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Tips for Heating and Cooling Multi-Level Homes

Happy Family
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Heating or cooling a multi-level home can be complicated, especially with a climate like in Summerville, South Carolina. With hot summers, mild winters, and an average of 40 to 80 inches of annual rainfall, heating or cooling can use a lot of energy, especially when there is more than one room or one level to heat or cool. Here are a few tips for heating or cooling your multi-level home.

Use Your Thermostat

Thermostats have become a lot smarter and can detect the room temperature with a lot more accuracy than in the past. Set your thermostat to the auto setting, and it will automatically run until the temperature in the room matches the temperature set on your thermostat. The automatic feature will then turn off the air until it detects that the temperature in the house is different than the thermostat temperature. For multi-level homes, you may need to have a thermostat upstairs and one downstairs. Thermostats usually gauge the temperature based on the room that they are in, so having two different thermostats will help to keep the temperature more even. You can also use your thermostat to turn your fan on to help circulate the air throughout your home. Having the fan run helps to regulate the temperature and helps your system run less, which will help with energy efficiency.

Install and Turn on a Ceiling Fan

Heat tends to rise, so your upstairs temperature tends to be warmer than downstairs. Try using ceiling fans in the upper rooms to help mitigate the heat and keep room temperature levels comfortable. According to the Department of Energy, ceiling fans let you raise your thermostat setting by about 4°F without reducing comfort. The ceiling fans can also keep your HVAC system running longer since you are using less of the HVAC system's energy. Experts also recommend reversing the direction of your blade rotation. The blades will help to force the air down in the winter and up in the summer, which improves the air circulation and helps to keep comfortable room temperatures.

Regular HVAC Maintenance

Having your HVAC system regularly maintained helps to extend the life of your system and also helps with uneven room temperatures in multi-level homes. Regular maintenance can help with the energy efficiency of your HVAC system and can help you save money. Proper HVAC maintenance includes making sure vents, ducts, and filters are clear of debris and not blocking the air circulation throughout the house. The cleaner your system is, the better it runs, and the better it keeps your rooms hot or cold, depending on the season.

The Right Size and System for Your Home

Even in a single-story home, the size and type of your HVAC system can affect regulating the temperature. If your system is too small, the air circulation may not fully reach the upper floor of your home, keeping your upstairs too hot or too cold. Another thing to consider is the type of HVAC system. In a multi-story home, you might want to consider other options, such as an HVAC zoning system, where you could control various sections of your home. Zoning systems can be helpful and more energy-efficient when you can close off rooms that you use less frequently. There are other types of systems that might work better for you, and an HVAC professional can help determine the right size and system for your home.

Proper Insulation

One other thing that can affect whether your home is able to stay at the temperature that you've set, is the type of insulation in your home or if you have any at all. Without adequate insulation, hot or cold air could be escaping through the roof or the walls. If you're worried that your insulation is the culprit, do the touch test. Your inner walls and ceilings should feel dry and warm. If they feel cold or damp, then there is not enough insulation.

These tips can help you understand differing temperatures throughout your home. With over 50 years of experience, call M&B Heating and Air at 843-628-1775 to service and inspect your HVAC system.

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