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Why is My Upstairs So Hot?

For many Washington DC-area homeowners, dealing with temperature differentials between floors is a fact of life. Some let years go by simply assuming that they don’t have any control over this all-too-common issue, opting to install extra window AC units or multiple fans to keep parts of their home cool. The fact is, however, getting to the root of the problem is the only way to fix temperature differentials, and it doesn’t have to be quite as difficult as you might assume.

Instead of spending more time and money running your AC excessively or constantly adjusting your thermostat, consider what might be causing the problem—the home itself!

3 Common Reasons for Temperature Imbalances

Temperature imbalances between rooms or floors in your home can result from a number of different factors. This being said, there are a few common problems that occur in homes in and around Manassas, all of which tend to be “out of sight, out of mind” and are thus easy for homeowners to overlook. These problems include:

Improperly Sealed Home Envelope

Your home envelope is essentially the space in which you and your family conduct daily activities. Also referred to as the “building envelope,” its job is to separate conditioned (heated or cooled) air from the unconditioned air (like the air in your garage or basement). Since most homes are riddled with cracks and gaps, however, it’s not uncommon for an improperly sealed home envelope to allow unwanted airflow between conditioned and unconditioned spaces. This not only contributes to poor indoor air quality, but can also allow heat to enter your home during the summer months, thus creating temperature imbalances.

A Lack of Insulation

Insulation is commonly thought to be necessary when it’s cold outside during the winter, and it very much is. What’s not as widely acknowledged, however, is that proper insulation is also crucial during the summertime. Year-round, insulation helps to further strengthen the building envelope and reduce the amount of unwanted airflow that occurs within your home. A lack of insulation is one of the main reasons why indoor discomfort occurs, and the problem is especially prevalent in older homes that are outfitted with dirty, thin insulating materials.

Bad Ductwork

Have you ever thought that it might be your ductwork that’s making your home uncomfortable? According to ENERGY STAR, an estimated 20% to 30% of conditioned air is lost through holes and gaps found in the ductwork designed to distribute it throughout the home. This means your AC will only be operating at an efficiency level of 70%, which can quickly lead to an uncomfortable home.

The Fifth Fuel Can Help!

Are you tired of dealing with temperature imbalances and home discomfort? The Fifth Fuel team has the knowledge and experience it takes to make any home more comfortable via air sealing, insulation and ductwork repair/replacement.

Contact us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment for a home energy audit.

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