I recently received a letter from one reader in Missouri about the problems she's experiencing with her new two-story home. Now, having owned one of these properties for years, I can tell you – and the reader – that heating and cooling a two-story home is no easy task. Two-story homes, especially older ones, tend to either have one of two problems, but low-cost solutions are easy to establish.
The first problem – the kind that generally happens in newer two-story homes with better insulation – is that the heat from a home furnace tends to collect upstairs. This can make the upstairs rooms – generally where homeowners sleep – stuffy and hot. The second issue could be that – due to poor maintenance in older homes – this floor is losing a lot of heat.
Either way, you can take a proactive solution to your home heating by investing in some simple energy-saving products. For instance, for those who are experiencing the former problem, an electric fan can help take the edge off the rising manual thermostat readings they're seeing on the second floor. By blowing warmer air back down to the bottom floor – homeowners may be able to better even out the temperature.
Those who are experiencing the opposite problem can take a similar approach. By placing a fan on the bottom floor – I would recommend doing this near a heating duct or a stairwell – they can create better circulation to the upstairs without raising their thermostat.
Now, if you're shopping online for an electric fan for this use, remember power isn't always what you should be looking for. By using gentle consistent breezes – i.e. not strong enough to blow papers around or upset the dog – you can provide the currents that can allow you to enjoy your time at home better.