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Why is our house cold upstairs and hot downstairs?

John Conlin / 26 May 2017

Our 1960s house is cold upstairs, too hot downstairs and we don’t know what to do about it

Electric fan by a window
If it's so hot downstairs you need a fan but cold upstairs, check to see what insulation you have.


We recently bought a 1960s house. It is open plan downstairs, with an open staircase leading to first floor bedrooms with dormer windows.

Although the central heating works, it is always cold upstairs whilst downstairs is far too hot. Any suggestions?


You have given two clues to a possible explanation. In the 1960s loft and roof insulation was not routinely installed. ‘Dormer windows’ suggests that at least part of the ceilings of the first floor rooms will be sloping as they will form the underside of the roof.  Hence, with no insulation, there will be significant heat loss. The simplest solution is to line the walls and ceilings on the first floor with insulating plasterboard (plasterboard with a bonded layer of foam insulation) which can be fixed to the existing surfaces using a universal building adhesive.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.