Your entire residence should be a refuge that’s warm and toasty in the winter 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 rooms on ground level.

This could simply be because most thermostats in a house are on the main 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 discrepancies between the upstairs and downstairs could also be because of issues with your HVAC system. Some of these issues can be sorted out fairly quickly while others might call for more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the professionals at Ohler & Holzhauer Inc. will help you solve 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 attributed to several factors. Number one, heat rises, so it’s common for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the main floor. Insufficient insulation in the attic or roof can exacerbate this issue by allowing heat transfer from the roof into the upstairs rooms.

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

To address these issues, homeowners could install extra insulation in the attic and make sure their home has proper ventilation. If there’s a question of whether the air conditioning unit is the ideal size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Ohler & Holzhauer Inc. 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 Always Cold/Not Heating?

When the downstairs of your home is warm, but it’s extremely chilly upstairs, that can cause 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 seep through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, creating colder temperatures on higher floors. It’s crucial 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 very important role in distributing conditioned air throughout different locations of the building. However, problems with the ductwork can result in the upstairs being colder than the downstairs. A common explanation for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the right size or design, resulting 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 potential problem area in the ductwork is the layout of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper floor or they aren't well installed, it can restrict air circulation and cause inadequate heating or cooling. In addition, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can cause air loss, lowering the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and making the temperature difference more pronounced.

To understand why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork inspected by skilled HVAC pros like the team at Ohler & Holzhauer Inc. to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and putting in more vents or adjusting existing ones can help increase airflow and ensure a more consistent 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 residence, an HVAC zoning system could be an effective solution.

An HVAC zoning system divides the home 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 very 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 manage the temperature independently in each zone, allowing them to address specific hot or cold spots effectively.

To discover more about an HVAC zoning system in Port Clinton, call Ohler & Holzhauer Inc.. 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 challenge in multi-floor homes is when the upstairs is more humid than the first floor.

A common 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, inadequate insulation or sealing in the attic or walls may let warm, humid air from outside the house infiltrate the upstairs rooms. And, if there are any leaks or plumbing issues on the upper floor, that can also create excessive moisture in that section of a home.

To fix humidity problems, homeowners can improve 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. 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 helpful tool to control humidity in your home.