Summer is on the way and the temperature is rising. We all want to stay cool and comfortable in our homes. As we all know, heat rises. Keeping your second-floor temperate can be a real challenge in the summer. And you may be surprised to learn that simple mistakes you may be making could be what’s keeping your second floor uncomfortably hot and humid. Here are five ways we suggest you can keep your top floor cool in the warmer month:
Check the insulation in your Attic
Do you know how much insulation is in your attic? Most people don’t and this could be letting cool air escape from your second floor. Make sure the insulation in your attic is at least 16-18 inches. Most people’s homes have less than eight, which is less than two times what is needed. To be Energy Star R49 in this region 18 inches of insulation is standard.
Don’t block supply vents with furniture or other belongings
Well, at least try not to. Cool air needs to be able to rise all the way to the ceiling, mix, then settle down in a room. Many people forget about their supply vents and park sofas and other large pieces of furniture in front of them. This will keep the cool air low and not help the situation. Returns also play a big role in cooling. Now it is code that a return path is created for every bedroom. The return vent draws the humidity out of the air from the room so the cool air from the supplies can do their thing.
Don’t try to trick the system by closing first floor supply vents
Some people will try to “force” cool upstairs by closing their first floor supply vent, cutting off airflow on that level of their home. Our experts warn that this doesn’t work the way you think it does. Closing a supply vent just disrupts the flow of air through the HVAC system and causes an imbalance between supply and return vents which makes your system less effective over time.
Make sure your air filter door stays closed
It’s a good practice to regularly replace your home’s air filter, but some folks get in the habit of keeping their air filter doors cracked, so it’s easier to access the old filters when it’s time to replace them again. Problem is, this could be making it harder for you to keep your home cool. Keep it closed to keep your HVAC system humming along the way it should.
Know where to set your thermostat
One of the most common errors people make when they’re trying to stay cool is cranking their thermostat way down when they come home on a hot day. This is like trying to cool down a hot car that’s been sitting by blasting the AC when you get in. It always takes longer to cool down than you want it to. And just like your car, suddenly cranking the AC in your home will bring down the temperature eventually, but it takes a long time and wastes a lot of energy. Instead, we suggest being proactive and keeping your AC set within four degrees of where you want it all season long. This is the most effective way to keep your top floor (and your entire home) cool over time and it’s much more energy-efficient.
Is your HVAC system ready for summer? During a home energy audit, we can determine if you have enough supply and return ventilation and how the ducted air is flowing in your home.
Contact us today to beat the heat!