Ways to Regulate the Temperature in a Multi-Level Home

multi story homeIf you live in a multi-story home, chances are you’ve experienced the difficulties of regulating the temperature. On a hot summer day, it can be cold downstairs, a comfortable temperature on the main level, and hot upstairs, while a cold winter day can bring more uneven temperatures. Uneven temperatures may lead you to call Fort Collins air conditioning repair, but there may also be things you can do on your own to regulate the temperature across all levels. Here are five tips for a more consistent home temperature.

Check Ductwork for Leaks

Air ducts are the highways that transport cool or warm air to specific areas of the house. However, if there’s a leak or crack in the ductwork, that air can end up in the crawl space or insulation of the house instead of making it to the right room. The result is a room that is significantly warmer or cooler than the rest of the house and wasted energy. Get an annual inspection of your ductwork by an HVAC professional to check for any cracks or signs of wear that naturally come with age.

Add More Insulation

Old or damaged insulation can cause cool air to escape and makes it easier for the sun’s hot rays to warm up a house. If an attic doesn’t have proper insulation, it can make the upper levels of the home much hotter. Check your attic and crawl space regularly to make sure the insulation is thick enough and properly attached.

Redirect Air With Vents

A room can be much hotter than other rooms if the air conditioning vent is closed or blocked by debris or furniture. That air is still getting pushed through the system, but it isn’t flowing into the rest of the room. Check your vents to make sure they are clean and unobstructed. Another option is to partially close some of the vents on the first floor to redirect that air to the upper levels of the home. Closing the vents completely is ineffective and can actually make the system work harder, but closing them just slightly allows air to flow on the main floor with more air coming out upstairs.

Use a Zoning System

It’s no secret that hot air rises. In fact, upper levels of a home can be eight to 10 degrees warmer than lower levels. The problem with an upper level that’s much hotter is that in most homes, the thermostat is on the main level and therefore is only accurate for the areas that are close to it. A zoning system allows you to control the temperature on individual floors or areas of the house, which creates a more targeted heating and cooling approach. A zoning system typically has a separate thermostat for each zone, which can be set to meet the specific needs of that area. If the bedrooms on the upper floor tend to get hotter and make sleeping uncomfortable, that zone can be set to a cooler temperature, while lesser-used rooms on the main level can be set to a slightly higher temperature in the summer.

Installing a zoning system is an investment and needs to be done by an HVAC professional. A zoning system works on a single HVAC system but just breaks it up to separate areas that can be controlled independently.

Add a Second HVAC System

The most expensive option is also incredibly effective. For large houses with big temperature differences, two separate HVAC system can provide targeted heating and cooling to the right areas of the house. These systems work independently of each other and allow the homeowner to change the temperature for just certain areas of the house. Two HVAC systems can also be a smart choice for larger homes because it lowers the strain on a single unit that has to run constantly.

A multi-story home brings heating and cooling challenges, but following these tips can create a more comfortable and consistent home temperature.

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