eliminating hot spots

We recently purchased a tri-level house built in 1955.
The thermostat is located in the mid level of the house, and is set at 77 degrees.
The bottom level is the garage and media room; the mid level is the kitchen, dinning room and living room; and the bedrooms and bathrooms are in the top level.
By the time the thermostat detects that it needs to cool, the bedrooms can get as high as 84 degrees. By the time the thermostat detects that the cooling can turn off, the lower levels of the house are a chilly 72 and the bedrooms are still only down to about 79. The thermostat reads 77 degrees the whole time.
What is the best way to regulate this temperature zoning problem?
Would installing exhaust fans in the upper bedrooms to remove the warmer air be best, or should I look into a system that supports multiple climatic zones?
The biggest annoyance is at night, when the outside temperature can get below the thermostat setting. If the outside temp drops to 75 degrees, the temperature at the thermostat does not get below 77, so the bedrooms stay at 84 degrees, cooking us all night long.
I'm looking for ideas, and the pros and cons with each idea.
Regards, ~Joe
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These split homes are common as are their duct designs. The heater is probably located in the bottom floor of the house with one branch of the duct system going underneath the main level conditioning that one level, and the other branch of the trunk doing the sleeping areas.
These systems are easily zoned. What you are asking is easily done. When you are doing it, it makes sense to replace your equipment with 2 stage variable speed equipment. It will lower your utility bills and increase your comfort.
Make sure you get a room by room loadcalc performed to ensure that your duct system is sized adequately to meet your load demands. Zone by trunks not by dampers. Use good NO/NC dampers, and a quality zone board. Use a company that is experienced with zoning properly, a few researched pointed questions to the contractor should be able to let you know if they know what they are doing. Get references of a couple other homes that they have zoned.
Do not use the cheapest contractor. IF the price from lowest to highest is less than a grand it is worth spending the extra money to get it done right.
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Thanks Bob!
Now that's an answer I can use.
"Bob Pietrangelo" wrote:

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"We recently purchased a tri-level house built in 1955."
id bet thats your first problem , insuffient ductwork, and or lack of proper return air , a common complaint on bi and tri levels , usually the archies leave very little room for proper sized ducting and the poor hvac contractor has to sqeeze shit in any way he can ,
get a pro, and be willing to pay a little to have him completely and thoroughly suss out your system , i will almost gaurantee you it wont be cheap or easy to fix , and before its all over you may have to consider zoning or seperate systems , either way theres going to be a lot of surgery and mess ,
good luck

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That's what worries me: Lots and lots of money!
I'm looking into an attic fan at the moment to help get the hot air out.
Problem is: This allows humid, crap air to come inside.
Maybe we'll have to stick an ugly window unit somewhere. Ugh!
"The Freon Cowboy" wrote:

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