Why Your Upstairs Is Too Hot in the Summer header image
July 5, 2022

Let us know if this scene sounds familar: You’re laying in bed, trying to fall asleep but your bedroom is just too dang hot. The windows are open, but all afternoon the temperature has been rising on the second floor of your home, and now, even after the sun’s gone down, it’s still too uncomfortable.

This is unfortunately a common scenario for homeowners in Carlisle, York, and elsewhere in South Central Pennsylvania. If you’ve been losing sleep because of the heat, you’re probably wondering: Why does my home’s upstairs get so much hotter than the downstairs in the summer, and what can I do about it?

The Reason You Have a Hot Second Floor

Most often, significant differences in indoor temperatures between the floors of your home can be traced back to inadequate insulation and air leaks.

In the summer, when outdoor air is significantly warmer than the indoor air, this difference in temperature (and air pressure) causes the less dense hot air to force its way in through your attic and upper levels of your home. The cooler, denser indoor air falls and is pushed out through holes and gaps in your basement or crawlspace.

Building scientists call this the stack effect, and it explains why your upstairs can get so hot on a summer afternoon or evening compared to your home’s first floor. The more dramatic the difference between floors, the worse shape your insulation is likely in.

How Insulation & Air Sealing Can Help Cure Your Hot Bedroom Blues

The harder it is for heat and air to move in and out of your home, the less pronounced the stack effect in your home will be. Proper insulation and air sealing act as an effective barrier between the inside and outside of your home. In real terms, you’re likely to notice the following after upgrading your house:

  • More even indoor temperatures

  • Lower heating and cooling bills (less energy waste = reduced HVAC system operation)

  • Fewer outdoor air pollutants in your home (like humidity, pollen, and mold)

These home improvements services can make you more comfortable and save money, too—the EPA estimates that the average household will lower their annual heating and cooling costs by 15% when they upgrade their insulation and air seal.

Schedule an Energy Audit to Learn More About Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

Attic insulation, crawlspace encapsulation, exterior sidewall insulation—these are all viable options that an experienced insulation contractor can use to upgrade a home. But what does your home need? With a home energy audit, you can identify the specific areas of your house that are pooly insulated or have significant air leakage, allowing you to take the guesswork out of energy efficiency improvements.

As BPI-certified building science professionals, Energy Smart Home Improvement is the insulation company Pennsylvania homeowners trust—reach out today to learn more. 

Say goodbye to hot second floors. Call 717.258.6574 or contact us today for whole home comfort and energy efficiency solutions.

Keep your entire home cool this summer.

Schedule a home energy audit to learn how.


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