Do you suffer from the following?
The significant Temperature differential between the second floor from the ground floor.
Here is why:
- Windows allow up to 50-60% of heat energy to come in depending on adequate shading. Be careful of windows on the bottom floor as well.
- 10% gaps in insulation contribute to 20-25%
- Other heat sources down stairs go straight upstairs 20-25% (cooking, appliances generating heat, halogen lighting)
A typical reaction of occupants, when faced with an over heating upstairs in a double story home…
Abandon the second floor, and only cool downstairs. – The net effect, greater temperature differential, exacerbates air leakage at the top and bottom of the building. When there is a large difference in temperature inside a leaky building, pressures are greater, and air moves faster through holes that exist inside the building envelope.
In winter, if you have an overheated upstairs, some people might try to close off ducted heating outlets upstairs. Again, this will “NOT” help. Heat will always find its way to the highest part of the house, no matter where the heat outlets are.
- Install a split system on the second floor to reduce temperature stratification.
- Ducted transfer of air from upstairs to downstairs with a small inline fan. If any air is lost during this exchange, the building will be depressurized which could induce air leakage. This sort of a solution needs to be installed with care.
Installation of a doorway at the bottom of a staircase. After doing this it’s important to ensure insulation is installed in between floors, to contain thermal bridging, and it’s important that each floor has its ducted heating system, or is simply installed with split systems for heating and cooling.
For New builds
Installing a centralized ERV/HRV ventilation system, reduces stratification considerably, especially when combined with air tightness in the building envelope.