Why Your Upstairs is Warmer than Your Downstairs and How to Fix It

Living in a multistory home will almost always result in upstairs temperatures that are several degrees warmer than downstairs, and it is usually a challenge to find a balance between the correct upstairs and downstairs temperatures to keep all areas of your home comfortable. This difference in temperatures and the main reason why it is unavoidable is that hot air rises. In the process of cooling your home, the cool air introduced will naturally push hot air upwards into your second story and attic.

But the upward tendency of warm air is not the only reason your upper floors are less comfortable. Various features of your home and AC system can help contribute to the problem, as well as give you solutions for fixing a warm upstairs.

How to Keep Upper Floors Cooler in the Summer

Outside of rising warm air, these are some of the other factors that will cause bedrooms and living spaces upstairs to be uncomfortably warm or require your AC to work harder in order to keep you cool enough for sleep in the evenings:

  • Longer Distance – If your AC unit is on the ground floor, cool air will have to travel a significantly longer distance and go through more ductwork. Since ductwork will often have leaks in it that allow air to escape, this means that less cool air reaches the upstairs or any rooms at greatest distance from your AC unit. If the problem is especially bad, it may be necessary to replace ductwork for less leakage.
  • Insulation in Your Attic – Many attics have some insulation. Because hot air rises, the heat will often become trapped against the insulation in your attic as the highest point in your home. This heats any areas below, such as your upstairs bedrooms. When the insulation between your attic and living spaces is insufficient or has degraded over time and is no longer keeping hot air from your attic out of your second story, it may be time to replace insulation
  • Attic Ventilation – A whole house fan in the attic will pull out the hot air that collects on upper levels, leaving a space for the cool air to fill. The right model and capacity of fan will remove built up heat and other sources of proper ventilation will also help reduce trapped heat in your attic.
  • Nearby Trees – Bushes and trees in your yard will help keep the sun off your home and make things cooler, but they are less likely to cover upstairs walls, windows, and roof lines, letting more heat get in. There is generally not much you can do to fix this besides waiting for trees to grow.
  • Air Conditioning Age – As your AC gets older, it will naturally become less efficient and since there are already many challenges in keeping upstairs spaces cold, you are likely to first notice the effects of an aging AC in the upstairs rooms first. If your AC is around 15 to 20 years old, air conditioning replacement can be an effective way to balance temperatures between upstairs and downstairs spaces.

Lewis Comfort Control is a Nashville AC company that offers both AC installation and AC maintenance to help you achieve an air conditioning unit that functions as effectively as possible. We can work with you to provide the right services to keep every area of your home comfortably cool throughout the summer. Get a free consultation for AC installation from our team when you contact Lewis Comfort Control.