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Fixing Uneven Heating and Cooling in a Two-Story Home

heating and air conditioning
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Heating and air conditioning in a two-story home can be a real challenge, owing to the greater overall space and different levels of such a design.

Like a microwave oven that frustratingly scorches one portion of your meal while leaving the other untouched, uneven temperature regulation can be very frustrating. Thankfully, there are a few steps you can take to solve the problem in your home.

MAKING USE OF ZONED SYSTEMS

Zoned heating or cooling systems make a lot of sense for two-story homes and you will find that these come highly recommended by most contractors. In the case of a home with two levels, the ground floor is a zone of its own and can be individually cooled or heated. A thermostat for each zone means that you can control the electronic dampers in your air ducts – these dampers control the flow of warm or cool air throughout your home, operating similarly to valves.

Furthermore, because heat rises, upper levels are more commonly warmer than lower levels. With a zoned system, as one zone reaches the required temperature, the thermostat slows the flow of air to that zone. This, in turn, sends more air to other zones and the end result is an even spread of temperature throughout your home, eliminating those annoying hot and cold spots.

A final benefit of a zoned system is to cater to the different comfort levels for many people living in one house. Fighting over the temperature control of your thermostat is commonplace, and this can be remedied by creating a heating/cooling zone not just on a different level, but even in a particular room.

PINPOINTING UNDERLYING ISSUES

While a zoned heating/cooling system is a great idea, even this can’t compensate for a series of underlying problems that could be causing uneven temperature distribution in your living space.

For instance, a leaking air duct through which cold air can escape will of course mean uncomfortably warm inside temperatures. This will require sealing by a professional. Also, you may have blocked soffit vents (these are the vents installed into the underside of your home’s eaves – they allow fresh air to be drawn up into your attic) that can become blocked by attic insulation. On that note, a lack of attic insulation can also result in uneven heating and cooling.

If you have a problem with heating or cooling in just one smaller area of your home, you can also look into installing a ductless split system. These room-based units can be mounted on the wall or be floor-standing, and can be a convenient and comparatively simple solution.

Whatever the case, it’s worth noting that your home is also slightly different to every other home and therefore requires a cooling system that complements its design. The best move you can make is to consult a professional who can assess your existing air-conditioning system and find a solution which will either entail a new system, or tending to one of the existing problems we have mentioned.

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