Even and Efficient Heating and Cooling in Two-Story Homes

If you have a two-story house, you might be concerned about whether your heating is being dispersed evenly and efficiently around the home. Comfortable heating is a major challenge because energy prices have risen dramatically in recent years. You don’t want to be paying more than you must on your energy bill. While a two-story house has a few disadvantages, it also has many advantages that make it more efficient than a simple one-story box house. This is why you need to understand how to optimize your home for the best results in energy efficiency. A simple thing you could do is to get a variety of energy upgrades from Alps Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc..

Anyone who has a two-story home (or has ever been in a two-story home in the summertime) is familiar with the issue of uneven cooling. You may be enjoying the cool air in the downstairs living room, but then walk upstairs and begin to sweat. Watch our video to see our specialist Joey touch on this issue and offer some resolution to this common problem!

Advantages of a Two-Story Home

When it comes to heat transfer, a smaller surface area is always better. Two-story homes often have smaller roofs than their one-story counterparts. That means that you get a lot more efficiency in that configuration. Your treated air is less likely to transfer into the atmosphere when the roof is smaller. That is a major advantage,
and it is usually enough to keep energy prices within a reasonable range for your two-story home.

You also have the benefit of your upper story being easier to warm up. That is because heat rises, meaning that the natural flow of the air can help keep your upper floor heated adequately. Just that one thing alone ensures that your heating is a lot better in your two-story home. However, you might have issues with needing a second heating system on the second floor, but it will depend on how big your house is overall.

How Multistory Home Design Impacts Temperatures

We all learned in science class that heat rises, and this simple principle can impact the way that your home heating system works in very significant ways. If you live in a single-story home, all that you have to do is set one thermostat to your desired temperature and make adjustments as needed. But it’s not quite as simple when it comes to a two-story home. Air travels upstairs and downstairs in very predictable ways, and you can expect some significant differences even if you set the same temperature for upstairs and downstairs.

This temperature imbalance between floors can affect more than just your family’s comfort. Heat rises to upper floors and cold air sinks to lower floors. This means that your air conditioning will generally work harder upstairs during the summer months and your heating downstairs will work harder during the winter. If you fail to coordinate your thermostats properly, your units will run much longer and make your energy bills skyrocket. The extra wear and tear can also hasten the demise of your HVAC systems.

Trust Your Thermostat

You will typically have multiple thermostats for your two-story home. This means that you have a predicament when it comes to setting the temperatures you want.

For heating, it is often standard practice to set both thermostats within two degrees of each other to ensure that you have similar heating on both stories of your house. It also ensures that you don’t waste energy heating your second story more than it needs.

You should also remember that your thermostat will be a lot better at regulating the temperature automatically than you ever could. In addition, your thermostat can be set based on the times when you are home and when you are away. You don’t need to waste a lot of energy heating your home when you are not there.

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) recommends setting your thermostat to 78 degrees in the summer months and 68 degrees in the winter months. These recommendations offer what they feel is the best mix of comfort and energy efficiency. You’re always free to set your thermostat to whatever temperature that you choose, but there are other ways to stay comfortable that don’t require you to adjust the thermostat, such as wearing warmer clothes in the winter and using a programmable thermostat. If you do use programmable thermostats, be sure to coordinate the settings between the different levels of the home.

It might be tempting to shut your air conditioning off for your upstairs floors during the daytime to save a little money, but that’s often a false economy. Your downstairs unit will run until it reaches the desired temperature without having the benefit of the cool air drifting downstairs from the other unit. Your downstairs unit could run all day in an attempt to cool both floors and succeed in cooling neither! You can experiment by setting a slightly larger gap (4-6 degrees Fahrenheit) but are unlikely to see more significant energy savings by making extreme changes between floors.

Use a Ceiling Fan

While you typically associate ceiling fans with warm weather, they can also help you efficiently heat your home. During the winter, change the rotation of your fans so that they are turning in a clockwise direction. This will pull warm air up into the ceiling, out to the walls, and around the room. A strategically placed ceiling fan can also help you pull warm air up into the second floor of your home.

Ensure Your Insulation Is Adequate

Getting periodic checkups is a crucial part of maintaining your home’s HVAC system. One aspect that many people never think about is insulation. If your home is not adequately insulated, you are spending a lot of energy sending conditioned air throughout your home only to have it seep out through the walls. Insulation is even more critical in a two-story home as you will often have more rooms that need to be heated.

Your insulation plays a key role in ensuring that you don’t waste any energy getting your home to the temperature you desire. Scheduling an inspection can help you ensure that your insulation is adequate. If there are any problems, you can have Alps Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. install more.

Maintain Your HVAC System

Having the professionals from Alps Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. maintain your HVAC system can also ensure that heating is efficient and even. Regular maintenance helps your system perform optimally. In addition to helping you save money, maintenance also reduces wear and tear, which will lessen your repair needs and help prevent unexpected breakdowns. During a maintenance appointment, our team will clean and inspect your system, change air filters, lubricate moving parts, and perform other tasks.

If you have any questions about your home HVAC systems, Alps Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. is here to help! We’ve been proud to serve Anaheim, California and surrounding areas since 1979, and our NATE-certified employees are always a phone call or a mouse click away when you need professional heating and air conditioning service! We’re proud to carry the full line of Lennox comfort systems, and we have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau! We also offer water heater service and attic insulation. Contact Alps Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. today to schedule HVAC services in Anaheim, CA or elsewhere in Orange County.