Why The Second Story Is Hotter Than Your Ground Floor?

Why The Second Story Is Hotter Than Your Ground Floor?

It’s common knowledge that heat rises, which is something to consider when it comes to HVAC problems. Not only is having a second story hotter than the ground floor of your home annoying and uncomfortable, it’s also costly and could mean that your HVAC system needs to be examined. There are a few different factors to consider when you find that your second story is hotter than the rest of your home.

Air Conditioner

Unfortunately, replacing a busted air conditioner is a costly expense, but sometimes it’s an inevitable reality that homeowners have to face at some point. The average lifespan of a quality central A/C unit is 15-20 years. Every year after that, your A/C begins to become more and more inefficient. If your second story is hotter than usual, it may be that your air conditioning unit is failing. That may not necessarily be true, though. If you haven’t had your A/C inspected by a professional HVAC technician in awhile, your air conditioner may be suffering from wear and tear from overdue maintenance or broken parts. If your A/C is relatively new, the problem may be that the installers didn’t properly size your system to your home and that you have an undersized A/C. Having a professional come in to inspect can help you determine what the cause of your air conditioning problems are.


The farther your A/C is from your second floor, the more ductwork is needed to get air to pass through the space. In that network of ductwork, it’s possible for gaps and leaks to develop over time, which can mean air getting lost before it has the chance to reach the upper floors of your home.

You may be able to inspect some of the ductwork in your home yourself, especially in the basement and attic. If you identify leaks, sealing them is a relatively simple DIY job – if you can reach them. The bigger problem is that leaks found in accessible ductwork typically mean there are likely leaks in inaccessible ducts that run within your walls.

An HVAC technician can perform a pressure test on your duct network to find out how leaky it is. If the test shows that you have a lot of leaks, you may have found the source for why your second story is hotter than the rest of you home. Luckily, modern techniques allow HVAC professionals to seal your ductwork without having to bust down walls.


Attic insulation is important for keeping heat from radiating through your roof. It’s also something that should be taken into consideration all year-round. It keeps hot air in during the winter and out during the summer. But, like many things, it can deteriorate over time and needs to be replaced every so often.

Insulation is measured in R-values (where the higher the R-value, the more thermal resistance). You can check to make sure your attic insulation is right for the climate you live in by visiting the U.S. Department of Energy’s insulation map. If you’re unsure what type of insulation you have, you can simply go up to your attic and check. If the attic floor is insulated with batts, you should be able to read the info right off the paper backing. If your attic is filled with loose-fill insulation, you may need to look at the insulation identification guide to figure out what type you currently have.


While not a factor for all homes, if your multi-story home is surrounded by trees, you may be getting a lot of shade from younger trees around your ground floor, but the trees may not be tall enough to block sunlight from permeating the upper stories.

If this is the case, consider upgrading your window treatments on the upstairs windows. Reflective shades, blackout curtains, and heavy drapes may also be able to help block some of the heat during the day.

Figuring out which of these factors is responsible for when the second story is hotter than the rest of your home can be a difficult process. But it doesn’t have to be. For help with finding a solution, contact A-Abel today!