Hot Upstairs, Cold Downstairs? Cold Upstairs Hot Downstairs?

Are you Hot Upstairs, Cold Downstairs? or Cold Upstairs, Hot Downstairs?

Hello Everyone,

Do you have a problem with your upstairs being too hot and your downstairs being too cold?  Or, maybe that is vice-versa?  Well, I have that problem at my house!  (Another scenario could be that you have a room that is too hot or too cold.)

It can be very frustrating and uncomfortable.  Sometimes, I think that it is so hot upstairs (especially in the winter) that I am going to get a nose bleed.  If my wife and I set the thermostat for 72 downstairs, the upstairs is blazing hot.

Unfortunately, the builders did not put a zoned system or two individual units in our house. A zoned system is simply a single air conditioning/heating unit that uses two thermostats and dampers within the actual ductwork.

In my case, one thermostat could be located on the first floor; the second thermostat could be installed on the second floor.  Then, there are dampers in the ductwork that open and close based on which thermostat is calling for air or heat.

So, here are 3 possible solutions.

Solution #1 – Add an additional unit, thermostat and modify the duct work

two air conditioning unitsThis first solution is to add an additional air conditioner / heater, thermostat and modify the duct work system. This is probably the best solution, however it is not the least expensive.

When you add the additional air conditioning / heating unit to your home, you can now cool or heat each area independently.  In addition, if one of the units ever breaks down, you will have the other unit to keep you comfortable in one of the areas of your house.  This is especially nice in the summer when it is blazing hot!

Another option in this category is adding or changing your entire home over to mini-split / ductless units.  These units are extremely cost effective and will allow you to control the temperature in each room or zone that is set up.  This is a great option, but again, it is not the least expensive route.  Check out this page! It is dedicated to mini-splits / ductless systems.

Solution #2 – Convert to a Zoned System

zoned air conditioning systemIf you have a single air conditioning/heating unit, you can have the ductwork converted and an additional thermostat installed.  Now, this sounds simple, and it is, however, it is labor intensive.

Basically, most of the work is done on the duct system that you currently have in place.  The duct is modified with a bypass, zone dampers, a zone control board are added to the system.  Additionally, another thermostat must be added.  You can have several zones.

Once the zoned system has been set up, the dampers are controlled by the zone board and the thermostats.  When one of the zones need more cooling or heat, the dampers are regulated to send what is needed to the zone that is calling for it. Of course with this set up, you can get cooling or heating, but not at the same time.

This is a very viable solution to this problem, and lots of homes in the Charleston / Summerville / Mt. Pleasant area are already set up with systems like this.  This is not the least expensive solution, however, it is not as expensive as adding an additional unit (**in most cases).

Solution #3 – Upgrade your Thermostat

honeywell thermostatSolution # 3 is one that I am trying now.  I have upgraded my current thermostat to a new color display, programmable thermostat.  The thermostat that I have chosen, is a Honeywell thermostat.

The thermostat that I chose is the Prestige IAQ 2.0 Comfort System.  This thermostat not only reads the temperature, but it also has several add-ons that make it really nice.

The first convenience item that I would like to mention is the outdoor wireless sensor.  This sensor is mounted outside AND it is wireless.  This sensor reads the outside temperature and the humidity.

The second convenience item is the duct sensors.  These sensors monitor the air temperature coming into your system, and the temperature of the air being distributed throughout your home.  If there isn’t enough temperature difference, it will alert you that there is a problem.

remote control thermostatThe third add-on is a remote thermostat.  The thermostat is portable and acts like a remote control.  Now, you have the capability to take it upstairs with you.  You decide which thermostat you want to control the system, and the system responds accordingly.

Here is an example of how I use this… During the day, Staci and I are usually downstairs. Their is a 3 – 5 degree difference between the upstairs and downstairs.  So, during the day, the thermostat that is mounted downstairs is in control.  This is the great part!!  At night, we have the portable thermostat in our bedroom.  Now, the system can cool or heat based on where we are, and based on our comfort!

As you know, humidity is a huge factor in our personal comfort.  This thermostat measures humidity through its internal sensors. The nice part is that there is a setting to help control the humidity by using your existing air conditioning and heating unit.  (Note: For major humidity issues, a dehumidifier may be necessary.)

The forth add-on is one of my favorites!  I cannot help it, I am a techno-geek.  I love most things that are technologically based. This add-on has the ability to go wifi.  Yes, you can control your thermostat from a computer, your smartphone or your ipad!  Awesome!! If you forget to set your air conditioner or heater, no problem.  Just connect through the Honeywell app and your are in business!

Solution #3 is a very cost effective way to be comfortable with your current system.  In addition, this thermostat can control dehumidifiers, humidifiers, air quality products and uv lights. You can even change the color scheme to match the room that you put it in.

If you are too hot or too cold, give us a call at 843-821-0937 to discuss the options that will best suit you, your family and your budget!


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