Why is My Upstairs Hotter than My Downstairs?

If your house is a two-story, it's likely you're aware of how heat rises. But, if you're experiencing different temperatures between your downstairs and upstairs rooms, this doesn't necessarily mean your AC unit isn't working properly. If your air conditioner wasn't doing what it's supposed to, it wouldn’t be just your upstairs that's affected, but rather both your upstairs and your downstairs. Therefore, you should look into other reasons why your upstairs is hotter than your downstairs. Some reasons/causes could be: 

  1. Faulty Ductwork
    You could be experiencing problems with the ductwork if your upstairs is hotter than your downstairs. Maybe your ductwork is in bad condition or is faulty. It could have debris or dust in it. Anything obstructing the ductwork could redirect your cool air from reaching your upper floor.
  1. Your Roof is Hot
    The roof absorbs a lot of the sun's heat, unless it's shaded by a tree. All the heat from your roof moves into your attic and makes its way to your upper floor. If you don't have an attic that can work to buffer this heat or if you don't have proper insulation in your roof, it can increase the heat factor of your upper level floor.
  1. Poor Attic Insulation
    When the heat rises, it flows towards cool air, meaning when your attic becomes hotter in the summertime, it could cause your attic to become extremely hot and if your attic isn't insulated properly, this hot air will get into your air conditioned living spaces. Then the ceilings next to your hot attic can heat up, placing added stress on your AC unit and making it more difficult to do its job.

Cool Your Upstairs with a Whole House Fan and Attic Fan
A whole house fan might seem old fashioned, but it is slowly regaining popularity. It's a simple idea behind them. In the morning and evening a whole house fan will draw in the cooler air outdoors through open windows and doors, forcing it through your attic and venting it out the roof vents. This will push the hot air out of your home, essentially cooling your home and attic. You typically mount a whole house fan in an upstairs hallway ceiling or stairwell where you have a minimum of 3 feet clearance about your fan.

A couple of primary benefits of  whole house fans are: 

  • It saves energy: It can actually save a lot more energy than if you were to use your air conditioning system and in drier climates, you could even replace your air conditioner with a whole house fan during cool mornings and evenings.
  • It's simple to install: With some basic tools and a helper, you could potentially make a weekend project out of installing your whole house fan.

In addition to a whole house fan, installing an attic fan could also help move the hot air back outdoors and lower the temperature of your attic a great deal. When you have a cooler attic, you'll have less heat overflow into your upper level living spaces. Attic fans can:

  • Lower the temperatures of your upper floor
  • Keep your attic dry in the wintertime with an optional humidistat
  • Lengthen the lifespan of your roof because it keeps shingles cooler
  • Save you in air conditioning costs

An attic fan can work along with your whole house fan or air conditioner, but you shouldn't use it in place of either.

If  your upstairs is much hotter than your downstairs, we can help.  Call us at 1-888-229-5757 and we can talk about the right cooling solution option for you.