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Why is the upper level of my home so hot?

6/29/2023 HVAC
Why is the upper level of my home so hot?

You probably learned in school that hot air rises, so naturally in the hot summer months, the hot air in your home will find its way to the upper floors. However, it’s not just the laws of thermodynamics at play. 

Some HVAC systems and homes aren’t equipped for an optimal environment. 

The first reason is probably obvious…your system may be too old or isn’t sized properly. By size, we mean powerful enough for the size of your home. For instance, the equipment for a 2000 square foot home will not adequately cool (or heat in the winter) a 3000 square foot home. An undersized unit will create pockets of hot stuffy air in some rooms. 

Or, perhaps not so obvious, your system may be too big. Yes, too big. But, you might ask “I thought bigger was better?” Not so with heating and cooling systems. Having a system that is too powerful can create a problem called short-cycling. 

With short cycling, if your thermostat is set at 72 degrees, it isn’t actually pumping 72 degree air into the home, it’s pumping colder air into your home, which mixes with the warmer air to create the desirable 72 degree temperature. The system that is too big will push too much cold air into the environment too quickly and before it can thoroughly mix throughout the house, the system will kick on again causing uneven temperatures and frequent, short runtimes. This can cause excessive wear and tear on your system causing it to break down sooner. 

Another cause for uneven temperature distribution is improper duct work. Proper airflow will allow stagnant air to cycle through the air filter and be treated by your system. Without the proper number of air return drops or by blocking those air returns, your system will not be able to create your desired temperature. 

Sometimes, the system isn’t the issue, but rather old or inadequate insulation and improper or non-existent attic air circulation. 

For more information and some helpful videos, visit My Home Science website

If your home has uncomfortable warm spots, don’t sweat it! At Classic Plumbing & Air, we can help you find a solution. Whether it’s improving air flow or upgrading or adding a new system, we can help! Give us a call today.