It’s summer, your air conditioner is blasting, and every room downstairs feels cool. But what about your second floor? It’s as though the heat hits you in the face as soon as you get to the last step. Does this sound familiar?
Many homeowners are frustrated during the hottest months of the year when their two-story houses become hot and humid upstairs while remaining cool and breezy downstairs. The good news is that you don’t have to live with the temperature discrepancies. Learn why this occurs and what you can do to change it!
Common Reasons Why Your Upstairs Is Hot
1. Heat rises - Blame it on physics: hot air rises. That means your upstairs is at a disadvantage, meaning it could be hotter than your lower levels, even if your air conditioner is on.
2. It’s hot on the roof - Unless you have enough shade from trees, your roof absorbs a lot of heat from the sun. That hot air seeps into your attic before making its way to the top floor. You’ll feel hotter upstairs if you don’t have attic space to buffer the heat or if your roof isn’t well-insulated.
3. Faulty ductwork - Ducts absorb and transmit cool air from your HVAC system throughout your home. If your ducts are old, poorly fitted, or leak, your air conditioner may struggle to chill your home evenly.
4. Single-zone systems - One zone air conditioning systems work to cool anywhere the duct work runs, not a specific section of your home. They’re ideal for controlling the temperature in a single level or specialized space. However, single zone systems may struggle to cool the second floor of your home during the heat of summer. Consider converting to multi-zone air conditioning, which allows you to manage the temperature in many rooms, or zones.
5. Air conditioner age – Your air conditioner might be outdated. If your system isn’t effectively cooling your upstairs, it could be due to its age. Over time air conditioners wear down. It might be time to upgrade your system to a newer one that balances temperature more evenly.
Four Tips For Keeping Your Upstairs Cool
1. Insulate – Try adding additional insulation to your attic or having a professional company use spray foam. This will greatly reduce your attic temperatures, giving you a cooler upstairs and reducing your electric bill.
2. Ventilate – As simple as it sounds, adding a ceiling or floor fan to your upstairs will help circulate the air and limit the amount of hot air lingering around.
3. Add a multi-zone system – Adding a multi-zone system will allow you run the air conditioning system where you need it at any time. You can choose to force air to any zone or all zones at one time.
4. Reduce light/block heat – Consider purchasing heat blocking or blackout shades. These reduce the amount of light that enters the room, effectively keeping heat out.