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Why Is The Second Floor Of A House Usually Hotter Than The First Floor?

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If you live in a multiple-story home, you may find yourself questioning why your second floor is so much hotter than the first. Unfortunately, a warmer second floor may not be noticeable until the summer months when the heat starts coming in. 

The heat fills up the rooms, and it remains until the end of the day. Sometimes the heat lasts until later in the night, which makes sleeping difficult. Here is why the second floor usually gets hotter than the first floor. 

Faulty Air Conditioner 

An air conditioner can be faulty in several ways. It might simply need a filter change, or it simply could also be too old. 

Most systems have a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years. A near end-of-life AC is just not going to perform at the same output as a newer model. 

The AC might also be too small for the home. Maybe the original installer did not perform a load calculation or make a correct calculation. A faulty or small air conditioner will not completely meet the cooling requirements of your home.   

Hot Roof 

A reason your second floor is too hot in the summer could be because of your roof. Unless your roof is somehow protected from the sun or deflects it, it will absorb the sun’s heat. This heat travels through the attic and into the second floor, making it harder for the system to cool.

Attic Insulation Issues 

Your attic can be super-hot, especially during the summer days. With this, it is recommended to have a solid barrier or insulation installed to prevent the sun’s heat from radiating towards the top floor of your home. 

When having insulation installed, make sure that the R-value, which refers to the thermal resistance of the insulation, is suitable for the climate of your location.

You can simply use the U.S. Department of Energy’s insulation map as a reference. Other methods to reduce the heat from the attic include using rafter and soffit vents for improved ventilation instead of just using an attic fan.

You may be using a single-zone system

Single-zone systems are separate air conditioning units that heat or cool a single area in your home. 

They’re great if you want to manage the temperature in one room or dedicated space. They’re not so great if you’re trying to cool down all your second floor in the dead heat of summer. You may want to consider switching to multi-zone air conditioning, which lets you control the temperature in several different rooms or zones.

Faulty Ductwork 

Your central heating and air systems involve the generation of cold air in the air conditioner and hot air at your furnace. Ducts are simply the square (or round, in some cases) metal passages you see running through your walls and ceiling. 

The further the air has to travel from its generation point to the various areas throughout your home, the more it is affected and changed by the surrounding temperatures. Poor and faulty ductwork can result in inadequate air cooling on the second floor, hence the hotter conditions. 

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 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.

In San Antonio, TX? Freedom Air Repair Can Help

At Freedom Air Repair, we’re a locally owned and operated air conditioning and heating company serving San Antonio, TX, and the surrounding areas. 

We offer 24/7 AC repair, AC installation & replacement, AC maintenance, heating repairs, furnace repair & replacement, and more! With over 20 years of experience in the industry, we have the know-how to provide superior customer service while maintaining competitive prices. 

Contact us to learn more and get started. 

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