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#4625544 - 01/06/18 05:31 AM Uneven heating issue with town home.
motor_oil_madman Offline


Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 4803
Loc: Houston, Texas
So i bought a townhouse and its two floors, three if you include the parking area below. I was told that since you dont have insulation from the ground, the first floor is going to be cooler. It only has one central heating/cooling system.

Now wth that being said, I want to say the first floor is about 7 degrees cooler than the top floor. The thing is I'm not sure I'm buying into the lack of insulation idea because the vents downstairs barely blow any air compared to upstairs and I think that's more of the problem. Opinions? I'm not really sure why they didn't put in two units. I've never lived in a multi story town home. Maybe this is the norm?
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#4625547 - 01/06/18 05:34 AM Re: Uneven heating issue with town home. [Re: motor_oil_madman]
motor_oil_madman Offline


Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 4803
Loc: Houston, Texas
How do you squeeze more air out of the first floor vents? Also, why would they not blow as strong? I was thinking to maybe close off a couple vents upstairs to increase the floor downstairs to the other vents?


Edited by motor_oil_madman (01/06/18 05:36 AM)
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#4625556 - 01/06/18 06:17 AM Re: Uneven heating issue with town home. [Re: motor_oil_madman]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 32514
Loc: ME
Some of your vents will be blowers and some will be returns. You have to find the combo that works, noone on the internet will know your house better.

One thermostat?

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#4625561 - 01/06/18 06:31 AM Re: Uneven heating issue with town home. [Re: motor_oil_madman]
azjake Offline


Registered: 01/31/12
Posts: 414
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
It's simple. Hot air rises and downstairs is always going to be cooler than upstairs in the winter months. When my company transferred me to Utah in 2002 we bought a brand new 2 story home. The one winter I was there the downstairs was always much cooler than upstairs. I currently live in a single story home with vaulted ceilings in a large (500 sq. ft) living/family room. With the vaulted ceilings that area is always cooler than the rest of the house. The hot air rises principle is one of the reasons I would never own a two story home here in Phoenix. Trying to cool the upstairs in 110 degree heat in summer costs a fortune.
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#4625572 - 01/06/18 06:51 AM Re: Uneven heating issue with town home. [Re: motor_oil_madman]
madRiver Offline


Registered: 07/11/15
Posts: 3460
Loc: New England
Heat rises. You need more zones(aka heating systems) or throttling on top floor to make first warmer.

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#4625574 - 01/06/18 06:52 AM Re: Uneven heating issue with town home. [Re: azjake]
Patman Offline



Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 20308
Loc: Oakville, Ontario
Originally Posted By: azjake
It's simple. Hot air rises and downstairs is always going to be cooler than upstairs in the winter months.


That's not the case at all in my townhouse. The thermostat is on the main floor and we set it to 72F. It was a bone chilling -9F overnight and our bedroom was only 60 degrees when I woke up. The kids bedrooms are at the front of the house and are even colder than ours! We always need electric space heaters to warm up our second floor bedrooms in the winter here. And our home is not that old, it was built in 2009 and has no leaks from old drafty windows or anything like that. I had the same problem in my previous townhouse, which I also bought brand new.
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#4625578 - 01/06/18 07:08 AM Re: Uneven heating issue with town home. [Re: motor_oil_madman]
motor_oil_madman Offline


Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 4803
Loc: Houston, Texas
The thermostat is on the second floor here.
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#4625582 - 01/06/18 07:21 AM Re: Uneven heating issue with town home. [Re: motor_oil_madman]
Eddie Offline


Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 9495
Loc: Florida, Cape Coral
Small space heaters in top floor bedrooms at night in very cold weather or electric blankets? Ed
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#4625584 - 01/06/18 07:23 AM Re: Uneven heating issue with town home. [Re: motor_oil_madman]
JohnnyJohnson Offline


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 2621
Loc: Wet side WA
Witch floor is the return air to the furnace on?
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#4625586 - 01/06/18 07:28 AM Re: Uneven heating issue with town home. [Re: Patman]
Rolla07 Offline


Registered: 11/05/11
Posts: 4718
Loc: MTL, CANADA
Originally Posted By: Patman
Originally Posted By: azjake
It's simple. Hot air rises and downstairs is always going to be cooler than upstairs in the winter months.


That's not the case at all in my townhouse. The thermostat is on the main floor and we set it to 72F. It was a bone chilling -9F overnight and our bedroom was only 60 degrees when I woke up. The kids bedrooms are at the front of the house and are even colder than ours! We always need electric space heaters to warm up our second floor bedrooms in the winter here. And our home is not that old, it was built in 2009 and has no leaks from old drafty windows or anything like that. I had the same problem in my previous townhouse, which I also bought brand new.


If a central system and no air leaks like you say, id guess the system installed is not powerful enough. 2009 build should have decent amount of insulation. Wheteher it was done right is another question.

OP, i think the other posters are right, it will always be colder on the lower floor, close an upstairs vent or two and see if it improves. I think the new norm is and should be to insulate all the way to the bottom and not just halfway.
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#4625590 - 01/06/18 07:43 AM Re: Uneven heating issue with town home. [Re: motor_oil_madman]
JustinH Offline


Registered: 04/17/04
Posts: 5153
Loc: Texas
Don't worry partner, it will be 70 degrees this weekend in Houston.
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#4625596 - 01/06/18 07:51 AM Re: Uneven heating issue with town home. [Re: motor_oil_madman]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20386
Loc: Upstate NY
I would try throttling back some of the vents in the second floor a bit and see if that helps. Heat does rise, you cannot stop that. It could also be an undersized system, restrictive ducting.

I have a Samsung SmartThings smart hub. One of the items that it can control is smart louvers for heating ducts. I would look into it if I had an issue you you mention.

My DE home has 2 entire heat pump systems, one for each floor. But I am assuming it was not cheap. However we will not be using the second floor unless we have our kids or friends sleeping over, so its a good setup for us.
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#4625616 - 01/06/18 08:07 AM Re: Uneven heating issue with town home. [Re: Donald]
Finz Offline


Registered: 06/06/13
Posts: 677
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: Donald
I would try throttling back some of the vents in the second floor a bit and see if that helps.


This would be my first plan of attack... play with the vents upstairs.

Maybe reposition furniture and stuff making sure nothing is blocking or impeding the airflow downstairs

Another option would be to relocate the thermostat to the first floor... sounds like an involved job but really very simple.
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#4625617 - 01/06/18 08:08 AM Re: Uneven heating issue with town home. [Re: motor_oil_madman]
alarmguy Offline


Registered: 07/10/12
Posts: 2116
Loc: South Carolina
Its really simple, make sure the downstairs vents are fully open and unblocked.
Close down (but not completely) the upstairs vents and this will force more air to the low level.

In summer you may have to do the reverse as cold air sinks.

With the above said, there very well maybe a "damper"/diverter in the system to adjust air flow to the 1st and 2nd floors, if there is it would be located someplace near the unit and its ductwork inside the home, attic, basement, closet ...


Edited by alarmguy (01/06/18 08:08 AM)
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#4625627 - 01/06/18 08:21 AM Re: Uneven heating issue with town home. [Re: motor_oil_madman]
ZZman Offline


Registered: 03/17/08
Posts: 5664
Loc: Michigan
Has it been checked for balance in the runs? Do you have a ceiling fan to keep air moving?
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