There are many different benefits of owning a town house. They're often larger and have more room to move about. You also get to enjoy more privacy and beautiful views from upstairs windows.
However, the summer season can be challenging for town home owners. You may find that the upstairs space is much hotter than downstairs, causing you to rack up high cooling costs. In addition to the obvious reason that warm air rises and warms up your second floor much more than downstairs, there are other contributing factors to this problem.
Some of those factors (and how to fix them) are outlined below.
Clogged ducts and vents
If you're using a ducted air conditioning system, the unit will rely on a network of ducts and vents to deliver cool air to its final destination. In a town house, you need these ducts to operate as efficiently as possible. Clogged or leaky ducts will leak cool air and result in a much hotter second floor than the ground floor. This is also because the air needs to travel a longer distance when moving to the upper floor.
Make sure your ducts and vents are properly cleaned and sealed when the summer comes around. Sealing can help you enjoy up to 20% lower energy bills during the summer.
An improperly sealed attic
As the highest point in your home, the attic often fills up with hot air that can easily pass into the second floor. This often happens if the space isn't adequately insulated against leaking air. Through radiation or conduction, hot air from the attic will move to cooler parts of your home and thus cause the space to become hotter. In turn, your AC will have to work harder just to keep the entire home cool.
You can prevent this problem by having the attic insulated right before summer kicks in. Proper insulation will prevent leaking air and help you save on utility consumption.
An old AC
Your AC may not be strong enough to handle the needs of your town home. It could be that the unit is damaged or it's too old to be energy efficient. Old ACs also tend to break down often, require frequent maintenance, or rack up your cooling bills. Consult with a HVAC company to inspect your AC for any issues. Most units that are more than 15 years old may need to be replaced if they're unable to get the job done.