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

This could merely be caused by the fact that most thermostats in a house are on the first floor, which is where people spend the most 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 trouble with your HVAC system. Some of these issues can be sorted out relatively quickly while others might necessitate more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the team at LTS Plumbing & Heating Inc. 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 getting hotter than the downstairs can be traced to several factors. Number one, heat rises, so it’s common for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the first floor. Insufficient insulation in the attic or roof can worsen this problem by letting heat transfer from the roof into the upstairs rooms.

Another common reason is that the HVAC system is not strong enough to cool the entire home, causing it to have difficulty cooling the upstairs effectively.

To address these issues, homeowners could put in additional insulation in the attic and make sure their home has adequate ventilation. If there’s a question of whether the air conditioning unit is the proper size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like LTS Plumbing & Heating Inc. inspect the unit. A knowledgeable professional also can help locate a unit that's better suited for your home if you are considering air conditioning installation or replacement.

Why Is My Upstairs So Cold/Not Heating?

When the downstairs of your home is warm, but it’s very cold upstairs, that makes for an ice-cold 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 leak through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, causing colder temperatures on the upper levels. It’s essential to make sure your home has a solid, 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, problems with the ductwork can cause the upstairs being colder than the main level. A frequently reported reason for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the right size or in the appropriate layout, resulting in an uneven distribution of air between the floors. This can cause more warm air to flow downstairs, which creates 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 poorly placed, it can limit air circulation and cause substandard heating or cooling. Additionally, 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 find out why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork checked by trusted HVAC pros like the team at LTS Plumbing & Heating Inc. to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and installing new vents or adjusting existing ones can help improve airflow and ensure a more even 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 rest of your residence, an HVAC zoning system could be a great solution.

An HVAC zoning system breaks the residence into distinctive 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 effective in scenarios where the upstairs of a multi-story home is too hot or extremely cold while the main floor is comfortable. By investing in a  zoning system, homeowners can regulate the temperature independently in each zone, enabling them to address specific hot or cold spots effectively.

To find out more about an HVAC zoning system in Shamokin and Sunbury, call LTS Plumbing & Heating 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 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 upstairs is more humid than the lower level.

A frequent reason for excess upper floor humidity is weak ventilation on the upper floor, which can produce 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 cause excessive moisture in that section of a home.

To address humidity problems, homeowners can increase 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 protect against external moisture from entering the upstairs. Finding and repairing any leaks or plumbing issues is also imperative.

Depending on the levels of moisture found in the home, a whole-home dehumidifier could be another valuable tool to manage humidity in the residence.