Does a 2-Story House need 2 AC Units?
When a 2nd Air Conditioner Can Resolve a Hot Upstairs 2nd Floor
Is Your AC Sufficiently Cooling Your 2nd Floor?
It’s a problem for a lot of large homes – your 2nd floor never seems to get cool enough in the summer. Perhaps you have to freeze out the first floor to make it even somewhat comfortable upstairs. For those who live in homes with two floors or more, you are probably quite familiar with this frustration. It’s a common complaint people call us at Hanna Heating & Air to solve.
If you’re in College Hill, Riverside or another one of Wichita’s oldest neighborhoods, this problem may be even worse for you. Those old homes aren’t just multi-level, they are also often lacking sufficient insulation. And often, these old houses are so drafty that getting consistent temperature control throughout the home nearly impossible.
Another situation that can cause this problem is an attic renovation. If your home has been renovated to turn your attic into a livable space, chances are you are feeling the heat. Unless you’ve had adjustments made to your home’s HVAC to handle this renovation, your system that was designed for only one floor will not likely provide the comfortable temperature in your new space.
Understanding Why a 2nd Floor Gets So Hot
The reason why an upper floor is likely to be hotter is because hot air rises. Cool air sinks. This is basic science. This is what’s making it difficult for you to maintain the same temperature on different floors. Your air conditioning unit on the first floor is having to work harder to push cool air up to your 2nd floor.
Other issues can contribute to an overly hot second floor. A roof that is absorbing a lot of heat from the sun or having inadequate insulation could be greatly contributing to your home’s temperature problems.
So now that we’re heading into the middle of another hot Kansas summer, you can expect to be faced with this frustrating situation again soon. Homeowners’ thoughts regarding what they can do with this hot second floor problem usually falls into one of two categories:
- You think it’s time to get a larger, more energy-efficient AC system to fix the problem.
- Or you think that there’s no way to ever properly cool the upstairs of your home.
Fortunately, you might not have to be faced with only those 2 options. There are other options that may solve the problem thoroughly and efficiently.
Determining how to solve the problem with a hot upstairs starts with locating the source of the problem. Could you have a problem with your duct work? Do you need better insulation? These are not usually problems homeowners can identify themselves. We are happy to help. Contact us at Hanna Heating & Air and one of our technicians will come out and inspect your home for the issues preventing your 2nd floor from getting and/or staying as cool as it should.
Considering 2 AC Units for Your 2-Story House
There is an alternative to upgrading your existing AC unit with installation of a newer (and likely bigger) one in your basement or first floor. You may be better served by adding a 2nd AC unit to your upstairs or in your attic.
As you look to find a complete solution to a house that doesn’t cool properly on all floors, here are some main things to consider when determining whether to get a second air conditioning system installed.
Air Conditioning Cost Concerns
Is a 2nd AC unit going to cost more than just upgrading your existing air conditioner? Not necessarily. It’s likely that a 2nd unit won’t cost as much as you’d expect. Since this additional unit is not going to be used to cool the entire square footage of your home, you won’t need a particularly large second unit.
A professional HVAC company will calculate exactly what size of a 2nd unit you will need. Since it will only be cooling your upstairs, specifications of that 2nd level, such as square footage, will be what determines the proper AC size. Give us a call at Hanna Heating & Air at (316) 945-3481 and we will come out to measure your home and separate levels. We will determine exactly what air conditioner would be needed for your home.
Energy Cost Factors
Another cost issue to consider is your home’s energy bill. Having two AC systems to handle a 2-Story home may likely save you money every month. If you’ve been trying to get a single AC system to handle both floors, you may be putting too great a demand on your system. It may be working to put out more cool air than it was designed to do. You’ll know you’re wasting energy when you’re getting your downstairs too cold in order to get your upstairs feeling just right. Having an additional air conditioner focused on heating just the upstairs will take the work away from the other unit.
A 2nd AC Provides Peace of Mind
Having 2 air conditioning units provides you with some unique assurance. You may feel more secure in knowing that your chance of a summer HVAC disaster is greatly reduced. If one of your air conditioners were to break down, you will have another unit still operating. While this lone unit won’t be sufficient to cool your entire home, you will at least have some level of cooling in your home until an AC repair technician come out and fix the broken air conditioner.
Finding where to place the new system can come with challenges. Your home may have a limited amount of space for installing a second AC system. Also, a 2nd unit will need to have ductwork that is separate from what you already have for your existing unit. Another space consideration is in finding a place for both units that will be needed for a second system. This includes the inside unit (the evaporator) and the outside AC unit (the condenser).
Does YOUR Home Need a 2nd AC?
It’s a big decision to make a HVAC upgrade to your home. It’s a big investment, and fortunately one that can really pay off. But first, you may want to see if some easy fixes make a sufficient difference in your upstairs’ temperature. Homeowners can attempt several steps that may improve a home’s cooling problem. Some of basic things to try include:
- Make sure your air filters are clean
- Make sure all vents are open and not blocked
- Close blinds and curtains in 2nd floor rooms
These are small steps to handle relatively small problems. If these do not provide the necessary remedy to solving your hot upstairs problem, give us a call. We would be happy to come out and see what sort of professional HVAC service work can be done to even out your home’s temperature.
There are still even more possible solutions to fixing your home’s temperature problem. Installation of a ductless mini split may be what you need to target the cooling in a room or particular space of your home. Hanna Heating & Air are Mitsubishi ductless mini-split systems in the south-central Kansas region. We can help you determine if this is the right solution for your home.
Call us at (316) 945-3481 and we will schedule one of our highly trained technicians to come out and diagnose the cooling problems you’re having in your home. Let us help provide you the information and options for finally solving the problem of a hot upstairs once and for all!