Many homeowners have experienced a common situation at one time or another: You come inside after exercising and enjoy cool, conditioned air on your ground floor only to walk upstairs to take a shower and find that you’re sweating all over again in temperatures 10 or even 20 degrees higher than the lower floor.
At Roberts Mechanical, we can help if this happens to you. Our heating and air conditioning repair services include helping you identify the source of issues like these. Most people know that hot air naturally rises, but in many cases there are several additional factors contributing to the major imbalance in temperature between floors in your home. Let’s look at some of these other factors, plus how to mitigate them and get a home with a more consistent temperature.
Think about the pathway air takes when it leaves your AC unit to travel to your second floor. It has to pass through more ductwork than it would to reach the ground floor, given that AC units are generally at ground level. Now imagine how much more of that air is going to be lost if there are any issues with your ductwork.
Leaks and holes in ducts are one of the most common causes of temperature imbalances between floors. This is sometimes an installation problem – ducts that lead to upstairs areas may not have their joints bolted properly, or may not have the right compound used for sealing. Finally, they may not be properly insulated to hold air in effectively.
In certain areas where ductwork is visible, you can manually examine it to check for any leaks. If you’re concerned leaks might be present in areas you can’t see, however, call our pros about an inspection.
Sometimes the cause of a temperature imbalance is a bit simpler: The AC unit is wearing down and just doesn’t have the power to supply the entire house. Naturally, the upper areas of the home will suffer first – they’re the furthest away. Make sure you have your air conditioning unit inspected yearly or even more often, both to ensure that it’s in working order and to make sure it’s the proper size for your space.
Attics are often separate from the rest of the house in terms of temperature – they’re allowed to build up much more heat when it’s warm because that makes more sense than running cooling ducts into them. But this requires that attics are well-insulated, because if not, that hot air buildup can sneak out from the attic and into the upper floors. Make sure your insulation is properly rated and in good working order.
A sneaky contributor to temperature imbalances in certain homes with newer trees is the way these trees provide shade for the lower floors, but not upper floors. While direct sunlight shoots into upper windows all day long, lower floors are protected by more shade that causes them to stay cooler. Installing sun-blocking drapes for upstairs windows is one tactic to avoid this.
For more on removing a temperature imbalance in your home, or to learn about any of our HVAC services, speak to the staff at Roberts Mechanical today.