How To Get Your AC To Flow Upstairs

Are you looking for a way to get your air conditioning to flow upstairs? During the summer months, it can be very frustrating when you are dealing with a heatwave, particularly on the second story. If you sleep upstairs, you might wonder how you are ever going to feel cool again. After all, he rises, which can make it difficult for you to get the quality sleep you need.

There are a number of reasons why you might be feeling hot upstairs. Of course, physics will dictate that warm air is going to rise, which is why the second story of your house is warmer than the first story. Furthermore, your roof probably absorbs a lot of heat as well.

Then, all of this heat is passed to the inside of your house, leading to a hot second story. Finally, if the windows on your second story absorb heat, this is going to contribute to your heat problems as well.

Even though you run the air conditioner regularly, it probably seems like all of the cold air is trapped on the bottom floor. How can you get your air conditioner to flow to the upstairs in your house? There are a few important points to keep in mind.

How To Get More Air to the Upper Floor of Your House

A staircase showing downstairs and part of upstairs
A staircase showing downstairs and part of upstairs

If you are interested in getting more air to flow to the second story at your house, there are a few key tips you should keep in mind. These include:

Get Your Air Conditioner Maintained

If you want to get more air to flow to the second story, the first thing you need to do is get your air conditioner maintained. You might only have air conditioning on the bottom story of your house, but you can still get the top story of your house to cool off. The first thing you have to do is invest in routine maintenance.

There are several benefits of getting routine maintenance done:

  1. First, this can help you reduce your utility bills because your air conditioner is going to work more efficiently.
  2. Second, your air conditioner should also generate more power, which will help you push more air to the top story of your house.
  3. Finally, if you get your air conditioner maintained, it will also last longer.

All of this can make a significant difference when you are trying to cool off the upstairs area of your home.

Run Your Air Conditioner in Fan Mode

Next, you should consider running your air conditioner in fan mode. This is a great way for you to reduce your utility bills because it will not necessarily mean your air conditioner is going to cool all of the air that comes into it.

Of course, you can ask your air conditioner to cool off your air when it gets hot; however, running your air conditioner in fan mode will get the air to circulate throughout your house.

This is particularly important when you are trying to get more air to the second story. If you can continually circulate the air in your house, you should feel significantly cooler. Take a look at what you need to do to turn fan mode on for your air conditioner.

Increase the Size of the Return Vents Downstairs

If you have a lot of return vents downstairs, you may want to make them bigger. That way, you can pump more air conditioning into the room. The more cool air you can get downstairs, the more cool air will flow upstairs.

Even though this might sound like an expensive job, it does not have to be. You should talk to contractors about a few ways you can increase the size of your return vents. There are plenty of options available, and many of them come in standard sizes. This could be one of the best ways to get more cool air into your home, which means more cool air will flow upstairs as well.

New air conditioner vents in new home construction
New air conditioner vents in new home construction

Increase the Number of Return Vents Downstairs

In addition to increasing the size of the return vents you have on the first story, you may also want to increase the number of return vents on the first story as well. This is going to have the same effect. The more cool air you can get downstairs, the more air you can push to the top areas of your house.

If you plan on increasing the number of return vents you have on the first story, you need to think carefully about where you will put them. Ideally, the closer you can get them to the second story, the more benefit you will feel when you try to go to sleep at night. Think about where you want to put the return vents, and think about how big you want them to be.

Clear Any Obstructions in the Vents

Furthermore, you should clear any obstructions you have in your ductwork. If you have a lot of blockages in your ductwork, you will have a hard time getting your house to cool off efficiently. This could be one of the reasons why you are feeling hot on the second floor of your house.

It can be dangerous to crawl inside your ductwork, so this is probably something you will want to ask a professional to do for you. You should contact multiple people to see how much they charge for this type of job. That way, you know you are not overpaying to have the inside of your air conditioner cleaned out. You may want to do this at the same time you get your air conditioner inspected.

Swap Out the Filters

In addition, you should consider swapping out the filters on the bottom story. If you have a bunch of dirty filters, your air conditioner will not be able to work efficiently. It will have to work harder to cool off your house, which means your second floor is going to suffer disproportionately more.

In general, you should swap out your filters at least once per year. You may want to do this when you have your air conditioner inspected. If you can keep your filters clean, your air conditioner will be able to work efficiently. This can make a significant difference when you are trying to push more cold air to the top floor of your house.

