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Why is the Second Floor Hotter?

Why is the Second Floor Hotter?

Have you ever wondered why is the second floor hotter? Well, we have taken a close look and found out why this is and how you can cool down your second floor. 

As the sun beats down on your roof all day, it heats up attic space and causes the rooms that are upstairs to be heated as well. The first floor is not as affected because the second floor holds the heat. Warm air rises.

Want to find out more about why your second floor is hotter than the first? Well, there is much more to it and we will discuss that and how to cool it down. 

Why the Second Floor of a Home is Hotter

The second floor of a home captures heat in a way that the downstairs doesn’t. This can be frustrating when you are not able to cool down your home the way you want to. 

It can also cost you more money to cool upstairs to the temperature you like. Many different factors cause this issue.

So, let’s take a look at why the second floor tends to be hotter. 

Hot Roof 

One of the main reasons that the second story tends to be hotter than the rest of the house is because it is the floor that is closest to the roof. When the sun beats down on the house, the roof absorbs that heat.

This creates heat that will end up seeping into the house and making the whole second story hot. This will continually make your second story feel hotter than the first story since the bottom floor doesn’t have heat coming in at the same rate. 

Heat Rising 

I’m sure you have heard the phrase “heat rises” before, and this is something that relates to this issue. The warm air that enters through your windows and doors all gets pushed upstairs.

Heat does not settle where it is, and the more heat that comes in, the hotter the top story gets. This can make the second story feel hot and stuffy even though the bottom floor is the perfect temperature.


Heat comes through windows whenever the sun is out and the temperature outside is high. So, when you have windows that allow light into the house, you are letting the heat in as well.

There are tinted options that you can purchase that can help with this, but if you live in an area where it is bright and sunny much of the year, then you will have trouble keeping your house at your desire temperature.

Even with shades, you still have some heat coming inside. Although this might not be very much at once, it can add up. 

Faulty AC 

Another reason why your upstairs might be hotter is if your air conditioner is not working as it should.

Your air conditioner may be working overtime to cool your house and over the years, you may notice it takes longer to reach your desired temperature.

This can be a costly fix so you’ll want to make sure this is your issue before bringing in a handy man.

 Ways to Fix a Hot Upstairs

All of these different reasons are ways that heat comes into your home. Whether you are dealing with only one of these issues or you are having to deal with all of them, you will likely have to do something to make it cooler upstairs. 

The second floors are often where the majority of bedrooms reside. Hot temperatures could make it uncomfortable for your family to sleep.

Here are some ways to cool down down your top floor.

Fix Your AC 

If you notice that the air that’s coming from your AC unit is not as cold as it used to be, then having a professional take a look at it is your best solution. They will be able to examine it closely and find the location of the main problem so they can fix it. 

No matter what the problem may be, having an HVAC professional figure out what’s wrong with your system will allow you to fix the issue faster than trying to take a look at it yourself. 

If there is something that needs to be fixed, then they will take care of it and get it working well again. This will allow you to cool down the second floor properly and make your home more comfortable to be in when the weather is hotter.

If there is a major issue that needs fixing, you could end up spending a good chunk of money on the fix. However, leaving it will only lead to bigger issues down the line. 

So, if you find that your AC unit is not working well, then getting it looked at right away will only help you in the long run.

The most expensive solution would be to add a second air conditioner just for the second floor.

Tinted Windows 

You might not think that getting darkened windows on your house is an option, but this can be a good way to fix the problem. Getting tinted windows will keep more heat out of the house, and make it more comfortable. 

If you don’t like the look of them for the entire house, then start with the problem areas. You could choose to have them only on the top floor where they are needed.

This will allow you to keep your first-floor windows light and airy to capture all of the natural light.

The finish that comes on windows for darkening them is designed to last for the lifetime of the window. Its a one and done upgrade.

You can use a typical window cleaner to wipe them down, and you can even change the finish to another color besides a black tint if you’d like to. So, not only can this be an option that will help cool off your second floor, but it can be used as a design element as well.

Blackout Curtains 

If you want an option that isn’t as permanent as getting tinted windows, then opting for blackout curtains can be less of a commitment.

These curtains are hung just like other curtains but come with thick fabric that helps keep the heat and light from coming through them. 

When they are closed, they can help lower the temperature of a room. They can be used for all the windows of the home, or just for the ones that are located on the second story. 

These curtains are versatile and come in a large variety of patterns and colors, so you don’t have to stick to a neutral option.

Blackout Shades 

Similar to the blackout curtains, shades can be a good way to keep out the heat too. They work the same way as the curtains but are in place so that you don’t need to put up curtain rods or other attachments for installation.

Many styles will be attached to the top of the window sill and can be folded up when not in use. This offers a simpler solution that can last a long time. 

Also, these shades come in lots of styles and colors, like the curtains, and can be used to decorate the space a bit. Add a colorful or patterned option to brighten up the space for different rooms and allow each of your children to pick out one that matches their room. 


The easiest option is to place a fan in the room. This wont necessarily cool the air, it just moved the warm air around so it feels more comfortable.

You can bring in a cheap floor fan or spend a little more for a bladeless fan.

You can also replace an overhead light with an overhead ceiling fan. It will never hurt your home value to have a ceiling fan in every bedroom.

Please consult with an electrician before doing any installations yourself.


Having a space that is hotter than the rest of the house is annoying, and it makes the entire second story less comfortable to be in. So, if you find that you are having this issue, you can use some of these simple strategies to help fix it. 

Whether you would rather have tinted windows or blackout shades, you can get an option that works for you and your house and get rid of the unwanted heat so you can keep your second story cooler. 

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Lindsay Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! I created this website to be a resource for everyone who wants to make the best home possible.