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Uneven Cooling: Why Your Upper Level Is Hot, But It’s Cold Downstairs

HVAC tech working on air handler unit

Is the upstairs level of your home usually hot, but downstairs it’s freezing? If you live here in Florida, uneven cooling is a common issue for homeowners. Basically, the reason for this problem is that hot air rises. As the air becomes warmer, it rises and is less dense. But as the air cools, it gets thicker and sinks, which results in the upstairs level being warmer than the rooms downstairs. On the other hand, there could be other conditions causing your upstairs level to be warmer. Here are four reasons for a hot upstairs and cold lower level, along with some of the solutions for correcting the problem.

Your Roof

Do you have a dark-colored roof? If so, keep in mind how dark colors trap more heat. What about your roof insulation? Faulty roof insulation can also cause rooms on the upper level of a house to feel warmer.

What’s more, the type of roofing material can significantly affect the amount of heat absorbed in a house. If you have an asphalt roof, more light strikes your house than if you had a metal roof, even despite having light-colored shingles. However, metal roofs can reflect most of the light rays away from a house so that your attic and upper level remain at a comfortable temperature throughout the year. In fact, a metal roof can help you save about 50% on energy costs as compared to an asphalt roof.

Inadequate Insulation

Insufficient insulation, in addition to old or poorly installed insulation, can waste a huge amount of energy in a home. Unfortunately, too often, insulation contractors ignore hard-to-access areas, such as bay windows, knee walls, and multi-level attics. Sometimes, the problem is caused by poor insulation materials.

Poor Ductwork

It’s through your ductwork that the air reaches the rooms in your home. Thus, air ducts play a critical role in making a house feel comfortable. When ductwork is defective or leaking, the quality of the air you breathe can be considerably compromised. That’s why it’s a good idea to have your HVAC ducts inspected and repaired. Air duct cleaning is especially beneficial. Keep in mind that having your air ducts cleaned can reduce the amount of dust on furniture as well as provide relief from uncomfortable allergy symptoms linked to poor indoor air quality.

Old or Defective Windows

Another factor for uneven cooling in your rooms is windows that are outdated or those that are not energy efficient. A window can cause drafts during cold weather and loss of cold air during the summer. In the summer, the same window can allow in more heat if it isn’t constructed with Low-E glass for deflecting thermal heat rays.

However, even new windows that are energy-efficient can be problematic if they have poor insulation. Before deciding if it’s your windows that are the problem, have a few tests run to find out the reason for the issue.

Other Considerations and Warnings

  • Close curtains or blinds during daytime hours on your upper-level floor to block direct sun rays from getting into your house as well as reduce the demand on your air conditioning system.
  • Install ceiling fans.
  • If you already have ceiling fans, use them effectively. In summer months, adjust the blades of your fan, so they move counterclockwise. This pushes the air down, creating a cooling sensation on your body.
  • Add soffit and ridge vents to your attic.
  • Have your HVAC unit inspected regularly and make any needed repairs to help stop uneven cooling.

For all your needs for air conditioning repair in Port St. Lucie, and surrounding areas, you can depend on quality service from the HVAC professionals at American Air Cares. For more than 20 years, our family-owned and operated and licensed Florida business has earned a proven reputation for keeping Treasure Coast families comfortable throughout the year. Please contact us and learn more about our wide range of services.

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