Managing Your HVAC System

Why Is Your Upstairs Hot Even With Central Air Conditioning?

A central air conditioner is meant to cool your whole home. If your upstairs is still hot and stuffy in spite of running your air conditioner, you're sure to be annoyed. This is not an uncommon problem in older homes that lack insulation. So, your first step should be to look over your attic insulation and add an extra layer of insulation, if needed. If that does not solve the problem, then contact your HVAC contractor. Here are a few things that may do, depending on your exact AC system and home layout.

Recommend a Different Filter

Your air conditioner needs a filter to trap dust and dirt so they don't end up continually circulating through your home. But sometimes, a filter that is too restrictive can reduce airflow out of your AC unit and keep cool air from reaching your upstairs. Your HVAC contractor will check out the filter you're using, and if needed, they will recommend a less restrictive filter that will allow for improved airflow.

Adjust the Fan

Some central fans are adjustable. Yours may be working on a really low setting, which is not allowing the air to flow powerfully enough to reach your upper floor vents. An HVAC contractor can adjust the fan to blow more powerfully, propelling the cooler air into your upstairs.

It's also possible that something is wrong with your central fan. It may have a worn ball bearing or belt. Your HVAC contractor can replace these damaged parts, which should improve airflow and allow your upstairs to cool better.

Add More Ducts

Many older homes were not built with air conditioning in mind. They have enough ducts to heat the upstairs since heat naturally rises, but not enough ducts to effectively cool the upstairs. An HVAC contractor may recommend running another duct or two upstairs. Sometimes, adding a second vent to a large room can allow that room to cool better. 

Adding ducts may require the HVAC contractor to make some holes in your walls or floors. So, consider whether having a cooler upstairs is worth this hassle before proceeding.

If your air conditioner is not keeping your upstairs as cool as your downstairs, there are steps you can take to address this problem. Have an HVAC contractor come to take a look. They'll tell you whether you need to add more ducts, adjust the fan, or simply use a different kind of filter.

For more information, contact an air conditioning professional near you.