Why Isn’t My AC Cooling My Upstairs?

Why Isn't My AC Cooling My Upstairs

“Why isn’t my HVAC system cooling my second floor?” If you own a two-story home, you’ve likely asked yourself this very question. There are many reasons why your air conditioner might not be efficiently cooling your home’s upstairs. 

In order to get your home back in the cool zone, let’s take a look at some common reasons (and solutions!) your A/C isn’t cooling down your second story. 

Reasons Your AC Isn’t Cooling Your Upstairs 

  • Rising Heat

We all know that heat rises. If your AC unit is located on the ground floor, the system pushes out hot air as cooler air enters the room, meaning your system has to work harder to cool your second story. 

  • Too Many Rooms to Cool

How many rooms does your home AC system work to cool? Say your A/C unit is rated to take care of only 5 rooms, but with upstairs living space and bedrooms combined, you have a total of 8. More often than not, your A/C system will not efficiently or evenly cool all the rooms (especially upper floors) in your home. It’s possible that when your home was built, the A/C or HVAC system simply wasn’t big enough, or maybe you’ve added a couple of extra rooms since you moved in. 

  • Outdated or Inefficient Unit

Did you buy a home with an outdated HVAC unit? If you’ve lived in your home for some time and have never replaced the A/C or HVAC system, it’s quite possible that the unit is simply outdated and is no longer able to efficiently cool your home. The average life span on HVAC units is around 10-15 years. The benefits of upgrading your home’s HVAC system are plentiful. Experience better comfort control, lower utility bills, cleaner air, increased home value, and more. 

  • Your Ducts Are Old, Leaky and Inadequate

This problem is similar to the last. If you live in an older home and the A/C unit or HVAC system has never been replaced, the ducting system hasn’t been replaced either. That means that your ducts could be old, leaking cool air, possibly uninsulated or under-insulated, or are simply inadequate for the job. 

  • Heating Coming From Roof

Unless your roof is blocked by the sun or deflects rays, hot air will penetrate your home and heat your attic. As the hot air travels through attic space, your second floor will also absorb the heat, making it difficult to cool down. 

  • Your Thermostat is Set Too High

It’s very possible that the only reason your second floor is not cool enough is that you have the temperature set too high. 

Tips to Cool Down The Upstairs of Your Home

  • Lower Thermostat In Small Increments

Try lowering your thermostat by 2° or 3° increments and see if your home begins to cool off. Once you find a setting that works, note it and keep your thermostat at that temperature all the time. Switch the thermostat from “auto” to “on”. This will allow the blower fan to run constantly and mix the air throughout your home. (Note that this might actually lower your energy bills because your fan uses less energy than your HVAC system and your HVAC system won’t need to run as often.)

  • Change Air Filters

Change the air filter in your A/C or HVAC unit. Dirty or clogged filters can restrict airflow throughout your home. Carolina Comfort Air recommends replacing filters regularly.

  • Turn Off Unused Appliances and Lights Upstairs
  • Use Ceiling and Floor Fans to Cool Smaller Spaces
  • Use Heat Blocking Shades

Prevent heat from absorbing in your home by using heat blocking shades or UV blocking film. 

  • Insulate Attic

Ensuring your attic is properly insulated will reduce the amount of heat the second floor absorbs. Ventilation is just as important too, so the attic is able to release as much moisture and heat as possible. 

If you’ve tried these tips and your AC is still unable to cool your second floor to your family’s standards, it may simply be time to replace or add an extra A/C or HVAC system to your home. 
While repairing your unit may be an easier fix for the short term, it is not a sustainable option for your wallet. Upgrading to today’s energy-efficient HVAC systems will help evenly distribute cool air throughout your home. 

For questions or help from an AC professional, schedule an appointment with Carolina Comfort Air, the Carolina’s #1 HVAC repair and replacement experts!