One of the biggest comfort issues that people encounter in their homes during the warm months of the year is that some rooms and floors are easier to keep cool than others. This is a particularly big problem in the upper levels of a home, which are often much warmer than the main floor or the basement. Today we’re going to explain why this is such a notorious problem and what you can do to fix it by answering the question, “Why are my home’s upstairs levels always too hot?”
Why are my upstairs levels always too hot?
- Reason #1: Heat rises. As you might have learned in school, warm air naturally rises above cool air. When your air conditioner is not in a cooling cycle, warm air will gravitate up toward the upper levels of your home and make them warmer than the floors below. In most homes, the thermostat is located on the main floor. So even though upper levels typically require longer cooling cycles due to the rising of warm air, your air conditioner will only stay on long enough to cool down the main floor. The best way to solve this problem is to install a zoning system in your home. With a zoning system, you can have a separate thermostat for each floor. This allows your air conditioner to continue to deliver cool air to your upper levels even after the main floor has already completed its cooling cycle.
- Reason #2: Heat from your attic infiltrates the rooms below. The attics in most homes are unconditioned, and they can get extremely hot when the sun beams down on the roof all day long. That heat can seep down into the rooms that share a ceiling with the attic, making it much harder to keep those rooms cool. You can avoid this problem by properly insulating your attic floor so that the heat stays out of your home’s living spaces.
- Reason #3: Long distance from air conditioner. In most homes, the air conditioner is located either on the main floor or in the basement. This means that upper level rooms are typically the farthest away from the air conditioner. Although this isn’t a problem if your system is working properly, airflow can be restricted to your upper levels if your air handler is operating inefficiently due to problems like a clogged filter, dirty fan blades or mechanical problems. The two best ways to avoid airflow issues to your upper levels are to change your filter every month and schedule an air conditioner tune-up every year to have your air handler cleaned and inspected.
- Reason #4: Air vents are blocked. Cool air is delivered to your rooms via supply vents that are typically located on the floor. If you mistakenly put a bed, chair, bedside table or any other kind of furniture on top of a supply vent, that room will not receive enough cool air to keep it comfortable. Make sure that all of the supply vents in your upper level rooms are open and completely clear of obstructions so that they receive all of the cool air that’s being delivered to them.
If you have any questions about why your upstairs is always too hot, or if you’d like a cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Hydes, your Indio, CA, air conditioning contractor.