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Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Blog

How to Handle a Second Floor That’s Too Hot

One of the reasons window air conditioning units are only useful for apartments or for a single office is because of their limited reach. The only way to cool a whole house with window units is to place them in windows in every room—which isn’t always possible and blocks up so many windows you’ll end up with a perpetual twilight in the house! And even with all the window ACs, you’ll still end up with hot spots.

With a central air conditioning system, you don’t have to worry about having rooms all around the house cool. Or you shouldn’t. Unfortunately, uneven cooling still happens, and the most common case we run into is an upper story of a house that’s hotter than the lower one. Heat rises, and in the San Fernando Valley the AC may not be equipped to deal with it.

What You Can Do to Improve a Hot Upper Floor Problem

First, find out why you’ve got a second floor that’s hot and stuffy. The most common reason, mentioned above, is rising hot air. However, the problem can also come from heat moving through the roof of the house. If your HVAC system has zone control (we’ll get into this more in a minute), the controls may be malfunctioning, with a stuck damper or a thermostat upstairs that’s misreading temperatures.

If you’ve never been able to keep the upper floor cool with the air conditioning system you have, then the AC might have been sized improperly when it was installed. There might be duct leaks or poorly insulated ducts leading to the upstairs rooms.

You may be able to pinpoint right away what the problem is, or it might require the assistance of an HVAC expert to diagnose.

Now, what are the various remedies?

Install zone control: If the trouble is that your house is built in such a way that rising heat easily overcomes the cooling in the upper floor, we recommend you have zone controls installed. These systems can turn on and off parts of the house from the AC. Using zone control, you can alternatively cool the upper and lower floors, which creates a better balance to overcome rising heat.

Improve attic insulation: When the heat is getting into the upper floor through the roof, better insulation in the attic will slow it down and prevent this extra thermal energy from flowing right into the top of your house.

Repair the AC: The issue may be as simple as having a technician check on the AC to ensure it doesn’t have problems with the air handler not pushing enough air to the upper floors or a drip in its cooling capacity.

Replace the AC: Unfortunately, if the air conditioner is the wrong size for your house, you may have to replace it. The air conditioner may be simply too old to do its job and you’re overdue for an air conditioning installation in Van Nuys, CA.

You can trust our team to solve your air conditioning problems and make your home cool throughout. We’re older home specialists and can transform the cooling in your vintage house.

Call our certified service technicians 24/7 for exceptional customer service! Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical serves Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.

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