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How To Fix Uneven Cooling in a Two-Story Home

Exterior of a two story home with siding

Your air conditioner is supposed to keep your home cool and comfortable from the summer heat. However, many homeowners with two-story houses often encounter a frustrating issue with their AC unit: uneven cooling. If your first story is freezing while the upper level feels like an oven, then your air conditioner is failing at its main job. Our HVAC experts at Dominion Service Company will go over what causes uneven cooling and how you can fix it to restore comfort to your home.

Causes & Solutions to Uneven Cooling

Uneven cooling in a two-story home can be attributed to various factors, each requiring different remedies. To fix this issue in your own home, you’ll need to know the cause. Here are some common problems that can lead to uneven cooling:

Inadequate Insulation

Insufficient or outdated insulation can lead to temperature imbalances between floors. Heat transfers through walls and ceilings, causing the upper floor to be warmer than the lower floor. Additionally, poor insulation may contribute to air leaks that cause conditioned air to escape, which only makes the problem worse.

To tackle insulation-related issues, consider upgrading your insulation to the recommended R-value for your climate. Pay special attention to the attic, walls, and floors between stories.

Imbalanced Airflow

Your HVAC system’s air ducts are responsible for distributing the cool air from your AC unit throughout your home, so they’re a common culprit for uneven cooling. This could be due to a poorly designed or inefficient ductwork system, blocked vents, or improper placement of return vents.

To fix this issue, you’ll need to hire a professional HVAC technician to inspect and balance the airflow in your ducts. This process involves adjusting dampers and vents to ensure that conditioned air is evenly distributed throughout the house.

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HVAC System Size

If your HVAC system is too small for your two-story home, it will struggle to maintain consistent temperatures throughout the entire space. On the other hand, an oversized system may short-cycle, leading to uneven cooling as it quickly cools one floor and shuts off before reaching the other.

If your current HVAC system is inadequate or oversized, consider investing in a new system that’s the appropriate size and capacity for your two-story home. A well-sized system will efficiently regulate temperatures on both floors.

Window Locations

South-facing windows can absorb a significant amount of solar heat, which can cause the upper floor to become warmer than the lower floor. A good way to combat this is by adding shades, blinds, or curtains to minimize direct sunlight and heat entering the living spaces. You can also install a reflective coating on your windows.

Thermostat Placement

The location of your thermostat plays a crucial role in maintaining balanced temperatures. If the thermostat is on the first floor or near a heat source, it may register a warmer temperature, resulting in the upper floor being cooled excessively, or vice versa.

Relocate your thermostat to a central location on the main floor, away from heat sources and direct sunlight. This will help the thermostat accurately gauge the overall indoor temperature and control cooling more effectively.

Zoning Issues

Some two-story homes may have a single-zone HVAC system, which treats both floors as a single space. This can lead to uneven cooling, as the temperature needs on each floor differ.

To address this, consider investing in a zoned HVAC system. Zoning allows you to divide your home into different areas with separate temperature controls, ensuring each floor receives the appropriate cooling.

Call Dominion Service Company for Quality HVAC Solutions

Uneven cooling in a two-story home can be frustrating, but Dominion Service Company is here to help. Our HVAC experts have years of experience in solving all kinds of air conditioning issues, including uneven cooling. With our team on your side, you can enjoy a comfortable and consistent indoor climate throughout your entire home.

Call Dominion Service Company today at 810-844-4178 or contact us online to discuss your air conditioning issues with our team.

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