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Premier Heating & Air Blog

Is Your Upper Floor Getting Too Hot When the Heater Is On?


Heat rises. This is a basic scientific fact that most people learned in elementary school. It’s also a fact that can turn into a problem when you live in a two-story home. Heat moves through the floors to collect at the top of the building, creating too much warmth in second-floor rooms.

When you use a central heating system for your house, you expect the heater to provide an even distribution of warmth to all the rooms. But you may run into the problem of an overheated upper floor in your home when your heating system is running. You have the heater sending heat to both levels, and then heat from the lower floor rises to the upper floor, resulting in temperatures possibly too high for comfort.

Is this something you just have to “deal with”? Or are there solutions?

This is a common problem—but not unavoidable

Many homes have difficulty with an overheated second floor. This doesn’t mean that the problem is unavoidable and will always happen. In fact, the issue may be due to problems with the HVAC system. Here are some of the potential sources for upper-floor heat overload.

  • Wrong-sized heater: You may have a heating system that is oversized, i.e. it produces greater heating output than necessary for your home’s size and other factors (such as heat generated from appliances, the insulation, the number of people who live in it, etc.). An oversized heater may provide the right level of heating for the downstairs as the heat escapes upstairs, but will overheat the upstairs. The only solution to this problem is to replace the heater—and have professionals size it accurately.
  • Ductwork: We regret to inform you that the ductwork in many homes is inadequate and poorly installed. Badly designed ductwork creates poor airflow circulation. In the case of an overheated upper floor of a house, the home may not have enough return air ducts on the second floor. This is a problem with older homes, but even modern homes may have this design flaw. Without enough return ducts, heated air on the second floor won’t circulate into the HVAC system.
  • Malfunctioning heater: The issue may come from your heating system running for too long or misreading temperatures in the house. There are several causes for a heater that cycles for too long, but the right heating repair in Riverdale, GA can resolve this.


HVAC experts can offer different solutions to this problem based on its source. Adding additional return air ducts, installing a correctly sized heater, and repairing a faulty heating system that runs too long are some of the basic ones. 

Another way to create the right balance is with the installation of a variable speed heating system and zone controls. With a variable speed heater, the heating system can lower the capacity with which it works so it more evenly distributes heat. Zone controls give you the ability to heat the lower and upper floors independently of each other so you can create a balance: heat the upper floor first, then switch to the lower floor. 

Talk to our team today to find out the best way to overcome that hot second floor.

Experience the Premier Difference! Premier Heating & Air has been family-owned and operated since 2001.

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