Grade school science taught us that warm air rises, and this fact becomes noticeable during summer when you call an AC installer in Kihei because your HVAC system can’t regulate your home temperature evenly. However, there are a number of factors why your upper floor is warmer than it should be, and the first step in solving an issue is discovering what’s causing it. So let us examine some of the main reasons your second story has decided to become a sweltering sauna in the middle of Kihei.
1. Your air conditioner is old.
Your air conditioner will definitely show signs of nearing the end of its lifespan at some point. Most ACs work fine until 15-20 years. Each year of regular use wears down your unit. Despite proper maintenance, any machine will age and lose efficiency over the years. If you have an old AC, you will notice your rooms are no longer cooling as they used to. When your cooling system gets old and efficient, it will no longer cool your home evenly. This may result in your second story being warmer than your ground floor.
What if your air conditioning system is still in good working condition? In this case, we check for other factors. Central air conditioner installers in Kihei, for instance, may check for potential causes, like increased demand brought about by renovation, room expansion, or increase in the number of occupants.
2. Your AC system is not maintained well.
Neglecting your air conditioning system causes a number of unpleasant surprises at some point causing you to call an AC installer in Kihei. For instance, blocked vents cannot deliver cold air into a room, thus causing unwanted heat accumulation in there.
Lack of maintenance also causes dirt to build up in the air filter or air handler blades. A clogged air filter obstructs airflow. Dirt buildup on the handler blades makes them spin slower. Both conditions reduce airflow through the ducts and in turn, limit the amount of cold air that reaches the more distant rooms. These problems can be avoided by cleaning or changing your filters and doing yearly tune-ups.
3. You have an undersized AC.
If your central air conditioner is smaller than what your home needs, it won’t be able to cool your entire house effectively. The rooms farthest from the air handler will suffer the most from an undersized AC unit. Homeowners can avoid this issue by enlisting a reliable HVAC installer from the get-go. A professional AC installer in Kihei knows the importance of proper load calculation when recommending the appropriate system for your house so that you don’t end up with an undersized (or oversized) air conditioner.
4. You have defective ducts.
Rooms on your second floor are farther from the air conditioner than those on the ground floor are. For cold air to get from the air handler to the second floor, it has to pass through a network of ducts. Now, what happens when somewhere along with the ductwork there’s a crack? You guessed it right. Cold air gets lost, and your second floor is warmer than ever.
Ducts can get damaged over time, but a premature defect is most likely due to bad installation. When joints are not attached together tautly and sealed properly, then leaks become an inevitable issue in the near future. Energy-efficient ducting also entails insulation; otherwise, some of those treated hair is lost during transit.
Homeowners can check their ductwork to find leaks or they can also call a professional AC installer in Kihei for assistance. Sealing the cracks or holes with mastic is an easy task a lot of people can do on their own. However, such leaks are an indicator that there might be other leaks in the ducts in your walls. A technician can do a pressure test on your ductwork to know if there are leaks somewhere that you don’t see.
Leaky ductwork may conjure images of messy repairs, but you don’t need to tear down your walls to expose the pesky ducts. Technicians can now just seal your air ducts from the inside using a liquid sealant that can be circulated throughout the ductwork.
4. Your attic is poorly insulated.
Your roof receives most of the heat from the sun, and you will definitely feel that heat when you’re in the attic. This is why homes have insulated attics. Insulation keeps heat from invading the second floor through the ceiling in summer and keeps cold away during winter. However, it deteriorates over time.
The health of your attic insulation is one of the things that we check when your second story simmers at midday. We check for thermal resistance, which is measured in R-values. Okay, let’s not get too technical, but the higher the R-value, the more the material resists heat. While a homeowner can do the inspection on their own, a professional inspection by an AC installer in Kihei may be necessary for a thorough assessment.
You have to make sure you’re getting the right roof and attic insulation for your region. If you’re unsure, check the recommended R-value for your state or climate zone. The U.S. Department of Energy details this in its insulation map. You may also examine the batt insulation of your attic floor by looking at the details on the paper backing. Otherwise, refer to the insulation identification guide by the Energy Department to help you identify the type of insulation that you have.
The thickness of the insulation is another factor that affects the temperature in your rooms upstairs. A 13- or 14-inch insulation is good for places with warm climates, while homes in places with colder winters benefit from at least 16 inches of insulation. You see, insulating your home isn’t just about keeping cool air in during summer but also about keeping heated air indoors during winter.
Good ventilation also helps regulate the temperatures in the attic, thereby keeping your second story comfortable. While rafter and soffit vents may suffice, some homes may benefit from an additional attic fan. If your attic doesn’t have a fan, a professional AC installer in Kihei can always install one.
5. You chose the wrong roofing material.
Part of making your home energy efficient is choosing materials that reflect heat. Ordinary roofing materials absorb heat and add to the heat that radiates through your ceiling from the attic. But you don’t need to replace your roof in favor of cool materials. An ordinary roof can be coated with reflective paint to make it absorb less heat. However, if you’re expecting a reroofing job, choose energy-efficient products.
6. Your surrounding trees are still young.
Young trees surrounding your house may provide cover for your ground floor walls and windows, but they’re too low to cover your second story or roof yet. What happens is your house warms unevenly throughout the day. Even with your air conditioner working just fine, it may not sufficiently cool your overheated second story or attic. If you have shrubbery or low trees around the house, consider treating your windows with reflective coats or installing heavy drapery to block sunlight.
As you have read, there are many things that cause your rooms upstairs to become warmer than your living room downstairs. Sometimes it’s difficult to figure out what’s causing the temperature difference. You may examine your home to determine the culprit, or you may seek a central AC installer in Kihei to spare you from the inconvenience and do the work for you.
Pacific Air Conditioning is the leading central air conditioner installer in Maui and serves Wailuku, Kihei, Kahului, and other areas. Call us at 808-244-0161 if you have problems with uneven cooling in your home.