What to Do If Your Second Floor Is Too Hot

It’s a confounding problem that many homeowners can relate to. You find yourself climbing your stairs from the cool and cozy downstairs into what feels like one of the seven circles of hell! Meanwhile, your HVAC system is working over-time to fix the balance, forcing YOU to work overtime to pay for rising AC costs. Does this sound familiar? The pros at Bardi understand the struggle and are here to advise you on what to do if your second floor is too hot.

Common Causes

  • Rising Heat

We all know that heat rises, meaning your AC must work double-time to cool your second floor if the unit is on the first floor.


  • Overheated Roof

According to the EPA, the temperature of roof surfaces can climb 50-90 degrees higher than the air temperature. Even with decent attic insulation, a good portion of that heat tends to escape into your home, often leading to a much hotter second floor.


  • Faulty Duct work

If you have a duct system, the cool AC air travels through these ducts to cool different rooms of your home. Any leaks in this duct work can force your HVAC unit to work much harder to cool your home. Another issue could be that there is not enough duct work reaching the second floor.


  • Blocked Soffit Vents

Soffit vents draw cool fresh air at the base of your roof, while hot humid air is expelled through the roof vents at the top. If these soffit vents become blocked by debris, fallen pieces of insulation, or other debris, it could contribute to your second floor not cooling down.


  • Your Supply and Return Vents are Obstructed

Around your home are supply and return vents. If they become obstructed by drapes, furniture, or rugs, this can inhibit the flow of air to your second floor.


  • Improper Fan Settings

Typically, your fan will be set to “auto.” This setting turns the fan on whenever your AC is running, automatically shutting it off when it’s not running. If your settings are on “auto,” your fan may not be circulating enough cool air to reach your second floor.


  • Insufficient Attic Insulation

Often the issue with a hotter second floor is a poorly insulated attic. If you can see the floor joists in your attic, you don’t have enough insulation, and hot air may be escaping from your attic into your home.



  • Redirect the flow with your air vents.

On your HVAC system’s ducts there are dampers. If you can locate the dampers on the ducts leading to the first floor, close them halfway or more. In doing this, you will allow your ducts to push more air up to the second floor. If you have a basement, your system’s first-floor dampers will be found there. If you don’t have a basement or cannot find the dampers, try closing your first-floor register vents.


  • Implement a zoning system

Although this investment is larger, it is a sound one. By switching to a zoning system, you can directly control the temperature in individual areas or floors of your house with separate thermostats.  


  • Upgrade to a cool roof.

Keep heat from transferring into your house by installing a cool roof. Made from a special type of reflective paint, a single sheet-like covering, or heat-proof tiles and shingles, a cool roof is designed to reflect the sun away from your home to keep it cool.


  • Repair your duct work or add a ductless split.

As previously explained, your duct work is the highway down which your cool air travels. Any leaks or tears can make your central AC system work too hard to make up for the escaped air. You should have a professional inspect your duct work and make any necessary repairs.


  • Inspect and clear your soffit vents from any blockages.

Since your soffit vents are a vital part of introducing cooler air to your attic, any blockage can drastically affect the temperature on your second floor. If you are comfortable inspecting your soffit vents and clearing away debris on your own, you can tackle this problem yourself!


  • Make sure vents around your home are not blocked by anything.

While it may seem like an easy fix to cover or close vents around your home on the first floor to increase the airflow to your second floor, this could exacerbate the issue. To maximize airflow from your first floor to your second floor, make sure all vents are unobstructed.


  • Turn your fan to the “on” position rather than the “auto” position.

As a simple troubleshooting solution, turn your fan from “auto” to “on”. This will help increase the circulation of cool air to your second floor.


  • Upgrade your attic insulation.

While there are DIY insulation options, it’s wise to have a professional inspection first. Once an expert confirms that your attic is poorly insulated, you can better explore your options.


For More Advice on What to Do if Your Second Floor Is Too Hot…

In considering what to do if your second floor is too hot, reach out for help from a Bardi expert. Dedicated to finding the best solutions for your home, you can trust Bardi with any of your HVAC needs! Call us today at 770-263-9300 or fill out a service request form on our website!


Article Categories