Heating Loads: Upstairs Versus Downstairs

Fall 2017
A version of this article appears in the Fall 2017 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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September 06, 2017
Some time ago, my colleagues and I at Taitem Engineering observed that two-story buildings with open staircases used significantly more heat downstairs than upstairs. We saw this in two buildings. This led to further investigation to determine whether this phenomenon was replicable. We took measurements in two more buildings and confirmed that it was. All four buildings had two stories, had open staircases, and had separate heating controls downstairs and upstairs. Total heat used downstairs ranged from approximately 70% to 90%. Combining the results for all four buildings, we found that an average of 78.5% of total heat was used downstairs.

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