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Your Second Story Doesn’t Have to Feel Stuffy — How to Keep it Cool Upstairs

Published on: September 19, 2013

Summer makes the air conditioner your best friend. Those of us who have a two- or three-story home know that heat rises and as a result, keeping the upstairs cool is a special challenge. Unless you have a zoned cooling system, fiddling with the thermostat is not going to keep the upstairs cool without over-cooling the finished basement and main floor. Here are a few tips to help you when you are trying to balance out your cooling needs.

Check your windows for leaks. If you have single-pane glass, you might consider using coating systems available at your local hardware store to help keep the solar heat outside in the summer. If you chose not to apply coating, keep your drapes and shades drawn to block direct sunlight. No one wants to live in the dark, so choose a light color for your drapes.

Your ability to keep the upstairs cool also means managing the heat in your attic. Your attic should have proper insulation, especially on the floor, and the soffit vents should be clear so the excess heat in the attic can escape. Try using ridge vents since they create a better airflow. Air leaks between the attic and living spaces should be sealed, and use weatherstripping to seal the attic hatch or door.

To keep the upstairs cool, make sure your cooling system is running smoothly and efficiently. It should have clean air filters, and ductwork should be sealed and insulated where necessary. Make sure that furniture, drapes or rugs are not blocking your registers. Use your registers appropriately as well. Partially close the downstairs registers and open the upstairs to force the airflow upwards. Use ceiling fans to create a wind-chill effect in upstairs rooms. Keep the outdoor condensing unit clear of leaves and dirt.

Finally, during an annual maintenance tuneup, discuss other ideas with your HVAC specialist. Request that he check the airflow in your system to make sure there are no leaks or obstructions. If your HVAC system has a programmable control panel, ask your specialist to help you adjust the temperature and timing on your system so that you can keep a consistent temperature throughout the day. Keeping the upstairs cool during high temperatures is your goal.

For more information on keeping your upstairs rooms cool in the summer, please contact one of our contractors at AirConditioningSouthEast.com. We provide quality HVAC services throughout the Southeast United States.