If you live in a two story home, you may find yourself avoiding going upstairs on the hottest summer days. While the first floor may feel comfortable and cool, your second floor may be unbearably hot. Although you may have tried cranking up your AC, it is not likely to have resolved the issue, so here we will explore why this happens and what you can do to correct the problem.

The Basics

Most of us are aware that heat rises and this is often the cause of a hot second floor. When your HVAC system is on the first floor, it will need to push hot air out to allow cooler air to enter the room. This means that your system is working harder to try and distribute cooled air on the second floor. There are a number of factors that can affect how hard your equipment needs to work to cool the second floor including the number of rooms in your home, the capacity of the equipment and if the equipment is beyond its optimum performance lifespan.

Another common reason for a hot second floor is a hot roof. Unless your roof is adequately protected from the sun or can deflect sunlight, it will absorb heat, and this can travel through the attic into your second floor.
Poor second floor cooling can also be the result of faulty ductwork. If your ducts are leaking or improperly installed, it can allow cooled air to escape from the system. This may mean that cooled air isn’t even reaching your second floor.

Correcting the Problem

Once you have determined why your second floor is hot, you can address the underlying issue. A good place to start is changing your filters. Clogged filters restrict airflow that can cause cooling problems, particularly in problem areas such as your second floor. You should also think about properly insulating your attic. Proper insulation will lessen the heat reaching your second floor. It is also important that your attic is adequately ventilated to allow excess moisture and heat to escape.

Upgrade Your Equipment

If you have tried insulating your windows and attic to prevent cool air leaks, you may need to consider upgrading your equipment. The most likely reason why your second floor is too hot is that your current air conditioner lacks the capacity to adequately cool the space. If your air conditioner is getting older or is under powered, upgrading your equipment is likely to resolve the issue. Although DIY fixes may help to cool your second floor, if the underlying issues are equipment related, you’re unlikely to achieve the desired results without some professional assistance.

If you’re having difficulties with a hot second floor, there is no need to consider this area of your home out of action in summer. A professional HVAC specialist can assess your current system and make recommendations to address the underlying problem. Upgrading your air conditioner to a more powerful and properly installed system may immediately improve the comfort level inside your home so that you can enjoy all areas of your home at any time of the year.