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Second Floor Too Hot? Let’s See What We Can Do

red-arrow-heat-flow-diagramUneven heating is one of the major comfort hurdles homes need help to overcome. Even with powerful central air conditioning, a home will often have areas that are warmer than others—this is the unfortunate effect of several different factors. The most common uneven heating issue for homes is when a two-story house has an upper level that’s too hot.

Why the Second Floor Can Overheat

There are several reasons for the upper floor becoming hotter than the lower floor. First is the natural movement of heat. Heat rises, so it tends to collect at the upper stories of a house. If the same amount of cooling is applied to both the first and second story, the second story will probably end up hotter.

The second reason is the sunlight on the roof. Radiant heat on a sunny day spreads from the roof into the upper levels. Most of it will collect in the attic (this is the reason the attic is often scorchingly hot), but some will make it down into the house.

And that leads to the third problem, which is inadequate insulation. If the attic of the house doesn’t have enough insulation, the heat will move much easier from the attic into the living spaces. There may also be poor insulation around upper floor windows.

Fixing the Hot Second Floor

We’ve identified reasons for the overheated second floor. What can you do to even out the temperatures?

You’ve probably already guessed one on your own: improve attic insulation and seal up other insulation leaks on the floor. A well-insulated attic makes a huge difference in the amount of heat in a home in summer. (It prevents too much heat loss in the winter as well.)

If the insulation is good in the house, we recommend you check on the air filter for the HVAC system, since a clogged filter will cut down on airflow in the ductwork. If the HVAC system is in the basement (which it is for most homes in our area), the drop in airflow will mean the upper floors will be affected first.

You may need to upgrade your HVAC system to accommodate the upper floor. If you have an old system, have it replaced with a new one that has a more powerful blower fan. Or even better, have a zone control system put in. This allows you to change which areas of the house are cooled and heated. With one zone downstairs and one upstairs, you can run the upstairs one longer to help combat the rising heat from below.

If you don’t want to make drastic changes to the HVAC system, you can have ductless mini splits installed in upper floor rooms to add extra cooling power. These wall-mounted units connect to their own outdoor condenser and don’t make any changes to the existing ventilation system.

No matter what service you need for better cooling or air conditioning repair in Bucks and Montgomery County, PA, you can put your full trust in the experts at Carney.

Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling is always at your service. Call us for AC repair in Bucks and Montgomery County.

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