One of the more frequent summertime complaints among homeowners is the varying temperature between upstairs and downstairs rooms. With bedrooms typically located on the upper levels, this can make sleeping uncomfortable and leave residents scrambling for solutions to help keep the upstairs cool. Here are some great ideas to get you started. Some will help cool the upstairs, while others will improve your HVAC system’s performance throughout the house.
- Install a zoning system. In homes with just one thermostat, the A/C will reach the selected temperature in the room with the thermostat – usually in a hallway on the main floor – before the upstairs has had a chance to cool off. A zoning system provides independent temperature control for those upstairs bedrooms.
- Check the pressure. Whether due to a leak or a previous incorrect charge, inadequate levels of refrigerant can cause your A/C to underperform. Have your trusted HVAC technician check refrigerant levels and adjust if necessary.
- Schedule a home energy audit. An experienced contractor will perform a thorough evaluation of your home, to help determine how you can improve cooling in the upstairs room. The audit might find that the duct design can be upgraded so more cool air makes it to the second-floor rooms.
- Change your filter. A dirty filter can hamper airflow and cause extra wear and tear on your equipment. With better airflow, more cool air is likely to reach the upstairs bedrooms. Change your filter regularly during peak cooling season, every four to six weeks.
- Harness the wind. Floor and ceiling fans work well alongside your A/C to help keep the upstairs cool, by creating a wind-chill effect. Since they don’t actually lower the temperature in a room, use them only in those that are occupied to conserve energy.
- Add more insulation. Inadequate insulation levels in your attic can allow the heat contained within to travel to your living space below. Check the attic, and if your insulation is even with or below the floor joists, add more; a value of R-38 is recommended, which translates to between 10 and 14 inches of material.
- Keep clean. Disconnect the power supply to the outdoor condensing unit and gently hose off any visible dirt or debris from the coils. Maintain a three-foot clearance around and on top of the unit to allow for maximum airflow, keeping nearby grass and foliage trimmed.
- Adjust vents. Partially close downstairs vents so that more cool air makes it upstairs where the vents are fully open.
For more tips on how to keep the upstairs cool in your home, call the experts at Sherlock Plumbing, Heating & Air. We are committed to providing quality, reliable service to residents of the San Diego and North County areas.