Of course, there is another way you can get the second floor of your house to cool off. You can do this by adding air conditioning to your second story. How do you know if this is right for you, and how much is this going to cost? There are a few important points you need to keep in mind.

Installing Air Conditioning on the Second Story of Your House

Someone repairing an AC compressor on a table
Someone installing an AC unit on a wall

If you want to install air conditioning on the second story of your house, there are a lot of factors to keep in mind. The first thing you have to do is decide what type of air conditioner you want to have.

Types of Air Conditioning

If you would like to put an air conditioner on the second floor, there are a few types from which to choose. These include:

  • A Window Unit: The first option is to install a window unit. As the name suggests, this is going to be an air conditioner that you will sit on the window sill in the second story. It is the least expensive option, but it is only going to be able to cool one room at a time.
  • A Split AC System: A split air conditioning system is an older system that uses three separate parts to help you cool off an entire floor of your house. These systems can vary widely in terms of their size and power, so you need to think carefully about how much power you need.
  • Central Air: Finally, the ultimate option is to go with a central air conditioning system on the second story. This is going to involve a second HVAC system along with ductwork upstairs. It is also possible for you to pull the second story of your house with the HVAC unit on the first floor if you are willing to run ductwork throughout the other areas of your house.

So, how do you decide which air conditioning is right for you? There are several factors to keep in mind.

Factors in Installing Central AC on the Second Story

If you would like to install central air conditioning upstairs, there are several factors you need to consider. These include:

  • The Installation Process: Installing central air conditioning on the second story of your house is not going to be a quick process. It may take some time to draw up your plans, you may have to ask for some permits, and it may cause significant disruption to your daily routine. You need to make sure that the team you have installing the central air conditioning in your house has done this before and is comfortable with the requirements.
  • The Cost: The cost of installing central air conditioning can vary widely depending on how the job is done. If you are purchasing an entirely new HVAC unit, this could cost more than $10,000. If you only have ductwork done to flow from the first to the second floor, it could cost anywhere from $1,500 to $7,500, depending on the size and scope of the job.
  • The Temperature: Next, you also need to think about whether you truly need central air conditioning on the second story of your house. If it doesn’t get that hot during the summer, then you might be better off plugging in a window unit only when necessary.
  • The Type of System: Finally, if you are committed to getting central air conditioning, you need to think about the type of system you purchase. Some systems are better than others, and some systems are more efficient than others. There is a balance between overpaying for a system and getting one that is not powerful enough. You may want to work with professionals to find the right system for your needs.

Once you have decided what type of air conditioner is best for the second floor of your house, you can move forward.

How To Maximize Your Second Floor AC

Second floor landing features skylight over the stairs
Second floor landing features skylight over the stairs

After you get air conditioning installed on the second floor of your house, you need to make sure you get the most out of the system. A few tips to keep in mind include:

  • The Thermostat: Pay close attention to the settings on a thermostat. You need to make sure the thermostat is activating the air conditioner appropriately. Remember that you may have a separate thermostat for the 1st floor and 2nd floor. Take advantage of this.
  • Close the Vents: If you are having a difficult time getting air conditioning to flow to the second floor of your house, you may want to consider closing the vents on the first floor. That way, all of the cool air is going to flow to the second story. Your first floor is still going to feel cool because cold air is going to sink to the bottom.
  • Ceiling Fans: You can also magnify the effects of your air conditioning by installing ceiling fans on the first and second floors. They are incredibly helpful because they will circulate the cool air throughout your house. That way, you can feel cooler even if the thermostat is set to a slightly higher temperature. This might help you save money on your utility bill.
  • The Windows: Remember that you need to close your windows during the day. If you leave your windows open, cool air is going to lead to the outside, forcing your air conditioner to work harder. You might also want to consider sealing the area around your windows to prevent losing cool air to the outside. There are also energy-efficient windows you can install if you would like to say that extra money.

Finally, remember that you have to get your air conditioner maintained at least once per year. Routine maintenance is important because it can help you prevent problems from developing with your HVAC unit. Routine maintenance can also help you save money on your utility bills because your air conditioner is going to run more efficiently.

Lastly, if you want your air conditioner to last as long as possible, you need to invest in routine maintenance. If your air conditioner does not have to work as hard, you will get more years of use out of it.