Air ConditioningAir DuctsZoningWhy Is It Warmer Upstairs Than Downstairs in Mount Vernon?

Are you a homeowner in Everett, Camano Island, Marysville & Mount Vernon, and the surrounding Puget Sound? Have you ever walked upstairs during the summer and suddenly felt like you were in an oven?

You’re not alone. It’s not uncommon for the upstairs of your home to be warmer when hot weather hits. But it can be annoying dealing with uneven home temperatures, especially if your downstairs is freezing while those that live on the second floor are burning up.

Reasons it’s warmer upstairs

woman hot in front of electric fan

1. Hot air rises

You’ve probably heard that hot air rises. According to physics, it’s true that hot air will rise while cool air will sink. Due to this, the upper levels of your home are at a disadvantage right off the bat when it comes to staying cool in hot weather.

2. Poor ventilation or insulation

Both poor ventilation and poor insulation can contribute to high temperatures upstairs. If you have a poorly insulated attic, heat will get in more easily. Similarly, poor ventilation will allow that hot air to simply sit.

3. Duct issues

Just as a poorly insulated house can cause issues, so can poorly insulated ducts. If the ducts are not insulated, air may come out warmer. This is especially true if your ducts wind through a super hot second floor. Leaky ducts are another problem that could cause your system to run inefficiently. Both of these duct issues can lead to home temperature struggles.

4. Hot roof

With the summer sun beating down right on your roof, it’s no wonder a hot roof heats up your house when hot weather rolls around. The roof absorbs that heat and in turn heats up your upstairs. Something like trees may offer some shade, but unless you built your house in the middle of the forest, you can expect some sun to hit your roof.

How to help cool your upstairs

woman lying on couch under air conditioner

1. Block the sun

As important as your HVAC system is, you don’t have to make it do all the work. You can start by stopping the sun from shining directly into your home by closing blinds and curtains. This is a simple step to make it feel cooler and lessen the strain on your HVAC system.

2. Ventilate and insulate

Consider adding an attic fan, which will keep air circulating. Proper insulation will reduce the amount of heat that can get to the second floor. And a well insulated house isn’t only beneficial in the summer. You will reap the home temperature benefits year round by spending less money trying to cool or heat up your house.

3. Reduce light and appliance use

If you’re trying to keep your home cool, it’s not the best time to bake up dozens of cookies. Hot weather and hot appliances do not mix. Try to avoid using appliances that produce heat such as the oven, stove, or hair dryer. And keep in mind that lights can produce heat as well. Remember to turn them off when they aren’t being used.

4. Change air filters

Changing your air filters is a good thing for more than one reason. A dirty filter can block cool air from flowing, so make sure you have a fresh filter. As a bonus, a clean filter will help reduce allergens.

5. Adjust your thermostat fan

Change your thermostat fan setting from “auto” to “on.” This ensures it’s always distributing air and will create a more even home temperature. If you’re concerned about your power bill, don’t sweat it. Keeping the fan on actually doesn’t use a lot of extra energy.

6. Consider a zoned system

If you’ve tried all the solutions above and are still suffering from a sweltering second floor, you might want to consider a zoned system. A zoned system will allow you to divide your home into at least two heating and cooling zones, such as upstairs and downstairs.

You’ll no longer have to crank your downstairs thermostat to uncomfortable levels in an effort to cool down a hot upstairs. Hot weather stays outside while you enjoy a cool home temperature on every floor of your house.

If you’re interested in having a new cooling system installed, receiving quality maintenance, or have any questions, feel free to contact GS Heating and Cooling, the heating & air conditioning experts in Snohomish, Island, Skagit, and King County. Services areas include Everett, Marysville, Lynnwood, Anacortes, and more!



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