What to Do When Your Upstairs Won’t Cool Down

You might feel that during the summer, your upstairs level is stubborn and won’t cool down as much as your lower levels. Really, it’s not stubbornness, but physics. Learning how to cool down upstairs doesn’t require blasting your AC to maximum levels, but involves adapting to Mother Nature and the sun.

Simply put, your upstairs is warmer because hot air rises and cool air sinks. It is natural for this to happen during the summer, but also during the winter. You might feel that your lower levels are cooler than desired, but your upstairs is comfortable.

Another issue you could have is with your roof. The roof is likely absorbing the sun’s heat, and that heat is transferred to the attic and the second floor, which also makes it troublesome to cool the upstairs level.

A third possibility is if there is a problem with your ductwork. Faulty ductwork caused by poor installation or leaky ducts will prevent an efficient flow of cool air upwards. Again, turning the AC up will only send more of that needed cool air elsewhere instead of to the second floor.

Trying to neutralize the warm air upstairs by turning up your HVAC system can be detrimental. You will spend more time and energy to have your air conditioning do the work, which is more work than necessary. Instead of trying to combat the heat itself, focus on the factors that are causing the heat.

Wherever the sun is shining will naturally become warmer. Block the sun by closing the blinds, or you can try heat blocking shades or a UV blocking film. Energy-efficient double pane windows will also keep the temperature difference between the outside and inside, both in summer and winter.

Extra insulation above can stop the spread of the heat, too. That new insulation under the roof and in the attic will prevent all of that hot air from seeping in. Attic fans also cool down the area by creating an upward flow of hot air, decreasing the chance of it spreading to the second floor.

Do not discredit your HVAC system in helping the situation completely. Switch the setting from “auto” to “on” for a more even mix of cool air throughout the house. No need to change the temperature setting on the thermostat, and no need to worry about extra energy use. A constant flow from the fan can be more efficient than having the HVAC system kick on and off every so often.

This summer, be smart about staving off the heat. Cooling your home will take a well-thought out strategy, but it is possible to do so efficiently. To learn more about keeping your upstairs comfortable this season, call Sunrise Heating and Plumbing at (616) 293-9326. We pride ourselves in providing nothing but exceptional customer service.