If you live in a house with more than one floor, one of the things you’ll probably have noticed is how hard it can be to maintain a regular temperature across floors during hot weather. It’s easy to spend hours messing with the thermostat, opening doors, and closing windows, trying to find that perfect balance, yet never finding it.
But there are plenty of devices and products that have been proven to help fix the common problem of two-story houses with upstairs rooms that are too hot. In this article, we’ll take a look at several ways to get the air conditioning to cool upstairs rooms properly.
1. Get a Programmable or Smart Thermostat
When it comes to cooling your home effectively and efficiently, you’ll want to start with your thermostat. There are three types: manual (sometimes called analog), programmable, and smart thermostats.
Manual or analog thermostats are being phased out slowly because they’re the least efficient or environmentally friendly. While they tend to last a long time, their temperature accuracy is nowhere near as precise as programmable or smart thermostats. Analog thermostats are particularly bad at getting an even temperature distribution across more than one floor.
Programmable thermostats offer customization and the chance to save energy. Instead of adjusting the temperature manually throughout the day, a programmable thermostat takes care of changing the temperature for you. Whether you’re at home, on the way home from work, or out of town, a programmable thermostat does a better job at keeping the temperature constant in all the rooms of your house.
Smart thermostats are the most recent development in thermostat technology. Most new houses these days are built with intelligent thermostats because of their many advantages. Smart thermostats offer all the benefits that come with a programmable thermostat, plus they’re totally controllable from your phone as they run on WiFi.
2. Install a Separate Thermostat Upstairs
Thermostats work by monitoring the temperature in the room where they’re located, then switching on HVAC equipment to either heat or cool a space accordingly. One of the problems with having just one thermostat in your home is lack of control. It may be cool in the ground-floor living room where the thermostat is, but it’s boiling hot in the upstairs bedroom. Sound familiar?
Don’t worry, though. You’re not going to have to install a second air-conditioning unit. Two or more thermostats can cool the house equally. You just need to set up a zoning system. A zoned system means includes things called dampers in the ductwork that can close and open.
As the dampers open or close, the flow of air is regulated, either including or excluding a specific zone. This is a great way to balance a two-story house’s temperature as all you have to do is make the ground floor Zone One and the second floor Zone Two. If maintaining an equal temperature across both floors is something you find your house struggles with, it’s definitely worth looking into zoning your home with a second thermostat upstairs.
3. Consider Using a Window Air Conditioner
If changing the thermostat or introducing zones and dampers to your air conditioning system isn’t an option for you, then you can try using a window air conditioner in one of the upstairs rooms. This will help bring the temperature of the whole floor down.
A separate air conditioner will cool the upstairs room and floor, but it won’t automatically match the downstairs temperature. If you’re trying to maintain a specific constant temperature throughout the whole house, a window air conditioner might be too hard to control for your liking.
One of the advantages of a window AC unit is there’s no energy loss through the duct system. If you’re looking to cool one specific room upstairs, like if your home office is on the second story, then a window AC unit might be a good option as they are efficient at cooling specific rooms.
New window AC units are a lot more efficient and effective than their older counterparts. They’re also more environmentally friendly if you’re using them to cool one room instead of the whole house. Using a window air conditioner on top of a central system might run up the energy bills, so be mindful of how much energy you’re using.
4. Complement Your Air Conditioner With a Fan
One of the simplest ways to maximize the efficiency of your AC system and promote constant temperatures across two stories is utilizing fans. Ceiling fans and free-standing fans can do a great job at circulating air around your home.
Just remember that you want to blow the air straight down to cool the room, so you should set your ceiling fan blades to run counterclockwise. With some experimenting, you should be able to improve the temperature balance pretty well by using fans. One of the main advantages is it’s a relatively low-cost alternative, especially if you already have a ceiling fan.
5. Check the AC
Another cause of an imbalanced home temperature is problems with the AC system itself. This is especially common in older houses and older AC systems. If you’re not having any success at balancing your house’s temperature, you might want to call AC repair.
AC repair will be able to diagnose any problems, faults, or breaks within your AC system. They’ll be able to quickly identify common problems like leaking air ducts and blocked soffit vents. They’ll be able to check the electrical safety of your system as thee fault may lie in the wiring or the thermostat itself.
AC repair will also be able to recommend whether or not you should upgrade your thermostat, AC system, or introduce zones into your home. They’ll also be able to advise you on attic insulation, as this can also play a part in a home’s inability to stay cool.
6. How to Get the Air Conditioning to Cool Upstairs Bedrooms Properly
So whether it’s upgrading to a smart thermostat or zoning your second story or making use of a ceiling fan, there are plenty of ways you can maximize your AC system. You’ve got the info you need to cool every room in the house, including upstairs, just to your liking.