Hell on the 2nd Floor

Any suggestion on how to reduce the heat that accumulates during the day on the second floor of a two story home? The AC seems to work . . . at least that's what the tech tells me. And, there are several ceiling fans. Nevertheless, the upstairs does not cool down to any appreciable extent. Any thoughts on this would be helpful. Thanks.
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close 1/2 to 1/3 of the vents downstairs this will force the air upstairs if you have the option of reducing air flow in the ducts with dampers that might be a better option, this way you are still getting some air flow lets see i have about 10 vents downstairs and only 4 are open the following are closed in my house: power room(if it is open you can't use it) laundry room one in kitchen table area, not the one near the stove 2 of the three in the family room dinning room 1 of the two in the living room

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Might work. Might also reduce the airflow, and freeze the coil, and further reduce the cooling. But.... try it..... might help......
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Christopher A. Young
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abbott wrote, wondering if this is really what he meant?

If the house has an attic make sure you vent it and it's well insulated. The heat that's generated during the day in attic's can overwhelm any chance of the second floor getting cooled.
Rich
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Turn the blower on, setting "Fan Only" to circulate the air through the ductwork. If that does not cool the upstairs, it is unusually warm (which it has for much of the US) or your unit is undersized. The warmest time of the day is usually 3 or 4PM and we have our programmable thermostat set to 78 degrees during the day and 70 degrees at night.
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abbott wrote:

attic that gets hot and the heat comes through the ceiling and makes the house hot.. you turn the a/c to a low number to beat this, but with a two story house the bottom floor is cooler as there is no attic right over the ceiling, its over the 2nd. floor ceiling... that is why the 2nd floor is hotter than the first floor, you have heat infiltration through the ceiling from the attic to the 2nd. floor rooms....probably need some more insulation in the attic or better ventilation in the attic to keep the attic cooler..... and or the vents checked out to make sure there is enough ventilation of cool air to the 2nd. floor.... bet in the winter that the first floor is alot more comfortable than the 2nd. floor as its insulated by the 2nd. floor from the outside air.........
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It's hard to say. You really need a good tech to come out and take a look, do the computations and make some suggestions.
As noted, adding insulation, if there is little or none can help and having the blower on full time can help, but heat rises so I'll bet it is not going to be easy as it appears the current system is not well designed.
On the other hand, the current system may be fine, but someone has screwed up the balance.
I don't recommend blocking off many vents as it can cause problems with the equipment.
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Joseph E. Meehan

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I went through the same thing. Here's what I did/do:
1. Added insulation to the attic 2. Put solar/heat tinting on main windows facing south 3. Most of the posters suggest closing off supply vents but what I focussed on was the return vents. I covered a main one (of two) on the first floor. This aided in the drawing of warm air from the vents upstairs. The logic, as I see it, is that it is easier to suck in hot air than blow up cold air. 4. During a basement renovation I had the opportunity to tape seams in the ducting going upstairs. 5. I noticed incredible draw/air flow through my basement door opening. I normally kept this door closed but have gotten into the habit of keeping it open in the summer months. 6. I keep my fan on 24/7. In fact, it has never been off!
And finally, I replaced my 15 year old a/c unit a few years back with the latest and greatest from Carrier (Puron refrigerant, high seer rating). The appliances of today just simply do a better job than the old units we're trying to hang on to.
Try some or all and see what comes of it!

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Our old house was a two story. We added an attic vent fan - pulled the hot air out and to the outside. I have a one story now and put up the window film on the west side of the house - helps keep the rooms a lot cooler.
Dorothy
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Common complaint when the builder skimps and the home does not have two systems...one for upstairs, and one for down.
IF the duct work is not up to par, and most isnt, the upstairs will NOT be cool enough until you add a second unit.
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