When two-story homes get hot, air conditioning systems face a challenge: Heat naturally rises, which makes cooling the first level of the home easy, while the second level can be more challenging. If you’re tired of your second story feeling like an oven, there are changes you can make to help cool things down both above and below. Let’s go over the most effective solutions.
Control Your Ductwork If Possible
If airflow is limited when going to your basement or first floor, more cool air will be pushed higher into the second floor, cooling it down more reliably. Start with your basement, if possible, and close off the vents all or most of the way to help out your second floor. If you don’t have a basement, try closing off vents on the first floor, especially in the rooms that you aren’t using. You may also want to consider a multi zone cooling system if a remodel is in your future.
Add More Attic Insulation and Ventilation
The second floor, as you may have guessed, is closer to the roof than the first floor. That’s a problem during warm, sunny days, because the roof and attic can absorb heat and aren’t inclined to let it go. The heat can impact the second floor and make it more difficult to cool down. However, you can make a difference by adding more insulation to your attic (foam insulation can also help cover any existing attic cracks). This keeps the heat from affecting your second floor as much. You may also want to look into adding an attic vent on the roof to keep your attic cooler. Consult a professional first!
Tweak Your Thermostat
Does your thermostat have an “auto” feature that keeps the fan running more consistently throughout the day? Switching to this auto mode may use more electricity, but it will also help circulate air more effectively through the house and keep the second floor from getting stuffy.
Close Up Your Windows
Use your blinds and shades! Sunlight streaming through upstairs windows can make everything feel hotter.
Use More Fans
Ceiling fans and desk fans help circulate the air. Set one up on your second floor and make sure it’s on as things start getting warm. This will help cool air fill the second floor more quickly. Plus, it feels good on your skin.