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How Do I Stop the Upper Floor From Getting Too Hot?

airflow-diagramThis is one of the long-running troubles that multi-story homes experience. Heat rises, so when trying to heat a two-story home, heat moves up to the second floor and begins to concentrate there. It’s natural during the winter season for the upper floor to become too stuffy whenever the furnace is on for long enough.

It’s a tricky dilemma: you want the first floor of your house to become comfortable, but when you run the furnace long enough to provide the lower floor with that comfort, it means extra heat gathering upstairs. Not all homes will encounter this problem, but if your house is experiencing an overheated second floor, what can you do about it?

There are different options, and which one works depends on the situation in your house.

HVAC System Repairs/Replacement

Is this hot upper floor a recent development in your house? If so, then the trouble may be located in the HVAC system itself. For example, the heater may be losing its heating capacity. If you think this sounds like the reverse of what’s happening, consider this: if you’re running the heater more often because it’s providing less heat, that means more time to allow the heat to rise and collect upstairs. You’ll end up with a serious imbalance of a hot upstairs and a colder downstairs.

You may also need to replace the heater because it’s not the right size for the house. If the heater is too large for the home (and this is a common error amateur installers make), it will rapidly send out heat that will gather in the upstairs, and then shut off. A heater that is sized accurately to the house will have a better opportunity to provide even heating.

Zone Control System

A zone control system is a way to divide up the house into different regions that are heated and cooled separately. One simple way to “zone” a house is to divide the upstairs and downstairs. A series of dampers in the ducts can close off the flow of heating to either the upstairs or downstairs rooms. The system can be programmed to come on and start heating the upstairs rooms first, then shut off the upstairs heating and start heating the downstairs. This creates a balance between the two, allowing the natural movement of heat between the two stories without adding additional heat and reducing the amount of time the upstairs is heated. You can have your current HVAC system retrofitted for zone control or make it part of a new Fountain, CO, HVAC install. 

Attic Ventilation

The attic in a house needs to have effective insulation or else too much heat will escape out of the top of the house. But if the attic can also trap heat in the second floor if it isn’t adequately ventilated. Attic fans are a way to help with this: they balance the temperature in the attic, and they work for both winter and summer conditions. 

There are other possibilities behind the imbalanced heating in your home, and our experts can help determine the best way to provide even comfort.  

Need help with your heating? Robbins Heating & Air Conditioning serves Colorado Springs and the surrounding area. 

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