Your AC system is designed to evenly distribute cool, refreshing air throughout your entire home but you’ve noticed lately that your two-story home is having some issues in that department. The upstairs is warmer than the downstairs but when you try to rectify the issue, it puts the lower levels of your home into a deep freeze.
Something has to be done because there is definitely a malfunction somewhere in your HVAC system. It’s not just a lack of comfort in the hot summer months that you’re dealing with, you may have a substantial issue that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Otherwise, you could be allowing a small problem to become something even bigger and more costly to repair down the line.
Even worse, leaving it unchecked could result in a replacement instead of a repair and not only will you be left footing a hefty bill but you may just be without any air conditioning in the dead of summer. No one wants to have that problem when the thermometer hits triple digits.
The time to take action is now. So here are some steps you could take to solve the problem and live in climate-controlled comfort all throughout the summer without worry (or having to put on a sweater!)
Sometimes the reason your upstairs and downstairs aren’t in sync with one another when it comes to cooling your home isn’t due to a specific malfunction as much as an inability for the current system to effectively bring cool air to both levels due to the design or size of the home.
In cases such as these, one thermostat may be insufficient to properly cool the entire home as desired. You may need to opt for a zoned system instead, in which two thermostats are necessary to cool the home separately. There is one thermostat to control the climate downstairs and another one regulates how warm or cool it is upstairs.
When you separate the two it gives you more command over each story of the home so that everyone on each level is comfortable and, even better, you don’t overtax the system by adjusting it all the time with struggles over one thermostat. When you dramatically raise and lower the temperature on your thermostat, that can be detrimental to the system.
So how does zoned cooling work and what makes it such a beneficial option for your home’s cooling needs? It’s all about dampers. These are electronically controlled valves that are located in the ducts of your system which regulate the flow of air. A zoned system restricts or allows air to flow where you want.
This is accomplished by using multiple thermostats, one for each level of the home. Now you can have two comfortable temperatures on both levels of the home and you need not worry about uneven cooling throughout the house.
Some instances call for other options to ensure that everyone is cool and comfortable. One such alternative is to install ductless thermostat units that don’t use dampers to regulate the air through your system. Instead, there are separate indoor air handlers that you can place in different regions of the home and each of these areas can be warmed or cooled with their own exclusive thermostat.
They blow air directly into the room or area of the home and no ductwork is necessary.
Maybe you don’t need to overhaul your entire air conditioning system. There could be any number of reasons why you’re having cooling issues in the home. Instead of putting in a zoned system or ductless mini-units you simply need to find the culprit that’s preventing your home from getting evenly cooled air from top to bottom.
The best way to do this is to complete the HVAC service from Bradley Mechanical. We can locate, diagnose and repair any underlying issues that exist or might crop up down the line when you least expect.
These are just some of the most common reasons why your system is having trouble equally distributing cool air to both floors of your home:
Supply and Return Vents
One of the most common issues that emerge to interfere with the proper cooling of the home is a blockage of your supply and return vents. Be sure to check and make sure nothing is in the way of these vents and there are no blockages to be found.
You may discover that your curtains are in the way, maybe a piece of furniture was moved towards a vent, perhaps something has fallen in its path, or even worse, an unwelcome pest or critter has crawled in there and died. No matter what it may be, obstructions can have a significant impact on the proper airflow through your ducts and that can be leading to your cooling problem.
Think about switching your fan from the “auto” position to the “on” position. When it’s in the former position, that allows the system to operate only when it is necessary to bring cool air into the home. As the thermostat detects a rise or fall in the temperature, it can then shut off the system or switch it back on to maintain your preset temperature.
But if you leave it in the “on” position, the air will continue to be circulated and distributed through your ductwork even after the cooling element has shut down when it is triggered to do so. This can help ensure that your cool air gets to both floors evenly but it can also raise your electricity bill as you continue to operate the system longer.
Leaky Air Ducts
In order for cold air to get to both floors, the ducts need to be free and clear of obstructions. They also need to be perfectly intact and if there are any cracks or gaps present, some of your air may be leaking out. That will prevent the upstairs from receiving all of the cold air being distribute and it could be the reason why it’s always warmer up there compared to the downstairs.
Fixing those cracks can drastically improve the amount of cool air that gets upstairs and neglecting the problem will just permit those gaps to get bigger.