For those that have a two story home or more, you may have experienced the challenge during the hot summer months of keeping the floors of your home even. Wonderfully comfortable and cool air envelops the space on the bottom floor, where the top floors immediately feel like you entered a sauna. Thermal convection is when the cool air falls and the warm air is lifted, which is why the distinct difference in temperatures in your home. We at NY NJ A/C Connection would like to offer New York homeowners tips on how you can even out the temperatures in your home to keep all the floors comfortable and cool as the warm months steadily approach.
Air Conditioning in Multi Story Homes
1) Switch the Fan Setting to “On”
Thermostats have at least two settings for the fan, more settings are found on modern thermostat models. The switch allows you to toggle between “auto” and “on.” More often than not, people have their thermostat set on “Auto”. By turning the switch to the “on” setting unevenly cooled homes can frequently be corrected.
– The “auto” position: While running the fan on auto can save you $5 – $20 per month on your electricity use, there is a downside too. When the fan only runs when there is a need for cooling and the outdoor unit is on and actively cooling the home, the air is unable to circulate, allowing for thermal convection.
– The “on” position: To help even out the first and second floors temperatures, continually circulating the air in your home is essential. In the “on” position, the system’s fan stays on; continually circulating the air, even after the cooling cycle goes off.
2) Possible Air Duct Leaks
Air ducts can have tears, holes, leaks, or poor connections that will cause the central air system to compensate for the missing air. This eventually leads to more problems, as the air bleeds out before reaching the various rooms. A professional can inspect the air ducts to check for any damage or insufficient installation and make the necessary repairs and adjustments.
3) Attic Insulation
The insulation in your attic is designed to contain the cool air inside and keep the hot outside air out. If the attic lacks adequate insulation or the insulation is of poor quality the uneven temperatures in multi-story homes is a common problem as the cool air is lost and the hot air seeps in. The insulation requires a specific R-Value for your type of home and your region, along with sufficient amounts of it. Inspect your attic and make certain the insulation is up to par. If you are uncertain, contact a professional for an assessment.
4) Air Vents Control and Redirect Air
The air vents can often be blocked by furniture or clutter or even have a buildup of dust and debris restricting the air flow. Check the vents and registers; remove any furniture or clutter found and clean any accumulated dirt and dust as this is a major contributor to uneven cooling. Clean the vents and registers with the vacuum’s hose and attachments to loosen and extract the debris, wipe down any remaining residue. On the first floor partially, not fully, close some of vents, particularly in rooms that are not frequently used to redirect air. Doing so will allow for more air to be dispersed on the second floor. Keep in mind that if the first floor vents are fully closed pressure will build up in the system and that can potentially lead to problems. Make sure the vents are at least partially open to alleviate the pressure.
5) A Zoning System Controls Different Areas
If the problem persists, a larger investment can be more effective. Zoning systems are one of the most effective options to solve uneven cooling issues. Zoning systems are designed to offer more precise control of the temperature in individual areas or floors. One thermostat controlling cooling in the whole house can be a challenge, but professionals can customize the zones in your home including the optimal quantity of zones that better fits your current HVAC as well as your home’s size and layout to offer more cooling and heating comfort.