Why Is My Second Floor Always So Hot?

hvac, cooling, ac, mini split, heat pump, air sealing, energy audit, aaa northgate, il
July 30, 2018

It’s the battle that homeowners in the Peoria, IL area face every summer. The downstairs feels cool and comfortable — just the way you like it — and yet the upstairs feels almost like an oven the moment you reach that top step. Why is it that the upstairs and downstairs are such different temperatures? Should you turn up the AC to make the second floor cooler, or is there a better way to boost your home comfort?

Before you reach for the thermostat or run out and buy a new central air conditioner, you should know that several issues could be causing heat to accumulate in the upper areas of your home. Luckily, resolving these issues can be both simple and affordable. Here are a few things that may be contributing to that hot second floor — and what you can do to keep your whole home cooler.

There Are Air Leaks in the Attic

Many houses have air leaks between the second floor and the attic, caused by recessed lighting, bathroom fans, the attic hatch, and electrical and plumbing penetrations. Though these tiny holes and cracks may seem insignificant, they can really add up and allow hot air from the attic to seep into the upper areas of the home.

The solution: air sealing. Air sealing with spray foam eliminates air leaks and prevents hot attic air from invading your home.

Your House Is Poorly Insulated

Another issue that plagues homes here in Illinois is poor insulation. In fact, about 90% of houses in the area are under-insulated, especially in the attic. Without proper insulation, heat accumulates in the attic and seeps right through the ceiling into your living spaces.

The solution: insulation. Attic insulation, in particular, will reduce heat gain in the attic and keep summer heat away from the second floor.

The Air Conditioning Isn’t Doing Its Job

Sometimes the problem really is with the AC system. An undersized AC unit, for example, will constantly run without ever making your home any cooler. Imbalanced or leaky ductwork, meanwhile, could keep conditioned air from reaching certain areas. And in areas of the home where ductwork is inaccessible (such as in a new addition), your central air conditioning isn’t going to be effective.

The solution: an HVAC upgrade. Our HVAC specialists can help you determine the best solution for your house. If you have older or undersized AC equipment, we’ll recommend a new and energy efficient AC unit that will keep your home cooler while using less energy. If it’s just one room that isn’t getting air conditioning, we may recommend a ductless mini-split heat pump, which will provide energy efficient cooling (and heating) just to that particular room.

Get Answers with an Energy Audit

It isn’t always easy to determine what’s making parts of your home hot and uncomfortable. That’s why we recommend scheduling a home energy audit with AAA Northgate. During the audit, one of our home performance experts will use advanced equipment and testing to pinpoint exactly inefficiencies like air leaks, missing insulation, ductwork leaks, and imbalanced ductwork are. Then, we’ll recommend the right solutions for improving your home — whether that’s air sealing and insulating the attic or optimizing your AC system with a mini split heat pump.

With AAA Northgate One Hour Air, improving comfort in your Peoria, East Peoria, Pekin, or Morton area home really is simple!

Find out exactly what’s sending your indoor temperatures through the roof. Contact us or call 1-309-686-1786 to schedule a home energy audit!

Want to make the second floor of your home cooler?

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