Why Is My Second Story Hotter Than the Ground Floor?

Have you ever complained about the second story of your Fort Collins or Denver home being hot? Heat rises, sure—but what if there are other issues at play? Here, we discuss what causes the second floor of your home to be hotter than the main level and how to remedy the problem.

What Causes the Second Floor to be Hotter?

Air Flow

First, heat rises. So, the air flow in your home matters quite a bit. If your HVAC system lives on the first floor, it’s having to work extra hard to push air up to the top floor of your home. While most systems are robust enough to keep a two-story home comfortable, older HVAC systems (or ones that haven’t been well-maintained) may struggle to keep up.

Duct Issues

Another possible cause? Leaky air ducts. Ductwork is responsible for carrying cool air throughout your home—but if you’re losing conditioned air to leaking or old ducts, your HVAC system will be forced to work harder. With a faulty duct system, you could be losing the conditioned air before it ever makes it to the second floor.


Lastly, if your attic is uninsulated, you could be losing cool air out of the roof. Dark, uninsulated roofs absorb heat from the sun and can cause the attic to heat up. As heat travels through the attic and into the second floor, you may find that it’s much harder for your system to match up.

How Can I Cool Down My Second Story?

Change your air filters.

First, make sure your HVAC system isn’t being unnecessarily overworked. Change your air filters on a regular basis (ideally once every month to three months). Dirty air filters can restrict airflow and inhibit an HVAC system’s processes.

Insulate your attic.

To deflect the heat absorbing into the roof and transferring to the attic, you can insulate the space. Proper insulation in the attic will absolutely lessen the amount of heat that reaches the second floor—you’ll notice a difference without changing up your HVAC system.

Set thermostat to ‘on’.

Another way to combat a hot second story? Keep your HVAC system’s blower fan running. Set the thermostat from ‘auto’ to ‘on’ to mix the air more evenly throughout the entire house. This setting should not use a lot of energy and can be a catch-all solution.

Have a professional inspect your HVAC unit.

Sometimes the problem is too serious to handle on your own. When you’re having issues with the second story cooling off, it is best to refer to a certified HVAC technician to help you evaluate and solve the problem.

Need an HVAC Technician Near Fort Collins, CO?

Is your second story burning up even though you’ve turned on the AC? When you are experiencing cooling issues, you will want to call the best HVAC technician in Fort Collins. Good Guys Home Services is always on call and ready to assist you with any HVAC issue. We serve homes in Fort Collins, Colorado and beyond. Contact us online or by phone at 970-818-8008 to learn more or schedule an appointment.

We offer year-round HVAC services for heating, cooling, and more throughout Northern Colorado. Located in Fort Collins, we also serve the following areas: Loveland, Ault, Greeley, Denver, Windsor, Boulder, and Longmont, Colorado.

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