Though the majority of homes here in Florida are single story and nice and easy to cool there are more and more second and even third story homes going up in the sunshine state.
If you have a home with more than one floor you may notice that the upper floors can sometimes be hotter than the first. Let’s take a look at the reasons why this happens, as well as highlighting a few tips that can help mitigate the extra heat.
One major item to remember about heat is that hot air rises. It rises because it is less dense than cooler air. The air molecules are more widely spaced because they have more heat energy. Cooler (denser) air falls, allowing the heated air to float above it. It’s much the same effect when looking at a bottle of salad dressing – oil floats on water. Only with air, you can’t see it.
The roof can also come in to play: Your home’s roof absorbs the sun’s energy. Though the insulated attic between the roof and the interior ceilings helps to negate the heat, it is inevitable that some portion of that energy will make its way through into the living space. Because of the proximity, the second floor is closer to the roof than the ground floor so it will take on more of the absorbed heat, making that area hotter.
The best way to eliminate these problems is to make sure the outlet vents for cool air in the home are bringing cooled air to the upper floors. This will force the lower temperature air to circulate more through the upper floors. It might even help to partially close the dampers or vents on the first floor to restrict the airflow in those areas so that even more cool air is directed upstairs. You can even turn the system fan from “auto” over to “on” so that the fan turns on even when the compressor isn’t running in order to help circulate the air more efficiently.
Venting and Insulation: Another very important step is to make sure the attic is appropriately vented and insulated. Venting will help move hot air out of the attic so that it doesn’t transfer as much heat to the indoor spaces below it, and insulating will block that heat transfer. Water or rodents can damage insulation and make it less efficient, so it’s important to maintain the insulation to keep the heat out.
If your venting and insulation are good and your roof is not in need of any kind of repair, your heating issue may also be the caused by an air conditioning system that is beginning to wear out or is in need of an upgrade to be efficient.
If you have any maintenance concerns or questions about making your AC more efficient, or even if you need to re-evaluate the HVAC system in your home, be sure to call All Day Air Cooling and Heating today at (239) 357-0727. www.alldayaircooling.com.