How To Keep Upstairs Cool In Summertime

Summer’s right around the corner and you know what that means? Scorching hot weather, that, personally, I just do not want to deal with. This can be especially concerning for people living on the upper floors of an apartment complex, since it just gets boiling hot. 

But there are ways of dealing with this, fear not! In lieu of that, here are some tips that you can employ in order to make your upstairs living space as cool as possible for the summer wave.

Related article: How To Cool A Room With No Windows

Why Is It So Hot Upstairs?

This is a common question that a lot of people have, and the answer lies in physics. Specifically, the nature of heat and how it affects air. A warm environment causes the surrounding air to become less dense, which means that hot air rises

Since air is also a good insulator, trapped heat takes a long time to release itself as well, leading to rooms that stay uncomfortable for quite a long time. Conversely, cold air is denser and moves downwards, which is why most AC units are perched up high in rooms.

Another reason for heat seeping into upper areas is because they’re closer to a building’s roof. Less insulation means less protection from sun waves and thus the predicament. The same concept also applies to large windows and other outward openings.

So, all of our solutions revolve around two things: 

  • The introduction of a cooler atmosphere to one’s upper living space, or 
  • The countering of elements that introduce heat (like the two we discussed above). 

So now that we have all this covered, let’s see what you can do to keep upstairs cool in summertime.

Cover Up Your Windows With Curtains Or Shades

This is a rather basic, yet very essential step to take whenever you’re looking to insulate your inner space. Naturally, most people reading this will already have their windows covered by curtains. In fact, if you haven’t, best get to it right now!

However, curtains that have a more sheer-like consistency won’t do you much good, since they allow a lot of heat in. Then again, even those are better than nothing. Other options you can explore are heat blocking shades, or even investing in double pane windows.

Insulate Your Attic Space

Now here’s an area that most people don’t pay too much attention to. Attics are often large, looming, dimly lit spaces, filled with memorabilia and stuff you no longer use. Insulation’s an obvious choice, covering up the attic roof with cellulose fiber is preferable.

However, this sort of insulation can prove to be expensive and is a job exclusively for professionals. The more budget-friendly option is setting up an exhaust fan. Sucking hot air out of the attic can make a huge difference to your upstairs temperature.

Related article: Best Ways To Get Heat Out Of The Attic

Ceiling And Pedestal Fans Are The Budget Solution

Ceiling fans can provide a lot of comforts, even in hot weather. Let me recall my experience, having lived as a hosteller in a city where the average temperature is 95°F. All we had to boot was a ceiling fan and an extra pedestal fan that I purchased myself. That very pedestal fan makes all the difference, and when you’re on a budget can be the best option.

It should also be noted that while I’ve only mentioned ceiling and pedestal fans, you can get any sort involved. Every little bit goes a long way with this technique.

Reduce Your Lighting And Rely On LED Lamps

Lightbulbs contribute to heat, no two ways about it. Use them smartly! First of all, turn the lights off when it’s broad daylight. Your wallet and your skin will be eternally grateful. Second, invest in LEDs. With a combination of less heat production and electricity conservation, it’s a win-win situation.

Insulating Your Roof Is Expensive But Worth it 

Properly managing to insulate your roof with physical modifications and installment is expensive, no doubt. It requires materials and labor but goes a long way in terms of effectiveness.

It not only significantly lowers your living space’s temperature but also helps reduce the carbon footprint! No need for constantly blasting ACs if your room’s already cool, right? There are a lot of options to explore with insulation.

Bulk applications such as fiberglass and polyester are common. Reflective foil insulation is even more effective over a longer period of time. It does, however, require more upkeep and installing space. Then again, just as I mentioned above, there’s not too much room for error here. Besides, professionals will be able to help you out.

Setting Up Climate Zones in A Large Home 

The reason these apply to large houses is that climate zones rely on vents. When all the floors in a complex get the same amount of cooling, but lower floors are better insulated than upper floors, you’ve got a problem.

The solution? Setting up climate zones. This isn’t even that difficult of a setup to establish. All you have to do is redirect some vents from the lower floors to the upper ones. Not enough to deprive anyone, but to instead achieve an optimum balance.

If you’re looking for a more precise system, there are systems to create zones available on the market. Have one installed and you’re set!

FAQs

Are Vents Difficult To Adjust If I Want To Set Up A Climate Zone?

It really depends from place to place. Honest recommendation, however, is to hire a professional. 

How Do I Know Which Insulation Works Best For My Roof?

There are a number of factors to consider. Is your roof easily accessible? Is your top floor an open space? What budget do you have? How moist is it?  Some basic rules are: while polyester and fiberglass work best in all situations, drier spaces can rely on cheap materials such as mineral wool or cellulose. 

I Have An AC System, But It Doesn’t Seem To Work. Any Ideas?

Sometimes inefficient AC systems boil down to maintenance. AC’s require cleaning. Always remember to check your filters right before the summer season sets in. AC’s also work best in smaller areas, perched up high.

I Don’t Want To Change My Curtains For Decorative Reasons. What Do I Do?

The mere installation of any sort of curtains is a plus point. You can choose to supplement them with blinders or install double pane windows, as instructed above.

Final Thoughts

And that’s about it, really. A bit of hard work around the house, a bit of cash, and a bit of ingenuity. That’s all it takes to make the grueling summer months easier bearable and help you to keep upstairs cool in summertime.

Because, after a long workday, nobody wants to come home to an unpleasantly hot home. Hopefully, you can use the above-mentioned suggestion depending on your situation and budget.

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