1. Add insulation in the attic. 12-18 inches above code for your area.
2. Add an attic fan
3. Get a digital, programmable thermostat. Set higher during the day,
lower at night.
4. Set your thermostat fan setting at night to ON before going to bed, so it
runs even when the temperature has dropped to/below the set point. Set it
back to AUTO when you wake. This might also allow you to set the overnight
temp 1-2 deg higher and still be comfortable.
5. Keep drapes on south and west sides closed. If you have south/west
windows with sheer or no drapes, get opaque drapes.
6. Close off first floor vents in summer so all of the forced air goes
upstairs. Open in autumn.
What are you using for cooling? Separate AC systems for each floor?
An evaporative cooler? Only a fan?
What is your climate? Arctic? Tropical? Desert?
Believe it or not, these are factors that are more important than how
old your house is.
Sounds like you've got air flow problems. Cold air is
heavier than warm air, so it's hard for the furnace to push
the cold air up from the cellar. You may also have poor air
return to the furnace. Many times I've seen under sized air
returns causing problems.
As others have mentioned, running the circulating fan all
the time may help.
I live in a 100 year old house. Back then they built them to work
without AC. I just run an exhaust fan, blowing out, 24/7 in the
summer in a hallway window. The kids run fans blowing in when they
want to. It cools the house at night and removes the heat buildup
during the day. I put a window unit in my bedroom and use it at night
for about 2 weeks out of the year.
BTW, I work out of my house so it's not like there's no one home
during the day to complain about the heat.
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