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What To Do if the 2nd Story of Your Arizona House is Too Hot For Comfort?

angled photograph from the driveway of a peoria az neighborhood showing canyon state technician and the 2nd story of house with ventilation and windows above garage photo by prefocus solutions

Every year, thousands of people from across the country move to Phoenix, Arizona. While there are plenty of reasons why, the predictable climate is usually the most appealing. At the same time, many underestimate the heat of the summer. When the 2nd story of your Arizona house is too hot for comfort, it can be a tough transition.

So if you’re thinking about buying a multi-level property here, we thought it would be a good idea to explain what you might be up against. Truth be told, even tenured residents struggle to keep the 2nd floor of their homes cool. After 32 years of service, we’ve seen it all. It’s just the nature of desert-living.

Carefully Address Cooling Problems in Arizona.

In most cases, cooling problems stem from the quality of the home itself. Even installing a new system doesn’t always improve performance. So before you purchase portable air conditioners or close downstairs vents to increase cold air circulation, you’ll want to understand why you’re experiencing poor efficiency. 

If you don’t, your AC system can pay the price. As an Arizona homeowner, you should always take the time to understand what could be decreasing the lifespan of your air conditioner. While temporary solutions may seem logical, expediting the need for a replacement is never ideal.

air conditioning heat pump combo being tested for output efficiency in peoria az for canyon state blog to improve cooling on second story of home photo by prefocus solutions

The last thing anyone wants to deal with in the middle of a 120-degree day is a cooling failure. But before discussing solutions, let’s talk about some of the reasons why Arizona houses are naturally hot on the second level.

What Causes Excess Heat Upstairs?

For the most part, five elements usually create higher temperatures on the 2nd story of Arizona homes: seeping air, a hot roof, bad ductwork, poor insulation and a lot of upstairs living space (lofts in particular). Moreover, if you don’t have a rooftop system, the first floor AC unit will have to work harder to cool a multi-level home.

Keeping Hot Air Out and Cold Air In.

Even when second story cooling is present, a roof that doesn’t deflect or protect the house from the sun’s rays will always present a problem. The same can be said for your walls and attic if they have poor insulation. When external layers absorb heat, it’s awfully difficult to keep your space cool.

On top of weakened barriers, faulty, inadequate or outdated HVAC ducts will limit the amount of cold air that enters the premises – not to mention the second level. Even if you address the aforementioned issues, poor ventilation will still result in higher energy costs, an overworked air conditioner and a hotter environment.

canyon state expert heating and cooling installer replacing ductwork in attic of home in peoria arizona in order to increase air flow and cooling capacity for homeowner photo by prefocus solutions

At the end of the day, heat will always rise – so if you want to avoid a hot 2nd story in Arizona, you’ll need to make sure cold air sufficiently flows upstairs and stays there.

Addressing a Home's Hot 2nd Story.

First and foremost, if the 2nd story of your Arizona house is too hot for comfort, you should always consult a certified HVAC specialist. While some things will most certainly improve cooling performance, there could be some underlying issues that require immediate attention.

In some cases, general maintenance or a minor repair can make a big difference. Even if you need to fix ductwork or add ventilation, evenly distributing cold air will pay for itself in the long run. The same can be said about an air conditioning replacement – if it’s outdated or improperly sized

Either way, if you don’t talk to a trusted professional in Arizona about a hot 2nd story, it’s going to be awfully difficult to know what your best solution is. Technicians in other parts of the country may not always be able to offer sound advice.

What To Do to Keep the Upstairs Cool.

If you were able to determine that there is inadequate insulation in your home, then you’ll probably want to add some. Foam, blown-in or rolled (batted) insulation are all options. No matter how you go about it, don’t forget to address the attic – especially if you have a hot roof.

west phoenix attic space where roofing beam is highlighted and professional hvac specialist is replacing equipment and shedding poor insulation so bew blow-in can be implemented

Any added layer will help you retain cold air and repel the heat. But when the 2nd story of your Arizona house is too hot for comfort, it could also mean there is improper air circulation above the second level. So if you’re insulating the attic, consider adding a fan to improve ventilation.

Any cracks, gaps or holes in windows should also be sealed. This is an easy task that most people can manage on their own. But if you don’t feel comfortable, you can always ask a neighbor for help or hire a handyman for a minimal fee.

Other Ways to Improve 2nd Level Cooling.

For those of you with homes that have AC vents in cooler areas (closets, small rooms or spaces away from entryways and walls), consider closing them. It’ll help direct more cold air upward. 

You can also change the fan setting on your thermostat from “auto” to “on”. When the blower fan runs constantly, the cooling system isn’t forced to cycle as often and cold air is mixed more evenly throughout the home. In turn, energy consumption is reduced.

large air filters for arizona houses improving circulation performance and energy efficiency for cooling units

The best way to ensure your air conditioner continues cooling at maximum capacity is to frequently change your air filters. If you neglect this simple task, air flow restrictions will occur. It’s also a good idea to schedule annual maintenance with a local provider.

We Care About Your Cooling.

Living in Phoenix, Arizona comes with a number of perks. But an underperforming air conditioner can make it difficult to enjoy your home during the peak of the summer season. While there are a number of ways to increase cold air production, we hope this article showed you how invaluable efficiency can be.

As a family owned business since 1989, we covet the trust of our customers – and we’ll do everything we can to ensure your comfort. So if the 2nd story of your Arizona home is too hot, we’d love a chance to cool it down.

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