When The Upstairs Doesn't Cool Well: Solving A Common Air Conditioning Dilemma

Posted on: 13 January 2016

Do you find that the downstairs of your home cools off nicely in the summer, but the upstairs stays sticky and warm? You're not alone. Many homeowner have a tough time getting their upper floors cooled off, even when they have new, powerful air conditioners to depend on. Hot air rises, so to encourage your upstairs to cool off, you'll want to rely on these tactics.

Close the door between floors.

If there is a door that separates your upstairs from your downstairs, close it. This will keep all of the warm air from traveling upstairs and all of the cold air from traveling downstairs, which is what will happen naturally if the door is left open.

If you do not have a door between your upstairs and downstairs, consider purchasing a folding, portable door at your local home improvement store. These can typically be placed across a doorway or even across the base of your staircase. They fold on hinges so you can open them to get through.

Leave the fan on all of the time.

Most thermostats have two settings when it comes to the fan. You can have it turn on only when the air conditioner is running, or you can leave it on all of the time. If you only let it come on when the air conditioner is running, then there will be a lot of time between cycles for the air to settle -- the warm air will float upstairs. Leave the fan on all of the time, instead. This way, air will constantly be recirculated through the home. This will help to keep the temperature even.

Improve your insulation.

Another reason why the upper floors of many homes become hot is because the roofs are poorly insulated. Heat comes right in through the roof, warming the upstairs -- and the air conditioner can't quite keep up.

Try adding an extra layer of fiberglass insulation to your attic. You may also wish to go through the attic with a can or spray foam insulation (sold at most hardware stores) and seal off any little cracks or crevices you see. This includes gaps around any pipes and wires. This should stop warm, drafty air from coming in and warming your upstairs. Insulation is beneficial to both heating and cooling.

The upstairs of your home will probably never be quite as cool as the downstairs. But, with the tips above, you can ensure it's kept at a more comfortable temperature.