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Why is It Hotter Upstairs than Downstairs in My House?

9172640928_e578e4f69a_mDoes it always seem like the upper levels of your house are hotter than the ground floor and the basement? This is a common and unfortunate situation, especially when you consider the fact that bedrooms are often located upstairs and it can be difficult to sleep in a hot room. Today we’re going to help you understand why this happens and what you can do about it by answering the question, “Why is my upstairs always too hot?”

 

Why is my upstairs always too hot?

 

    • Warm air rises. It’s a fact of nature: warm air rises above cool air. So at any given time in your home, your upper levels likely contain more warm air than the lower levels because warm air tends to gravitate up toward them. The best way to solve this problem is by installing a zoning system, which we’ll explain below.

 

    • Rooms share a border with the attic. Often times, the warmest rooms in your home are the ones that share a ceiling with your attic. When the sun is shining during the day, its rays beam down directly onto your roof. Heat from those rays flows into your attic, which is often an unconditioned part of your home. As a result, attics can get extremely hot, especially during the day. When heat builds up in your attic, it can flow down through the floor and into your living spaces below. The best way to solve this problem is to improve your attic’s insulation levels so that heat does not infiltrate the conditioned parts of your home.

 

    • Air handler issues. It’s rare that air conditioners are located on upper levels of a home. That means that upstairs rooms are often located far away from your system’s air handler. When your air conditioner is working properly, this shouldn’t be an issue. However, if something is hindering your air handler’s performance, it can limit the amount of cool air that is able to make it upstairs. This can happen when your air filter is clogged because it restricts airflow to your system. This is one reason why it’s important to change your filter every month. In addition, dirt can build up on your air handler’s blades and weigh them down, which causes them to spin slower. You can avoid this problem by both changing your filter and scheduling annual tune-ups to have your system cleaned.

 

    • Air vents closed or blocked. If your air vents are closed or blocked by furniture or rugs in any of your upstairs rooms, heat can build up quickly. This is a common problem in bedrooms when beds or bedside tables are located right on top of air vents. Be sure to keep all of your air vents completely open and clear so that your upstairs rooms get all of the cool air your system tries to send to them.

 

Keep your upstairs levels cool with a zoning system

 

The best way to even out the temperature levels in your home is to install a zoning system. With a zoning system, you can put a separate thermostat upstairs that operates independently from the lower levels. This is the best way to combat the rise of warm air in your home and can also address comfort issues in rooms that have historically been impossible to keep cool.

 

If you have any questions about your upstairs being too hot, or if you’d like a cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Charles, MO, air conditioning contractor. We serve the St. Louis area, including towns like Weldon Spring, Wentzville and Winghaven, MO.

 

photo credit: cogdog via photopin (license)