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Community and Q&A

Preventing heat going upstairs

shifuku | Posted in General Questions on

Hi All
I am trying to  find a good way to prevent heated air from downstairs going upstairs.
I am thinking to install “accordion curtain”
I would like to learn if somebody has done this method
. I heard there is accordion curtain that encircle the area. If someone can recommend where to go, I’d appreciate it. Shifuku

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  1. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #1

    These curtains work. I have one at my family cottage halfway up the stairs to the upper level. They aren’t particularly durable, so you have to be careful with them. I’d avoid a big one that could “encircle an area”. Try to find a doorway-size space to install one.

    Note that our cats managed to smash their way through one of the folds by expanding a small tear. The curtain still works, but now has a “cat door”. Expect the unexpected when using these :-)


    1. shifuku | | #3

      Thank you, Bill.
      I am looking for a company who makes custom made accordion curtain. Do you know where to go?

  2. Expert Member
    Akos | | #2

    Hot upstairs/cold downstairs most of the time is caused by air leaks in the basement and 2nd floor ceiling. Since hot air rises, leaks in the basement bring cold outside air into your house pushing the hot air from your furnace upstairs.

    Sealing these up will not only make a big difference in comfort but it would also save a lot of energy.

    The door in the stairwell will help with this but won't fix the underlying issues. A bit of blower directed air sealing and covering the basement windows if older single pane with one of those shrink fit films will make a huge difference.

    1. shifuku | | #4

      Thank you, Akos.
      There’s no basement in my home. I think I will find the card and that close the stairs.

  3. walta100 | | #5

    To my ear it sounds like you are treating the symptoms and not fixing the real problem of why is the temperature so different upstairs than down.

    Your plan is a brute force plan, understand warm air wants to rise and it will find any and all gap to do what it wants. Yes the stairwell is a big gap but understand there are likely lots of other gaps that are just less obvious.

    Also consider this curtain is a safety hazard and a code violation if you must stop on a stair tread and open it. People are likely to be caring things while trying to open it and could easily fall.

    You lack of a basement does not stop the cold air from finding the lowest leak and enter your home to replace the warm air leaking out of the higher spots.


  4. JC72 | | #6

    Sealing the air leaks on the second floor is a permanent solution.

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