How to Fix Uneven Heating and Cooling in a Two-Story Home

How to Fix Uneven Heating and Cooling in a Two-Story Home

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How to Fix Uneven Heating and Cooling in a Two-Story Home

School is in session. It’s time to find out if you were paying attention in those high school science classes. Is the following statement true or false?

Hot air rises and cool air sinks?

This was likely too easy for you. After all, everyone knows hot air balloons rise into the air, so the answer is TRUE. Now let’s talk about how this relates to heating and cooling your Glenwood Springs, Aspen, or Vail, CO home.

Hot and cold spots

This is one of the most common problems clients tell Climate Control Company about. Many complaints about uneven heating and cooling come from people who live in two-story homes. You can’t change the laws of physics we just talked about, so the second floor of a home is almost always going to be warmer than the first floor. Sometimes as much as ten degrees warmer.

Reasons and solutions

While we can’t change physics, there are some underlying problems that can make things worse and there are some things you can do to change those.

  • Blocked vents—Take a good look at your home. Make sure HVAC supply and return vents aren’t covered by drapes, furniture, rugs, or anything else. A lack of airflow in one area will just make uneven heating and cooling worse.
  • Fan setting—The preferred setting for your HVAC fan is the “auto” position meaning the fan only runs during active heating or cooling cycles. When you do have hot and cold spots, running the fan continuously, or in the “on” position, will help circulate the air. This will cost some extra money in electricity and cause extra wear and tear on the fan motor.
  • Leaky ductwork—The ducts carrying conditioned air to the second floor could have leaks. This can account for losing around 20-30% of heating and cooling efficiency. A trained technician can test the ductwork and seal any leaks.
  • Attic insulation—If there’s not enough insulation in your attic it will exacerbate any uneven heating and cooling problems. Climb into the attic and take a look. If you can see the ceiling joists, then you should add more insulation.

More permanent solutions

All those steps are important but may not be enough to solve your problem. Climate Control can help with two more permanent solutions for uneven heating and cooling.




The house can be divided into zones each having its own thermostat. The thermostat controls dampers in the ductwork directing more or less conditioned air to each zone as needed. The simplest setup would be two zones, one for downstairs and one for upstairs. More sophisticated systems can have zones for specific rooms or areas on each floor.


Ductless mini splits


These use heat pump technology to deliver supplemental heating and cooling to specific areas. As many as four splits (air handlers) can be connected to a single outside compressor. Each air handler has its own thermostat for custom temperature control.

Class dismissed

What I hope you’ve learned is despite those pesky laws of physics, you don’t have to put up with hot and cold spots in your Glenwood Springs, Aspen, or Vail, CO home. Call Climate Control Company now to learn more about how we can help. There’s always great information like this available on our Facebook and Twitter accounts so be sure to like and follow us.