We’ve all experienced the phenomenon: You’re sitting in a cool and comfortable living room and realize you need to head upstairs to get something. But with every step you take upstairs, you can feel the air around you getting warmer and warmer. Why is it that the upstairs of your house just can’t seem to stay as cool as the downstairs?
While it’s true that hot air rises, that doesn’t mean the upstairs rooms in your home have to be uncomfortable. Here’s a look at what you can do to keep your home in Central PA consistently cool.
No matter what comfort issues your home might have, your first step toward increasing indoor comfort should be scheduling a home energy audit. An energy audit is an in-depth look at your home’s efficiency and helps you identify what your home needs for more consistent indoor temperatures.
During your energy audit, your home performance expert will identify exactly what’s causing that hot upstairs in your home — whether it’s air leakage, missing insulation in the attic, or imbalanced ductwork.
Air leaks throughout the home are one of the top causes of a hot upstairs. Holes and cracks around recessed lighting, plumbing penetrations, and the attic hatch, for example, allow warm air to rise more quickly into the upper areas of the home. Meanwhile, holes and gaps along the home’s exterior allow hot outside air to seep in.
Professional air sealing will eliminate these air leaks to better control air flow and keep heat out.
Most homes here in Pennsylvania are under-insulated, allowing summer heat to seep in. This is especially true for the attic area, where heat from the sun enters the home via the roof and creeps down into the second floor.
After excessive air infiltration and improper levels of insulation, imbalanced air flow is one of the most common causes of inconsistent temperatures from room to room. If your home is well sealed and insulated and still hard to condition, have an HVAC professional check out your ductwork. They may find that certain registers have weaker air flow than others or that there are leaks and damage in key areas of your ductwork. When this is the case, duct sealing and balancing are the right solutions for your home.