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Monday, July 18, 2022

Ways to cool the second floor of your home

Searching for ways to cool the second floor of your home?  We are sharing how we have been able to cool the second floor of our older home today. 

Cooling a second floor to a home can he challenging.  Some would suggest purchasing a second air conditioner with it's own thermostat for the second floor.  We are sharing the most economical way to cool the second story of a home. 

Don't they call July the dog days of summer?  What does that mean exactly?  Oh my goodness, all I can tell you is how hot it gets on the second floor of our home.  I actually brought a thermometer upstairs a few summers ago so I would know.  Nearly 100 degrees is where we were sitting at on that thermometer.    

Is it no wonder I was sweating while I slept and felt like my skin may melt off?  Last summer I did not think I was going to make it and Mr. VS flat out decided it was not worth sleeping in our bedroom because he could not sleep comfortably.  Yikes!  Yes, it was that hot.

When we first purchased our home, we had a $400.00 electric bill the first month we had our home.  I about fell over!  This is a cozy cottage and should in no way warrant a bill that steep, or at least that was my opinion!  I am sure the electric company thought differently than I did.

The first thing we did was insulate our walk in attic.  Apparently, it had never been insulated in all the years of it's existence.  I was as surprised as you are.  I would think that would be something someone would have done at some point in this old gal's life.  So in the dead heat of summer, one steaming afternoon in July we were both in our attic cutting insulation, and putting it between the rafters.

Let me tell you, that is not a glamorous job in the slightest!  We were covered in insulation, in my hair, wearing long sleeve shirts, and pants... it was probably over 100 degrees in that attic, and I thought we may both keel over before this is even finished!

What a dirty job, but the return?  When we received our electric bill the following month, it dropped $100.00!  Now that is not any chump change on an electric bill, am I right?  You see, I may have had a little bit of help in figuring out why my electric bill was so high.  I worked with two lovely people who were called energy advisors.  

Not familiar?  Contact your electric company so they can steer you in the right direction of who you need to speak with.  When I mentioned the extremely high bill, I said I know, we need new windows.  The reply I received actually surprised me.  It was explained there is a greater return on investment (ROI)  insulating than the new windows would offer.

Now we're talkin'... I knew windows would be expensive, more than our budget at the time would allow.  Nine years later, we are actually still working on replacing them.  Only five left!  Yeah for us!  So.... 

Of course we took the cheaper route.  We were newly weds, who bought a house that we were not even living in yet.  We decided the cheaper route was the best for us at that time, plus it was something we could do ourselves.

We even found that heating and cooling an empty home is more expensive since there is more to heat and cool.  Well, no worries now, this home is filled to the brim!  See, I knew there was a reason I kept filling our home!  Gotta help those electric bills any way I can!

We were stunned when we received our electric bill the following month and saw the savings.  I said to Mr. VS, can you imagine how much this will save us over the long haul?  Talk about a game changer, and do you know all of the fancy pants things I could then have because of it?  Oh yeah... ulterior motives, I had them... and I was thinking of all sorts of ways to spend that extra dough.

Ok, so that was tip one.  

Make sure you are properly insulated.

Tip two?

This one is really so simple and we were kicking ourselves because we never thought of it until last summer when I was like, must get water, need to be cool... I felt like an overheated zombie and probably looked like one too.  It wasn't pretty.

Yeah, I am not thinking the ghouls from above resembled myself in any way shape or form, probably more like the one below is what I looked like, and definitely felt like!  


I whined to Mr. VS, we did what they suggested, shouldn't it be cooler upstairs?  We even had someone come from another heating and cooling company come out to see if they had any suggestions.  His only suggestion?  A second unit with it's own thermostat.  He quoted over $6,000 for the second unit, mind you we just replaced the entire heating and cooling system here already.

I wanted to scream and rage and say are you kidding me?  Come on already... ok, so I did keep my thoughts and gruesome fury under hat, but I really wanted to unleash my feelings on that guy.  Of course, it was not his issue, but I was one upset gal.  

One evening last year Mr. VS came home from work with two floor fans in tow, I wondered aloud, why do we need more fans (we have plenty)?  He replies, I have an idea... and I want to see if it will work.  I kept thoughts to myself, but it was something along the lines, this will never work... only guess what?

It was the best thing in the whole world!         

I actually get cold at night and cover up with a blanket now.  How awesome is that?  If you have a second floor in your home that does not have it's own thermostat, then you know my pain.  You know how hot it gets on the second floor and how uncomfortable it is to sleep upstairs, but have no fear, Mr. VS is here to the rescue!  

He put one fan at the bottom of the steps and directed the cool air from the first floor up.  Then another fan at the top of the stairs directing that cool air into our bedroom.

That is all it took.  How simple is that?  No expense of installing a second AC unit, no more duct ran and walls torn out.  I was super relieved and so happy I threw my arms around that guy and said you are the bestest!  

Yes, we have two fans running all night long, but it is more economical than a second air conditioner.  We thought after we replaced our A/C and furnace, the issues we had would be alleviated.  Yeah, so not the case.  Talk about feeling deflated.

We may have cords, and fans in places not aesthetically pleasing, but who cares?  We have A/C and I no longer feel like I may die when I sleep at night or turn into that overheated zombie afterall.  Before the fans, some nights I thought I just cannot take this anymore.  I am moving our bedroom down to the first floor where it is freezing.  In the end, I am so glad we did not need to move out of our bedroom and we get to stay right where I intended our bedroom to be.  Nice, right?

So if you have a second story and you have difficulty cooling the upstairs, give this trick a try.  I am so happy that Mr. VS decided to try it in our home, and I am sure he is happy too.  No more angry zombie wife moaning about how hot she is at night and keeping him awake because she complains.   

You can see a certain pup ran up and down the steps after I swept them.  I was going to fix them, and then said this is real life... and I like to share the real life that happens around here.  You can even see my feet walked on the carpet too.  Oh well, I keep it real for us.  

Oh, and we have another tip.  Making sure you change out your air filter every month, or clean it if you have one like us that is washable.  We finally decided to spring for the washable air filter  since it will last a lifetime as long as it is taken care of.  If you do not change them or clean them every month, you A/C has to work that much harder to push the air to the second floor.  

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