One of the downsides of living in a ground-floor apartment is that they can be expensive to heat.
Even though the rent is significantly cheaper on the ground floor compared to higher-floor apartments, the heating bills are more expensive because ground-floor apartments tend to be the coldest in a high-rise building.
Now you may wonder if there’s a difference between ground-floor and 2nd-floor apartments.
Are 2nd-floor apartments cheaper to heat? How big is the difference in heating bills between these floors?
Cost to Heat A 2nd-Floor Apartment Vs. A Ground-Floor Apartment:
Generally, it is slightly less expensive to heat a 2nd-floor apartment compared to a ground-floor apartment. Since heat tends to rise, 2nd-floor apartments are much warmer than those on the ground floor, which means 2nd-floor apartments require less energy to heat, reducing heating costs.
How Much Warmer Is A 2nd-Floor Apartment Compared To Ground Level?
The temperature in different floor levels of an apartment building can highly depend on various factors, which include:
- The location and its climate
- The building design
- The efficiency of the cooling and heating systems
Generally, a 2nd-floor apartment may be a few degrees warmer than one on the ground floor.
This is often the case, but most especially during winter because heat tends to rise naturally. This causes the higher floors of the apartment building to feel warmer compared to those on the lower floors.
During summer, apartments on the higher floors may feel really hot as cool air tends to settle near the ground.
Of course, this can still depend on how the building is designed and how efficient the cooling and heating systems are.
If the building has a well-designed cooling and heating system, the temperature differences between the floors may not be that significant. This is because a well-designed system can efficiently and adequately distribute the air in the entire building regardless of the floor level.
What is The Average Heating Cost in Apartments?
The average heating cost in apartments can vary greatly depending on several factors.
- The building location and its climate
- The building design
- The size of the apartment
- The type of heating system used in the building
- The season
- The current energy rates
In the United States, the average heating cost in apartments is around $69 per month when natural gas is used and $97 per month if electric heating is used.
However, it’s important to note that these numbers are simply averages. The actual cost can vary depending on the factors mentioned above.
Of course, you can expect that heating costs are more expensive in winter months, which is why the season is a crucial factor in heating.
Another important factor is the location. Some states have higher average heating costs because of their location.
Among all the states, Alaska has the highest heating costs, with an average of $291 per month using natural gas. Alaska is the coldest state, meaning people use more energy to warm their houses.
Other states with significantly higher heating costs include Rhode Island, Georgia, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, and Maryland.
On the other hand, Montana, New Mexico, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Iowa have the lowest heating costs.
The heating costs in apartments also depend on the size of the unit. Large apartment units with multiple rooms tend to have higher heating costs than studio apartments.
The activity of the occupants can also affect the heating costs. Leaving windows and doors open are little things that can impact your heating bills.
Does Heat Rise Upwards In Apartment Buildings?
Yes, heat does naturally rise upwards in apartment buildings. This is due to the process of convection!
Through this process, hot air rises to the higher floors of apartment buildings while cold air settles close to the ground. This is because hot air is less dense compared to cold air.
You can feel this natural tendency of heat, especially during winter months, because that’s when it is significantly colder on the ground level.
If an apartment building has a central heating system, the heat is distributed through air ducts that are installed throughout the building. This helps supply heat to each apartment unit.
However, the heat from this system will still rise to the higher floors, as is its natural tendency. This means the heating system must be adjusted to warm the lower floors adequately.
How Much Do You Save When Moving Up From Ground Level?
Moving up from ground level can save you some money on heating costs since heat tends to rise to higher floors, though it is not guaranteed.
For example, if you move up from ground level but the new apartment is bigger than your previous one, then you won’t get to save as much on heating bills.
That is because a bigger apartment still requires more heat energy than a smaller apartment.
Of course, if you move up to an apartment similar in size to your ground-floor apartment, you can save significant money on heating costs.
If your building has an efficient heating system, the amount you save may not be significant. This is because a well-designed heating system can properly distribute adequate heat in all apartment units, including those on the ground floor.
Ultimately, if you want to save on heating bills, here are some practical things that you can do:
- Regularly clean your air filters and replace them every 3 to 6 months.
- Close the gap in your windows and doors with weatherstripping to prevent cold drafts from entering your apartment.
- Close unused vents, especially in rooms that you rarely use.
- Turn on your ceiling fan, or buy one if you don’t have one yet, as this helps distribute warm air evenly in your apartment.
- Close the curtains or blinds to help contain hot air and warm your apartment.
If you want to know exactly how much money you can potentially save by moving up from ground level, then it would be best to consult an HVAC professional so they can check your apartment.