Why is it Warmer Upstairs than Downstairs?

Changes in temperature are expected when reaching higher or lower elevations during a mountain hike, but you shouldn’t have to have the same expectations when climbing up or down the stairs in your home.
 
In Central Florida, it’s not unlikely for the upstairs in your home to be 10 degrees hotter than the downstairs during the summer.

So what is it that causes this temperature change in your home? A few things come to our minds:

  • Inadequate air returns upstairs.
  • A poorly installed duct system.
  • Your upstairs has a hot attic above it.
  • Your thermostat, which is usually downstairs, senses the cool air downstairs, and shuts off the air conditioner before the upstairs is cool.
  • The downstairs is usually closer to the air conditioner fan so it gets most of the airflow. 

Common solutions to the warmer upstairs than downstairs dilemma:

  • Insulate your attic, or add more insulation to existing insulation, the thicker the better.
  • Purchase an attic fan. They’re designed to turn on when the temperature gets too high in the attic and it blows the hot air back outside.
  • Install two air conditioners and two thermostats, one for upstairs and one for downstairs.
  • Install a zoning system. Zoning is simply the process of splitting your home into areas that have similar heating and cooling needs. Zoning your home lets you control the temperature of multiple areas in your home allowing your entire family to be comfortable no matter where they’re at in your home.
  • Run your air conditioner fan all the time.
  • Install ceiling fans.
  • Use larger ducts to compensate for the extra distance the air is traveling through.
  • Close registers on the first floor only. This can help cool upstairs rooms by forcing more air upstairs and less air downstairs. (If you suspect your duct system was improperly installed do not close registers on the first floor, it can cause the air conditioner to freeze up). 

To pinpoint the best solution for your home contact Rainaldi, we’ll recommend options that will keep your home cool from top to bottom.