, causing it to struggle to cool the upstairs adequately.

To deal with these issues, homeowners could install additional insulation in the attic and make sure their home has sufficient ventilation. If there’s a possibility the air conditioning unit is the right size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Ameri-Tec inspect the unit. A knowledgeable professional also can help locate a unit that's better suited for your home if you need 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 frosty night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most frequent causes of an upstairs not heating like it should are the insulation levels and the ductwork.

Inadequate insulation allows cold air to seep through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, causing colder temperatures on higher floors. 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 circulating conditioned air throughout different areas of the building. However, issues with the ductwork can cause the upstairs being colder than the lower floor. A common cause for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the right size or design, creating an uneven distribution of air between the floors. This can cause more warm air to be directed to the downstairs, which creates insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the upper level.

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 not correctly installed, it can limit air circulation and cause substandard heating or cooling. Additionally, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can cause air loss, reducing the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and exacerbating the temperature difference.

To figure out why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork inspected by skilled professionals like the team at Ameri-Tec to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and installing more vents or adjusting existing ones can help increase airflow and ensure a better 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 lower floors of your house, an HVAC zoning system could be an effective solution.

An HVAC zoning system divides the household into distinctive 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 beneficial in instances 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, enabling them to address specific hot or cold spots effortlessly.

To find out more about an HVAC zoning system in Narvon, call Ameri-Tec. 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 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 frequent cause for excess upper floor humidity is weak ventilation on the upper floor, which can result in 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 the house infiltrate the upstairs rooms. In addition, if there are any leaks or plumbing problems on the upper floor, that can also cause excessive moisture in that section of a home.

To manage humidity problems, homeowners can increase ventilation by getting fans or opening windows to promote airflow. Adding more insulation  in the attic and better sealing the attic and walls can help protect against 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 valuable tool to control humidity in the residence.