Your entire residence should be a sanctuary that’s warm and comfy 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 merely be because most thermostats in a house are on the ground floor, which is where people spend the greatest amount 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 because of issues 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 Siloam Springs Heating & AC 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 chalked up to several factors. First, heat rises, so it’s normal 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 allowing 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 fight to cool the upstairs sufficiently.

To deal with these issues, homeowners could put in extra insulation in the attic and make sure their home has proper ventilation. If there’s a question of whether the air conditioner is the proper size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Siloam Springs Heating & AC inspect the unit. A knowledgeable professional also can help select 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 freezing upstairs, that makes for a very chilly night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most common reasons an upstairs not heating like it should are the insulation levels and the ductwork.

Inadequate insulation permits cold air to leak through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, resulting in colder temperatures upstairs. It’s crucial 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 critical role in distributing conditioned air throughout different locations of the building. However, issues with the ductwork can result in the upstairs being colder than the lower floor. A common cause for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the proper size or in the appropriate layout, creating 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 higher floors.

Another potential problem area in the ductwork is the placement of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper floor or they are not correctly positioned, it can reduce air circulation and cause inferior heating or cooling. Additionally, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can lead to air loss, lowering the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and exacerbating the temperature difference.

To determine why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork examined by trusted experts like the team at Siloam Springs Heating & AC to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and adding 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 house, an HVAC zoning system could be a great solution.

An HVAC zoning system separates the residence 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 helpful in instances where the upstairs of a multi-story home is too hot or really cold while the main floor is comfortable. By installing a  zoning system, homeowners can control the temperature independently in each zone, allowing them to address specific hot or cold spots effectively.

To find out more about an HVAC zoning system in Siloam Springs, call Siloam Springs Heating & AC. We’ve created 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 problem in multi-floor homes is when the higher levels are more humid than the first floor.

A typical cause for excess upper floor humidity is inadequate ventilation on the upper floor, which can result in 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 cause excessive moisture in that section of a home.

To correct humidity problems, homeowners can improve ventilation by installing fans or opening windows to promote airflow. Proper insulation  in the attic and better sealing the attic and walls can help protect against 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 valuable tool to manage humidity on the upper and lower floors.