When your air conditioning kicks on to cool your home on a hot summer day in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, you likely expect it to cool every room in the house evenly. And, when the air conditioning system is working perfectly, that’s exactly what it will do. Unfortunately, not every system functions perfectly, and many homeowners find that their upstairs remains quite a bit warmer than the lower floor, leading them to ask the question, why is my upstairs so hot?
So, what is going on? Why does the upstairs stay so hot, and more importantly, what can be done to fix it? We are going to dive into these issues in the article below. If you’d like to get professional help with this problem to even out the cooling performance of your air conditioning system throughout the house, contact Walker Air • Plumbing • Electric today for assistance.
Why is My Upstairs So Hot? The Science
We don’t need to get too deep into the science here in this discussion, but one basic fundamental law of physics is a starting point for understanding this problem – heat rises. When you have air of differing temperatures within a space, the warm air is going to rise toward the top of those rooms, while the cooler air sinks to the bottom. So, within your home, warm air will want to make its way up toward the higher levels, while the cool air will fall down toward the ground.
Given this law of the physical world, do you have to just throw up your hands and accept that your upstairs is always going to be hot? No, despite the fact that science is working against you, it’s still possible to balance things out – at least partially – and make your upstairs a more comfortable place to spend time in the summer.
Home Design and Construction
It’s not just the fact that warm air rises, which is going to lead to a warm upstairs space. Another piece of this puzzle is the design of your home and how it was built – or how it has been maintained since it was built. Specifically, we are talking about the way your attic is insulated. Unlike the downstairs, your upstairs level has the sun beating down on it all day long. It’s the job of the insulation in the attic to keep some of that heat from getting down into the house. So, if insulation is lacking, the heat from the attic will make it quite difficult to cool down the upstairs rooms just below.
Adding some fresh insulation to the attic can go a long way toward improving this issue. Insulation alone likely won’t even things out entirely, but it can help take some of the pressure off of your HVAC system by not requiring it to work as hard to maintain a good temperature.
Adjustments to the System
Beyond insulation, you might need to look at your HVAC system itself to find steps you can take to get better results. As a simple step, try adjusting the position of your vents throughout the house to direct the flow of cool air to where you need it most. Specifically, you could try partially closing some of the downstairs vents while making sure all the upstairs vents are wide open. This will make it easier for the conditioned air to get into the upstairs rooms, and it won’t flood the downstairs with more cool air than is really necessary to keep it comfortable.
If a basic step like adjusting the vents doesn’t help, think about having a contractor look at your system as a whole to make sure it’s a good fit for your house. There is a possibility that you just don’t have enough cooling power in your system to keep the upstairs comfortable on the hottest of summer days. It might be that the system is too small for the house, or it could be that the system has lost some of its capacity as it has aged. You would need to make an investment in new equipment to solve the problem this way, but that’s an investment that could pay off in the form of increased comfort for years to come.
You don’t have to be stuck permanently with an upstairs space that is too hot to enjoy comfortably during the winter months. Whether the fix is something you can handle on your own, or you need to work with the pros here at Walker Air • Plumbing • Electric to get the problem solved, a solution for your air conditioner is available. Get started today and make it through the hot summer months in more comfort than ever before. Thanks for visiting!