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How to Fix Uneven Heating/Cooling in a Two-Story Home in New Jersey

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manincoatIt’s annoying.

Your home’s second story seems like it can’t get warm enough in the winter. And in the summer it’s sweltering while the first story is nice and cool.

This uneven heating and cooling gets old, right? You’re not alone. It’s a common problem for many two-story homes.

So what’s the solution? Here are a few tried-and true ones.

Solution 1: Get a zoned system

Your thermostat is most likely on the first floor, right? That’s a problem for a two-story home because the thermostat is only sensing temperature for that floor.

So it shuts off the heating/cooling system once your home is hot or cool enough on the first floor —regardless of the second story’s temperature.

A zoned system splits your home into different zones/sections— typically upstairs and downstairs. This way it can heat/cool these sections more evenly.

Here’s what’s needed for a zoned system:

  • Multiple thermostats– There will be at least two thermostats: one for each upstairs and downstairs. Now each story can get as much hot/cool air as it needs. This works by using…
  • Electronically controlled dampers in the air ducts– These dampers are valves that open and close to control airflow to the different sections of your home.

So, let’s say it’s winter and you’re downstairs thermostat is set at 70. And the upstairs thermostat is set to 72.  Each thermostat will communicate to the dampers and your heating/cooling system until both rooms get to their desired temperatures.

This option can be expensive (cost depends on your home). But it’s less expensive than getting a second heating/cooling system.

Contact Air Professionals for a zoned system cost estimate.

Or learn more about how zoned systems work.

Solution 2: Get your air ducts examined for leaks

According to ENERGY STAR, the average home loses about 20% of the air that moves through the ducts due to leaks and holes.

If any of those leaks are in ducts that lead to the upstairs, your second story isn’t getting enough hot or cool air. This causes the upstairs and downstairs’ temperature differences to be night and day.

Have a professional examine your ducts for leaks so that he/she can seal them. 

Solution 3: Add more attic insulation

Insulation’s job is to block heat flow. So if your attic is under-insulated, heat can easily escape  the upstairs during the winter and enter during the summer.

Check your attic’s insulation. Is it just even with or below your attic’s floor joists? That means you need more insulation.

ENERGY STAR, recommends an R-value of R-38 for most homes. That translates to about 12 inches of insulation in your attic.

Need help fixing uneven heating/cooling in your New Jersey home? Talk to one of our heating/cooling experts for advice.

Air Professionals is a whole-home comfort company serving New Jersey homeowners. Contact us for more information on how we can help improve your home’s comfort.