Stack Effect Struggles: Why Is My Second Floor Hotter Than My First Floor?

hvac company in mdNothing can be more annoying during the winter months than stack effect. Stack effect is a common problem when your home’s heat rises to the second story and leaves your first floor cold.

Think of it like the second story is stealing the blanket.

While it’s true that hot air rises, it isn’t just the air that’s leaving your first floor frozen. Here are some other major factors that can contribute to this icy issue.

Your HVAC system doesn’t work as it used to

The average lifespan of an HVAC system is 20 years. That said, it’s inevitable that you’ll need to replace your HVAC system at some point during your homeownership.

With every passing year, your HVAC system loses a little bit more of its efficiency. Eventually, it won’t be able to keep your home warm during the winter anymore. This can lead to inefficient heating and, you guessed it, a cold first floor.

The good news is that your HVAC replacement doesn’t need to come as a surprise. Bi-annual maintenance and routine repairs can keep your HVAC system in top-notch shape until your system’s eventual replacement.

Your attic isn’t properly sealed

According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Program, adding insulation and properly sealing air leaks in your home can reduce monthly energy bills by 20%.

If your attic isn’t completely insulated or there are air leaks, the heat from your home’s heating system will rise up to the attic to escape. This happens because the air is trying to equalize the pressure between the outside and inside air.

Your treeline is blocking the sun

The treeline around your home could have a surprising impact on your home’s heating. Trees can block the sun from your home’s first floor while letting the sun heat up your second floor.

If this is the case for your home, try using blackout curtains on your second-floor windows and lighter curtains on your first floor. This will help to pull in more sunlight where you need it and reduce the heat where it’s cooking your home.

Looking for an HVAC company in MD?

Whether you’re looking to lower utility bills or improve your home efficiency, Minnicks is a top HVAC company in MD you can rely on for HVAC repair and more. To learn more about our HVAC services or to schedule a home energy audit, contact Minnicks today.