So you’ve just swapped the bed linens, stowed away your winter wardrobe, and given your house a nice, deep cleaning. Your home may look ready for summer, but it is ready to keep you and your family cool and comfortable when the summer heat is at its worst?
Many homeowners find that the upstairs rooms in their homes become uncomfortably hot at this time of year — and wonder how to fix the problem. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to cool off that second floor.
Service or Upgrade Your Cooling System
If you haven’t already, give your air conditioning system a little TLC before peak summer temperatures hit. If your system is less than 10 years old and has not needed much in the way of repairs, schedule a quick tune-up to get it running as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
If your system is over 10 years old or needs more serious repairs, now might be a good time to consider air conditioning replacement. Proactively installing a new air conditioner or heat pump — before your existing unit breaks down completely — can help you save money in the long run thanks to avoided repairs and lower energy bills. Plus, if your existing unit is undersized or oversized, installing a properly sized unit will enhance your overall indoor comfort.
Program Your Thermostat
Don’t forget to program your thermostat for optimum indoor comfort. Switching the fan setting from “auto” to “on” can help mix the air more evenly throughout the house. (Keep in mind that the fan itself does not use that much energy and can help even reduce energy usage by making your AC system cycle on less often.)
If you don’t yet control your cooling system with a smart thermostat, now is a good time to consider a thermostat upgrade. A smart thermostat allows you to fine-tune your home comfort with smart scheduling, control settings using your phone, catch problems early with alerts, and more.
Use Ceiling Fans
Did you know that a ceiling fan makes a room feel about 4 degrees cooler than it really is? This means a bedroom could be 76°F but feel like a cool 72°F when the ceiling fan is running. Ceiling fans cost much less to run than air conditioning; so go ahead and bump your thermostat up a few degrees and run ceiling fans in the rooms you are using.
Keep in mind that a ceiling fan doesn’t actually make a room cooler — it just makes it feel cooler. So, if you’re not using a particular room, it’s a waste of energy to run the ceiling fan in that room!
Close Blinds and Drapes in Upstairs Rooms
Sunlight streaming in through the windows is wonderful to look at, but it also brings heat into the home. (And since your thermostat is most likely downstairs, it won’t turn the AC on when upstairs temperatures are increasing for this reason.) Closing the blinds and drapes on windows in upstairs rooms will help keep excess heat out.
Partially Close First Floor Registers
Try partially closing a few registers on the first floor. This will not only send more air flow up to the second floor but also lengthen the running cycle of your AC system (because, again, your thermostat is likely on the first floor).