How to Fix Uneven Cooling Issues in Your Home

Have you walked from one room to another only to experience a significant temperature difference? You’re not alone.

Many homeowners encounter this irritating predicament, where some rooms either get way too hot or way too cold, depending on the season. It’s easy to get frustrated when this nuisance pops up, but understanding what causes these fluctuations is critical if you want to identify how to fix uneven cooling in your home.

Here are several common causes of uneven cooling in a house and their easy solutions.

cooling issues

What’s Causing Uneven Cooling in My Home?

Oh no! The AC is not blowing on the second floor! Help, my house is hot upstairs and cold downstairs! I need advice on how to cool upstairs of a 2-story home!

These are several of the most common HVAC service calls we get. 

Many homeowners experience the same frustration during the hottest months when their two-story homes get hot and humid upstairs while the downstairs remains cool and airy.

Uneven cooling could be tricky to diagnose and fix because there are several different causes, and you may be dealing with more than one issue at a time. The leading causes of uneven home cooling include:

Leaky Air Ducts

Ducts are supposed to absorb the cool air from your HVAC system and distribute it throughout a house. If your home’s ducts are aged, were installed poorly, or are leaky, your air conditioner may struggle to cool your home evenly. 

In some cases, the ducts are too small to efficiently distribute conditioned air throughout your home, in which case you may need larger ones installed.

Of course, an AC repair pro can offer you other cost-effective solutions to help you fix uneven cooling.

Aged HVAC System 

Most air conditioners last up to 15 years. If your air conditioner is an older model, it may slow down or run inefficiently. 

If your system can’t keep up with your needs, it’s time to forget costly AC repairs and install a new air conditioner! Your modern AC can also significantly cut your monthly energy bills as a bonus!

Short Cycling

When a cooling cycle only lasts a few minutes, the air conditioner does not generate enough cold air to distribute throughout the house, resulting in hot spots.

It’s an HVAC issue called short-cycling, which results in energy waste and system damage. 

If you hear the compressor running for several minutes at a time, it’s probably short-cycling, and you need to schedule AC repair asap!

Zone Control Issues

Does your home have zone controls that allow you to shut off airflow to certain rooms? Uneven cooling could result from faulty room thermostat sensors or trouble with duct dampers.

Dirty Air Filter

Clogged air filters can restrict or slow the airflow, reducing the amount of cool air flowing throughout your home. 

Poor Insulation

If your home’s attic is poorly insulated, you are almost guaranteed to have temperature fluctuations. Fortunately, with so many modern insulation products today, there will be one in your budget to help fix uneven cooling in your home. 

If you identify any of these issues in your home, you should consider getting the AC repair specialists to evaluate the situation and suggest a solution.

How to Fix Uneven Cooling in Your Home

Help! My air conditioning is working downstairs but not upstairs! Are you having trouble boosting airflow to the second floor? Here is how to fix uneven home cooling:

Use Your Air Vents to Redirect Air

Installing an air vent diverter is a great way to fix uneven cooling and maximize the output of your home’s HVAC.

Redirecting your air vents is an effective way to fix uneven cooling in your home as you can ensure the treated air goes to the correct rooms rather than going to rooms you rarely use. 

Run Your HVAC Fan Continuously

Are you wondering how to cool the upstairs of a 2-story home? Keep your air conditioner fan running constantly.

When you switch the fan setting on your thermostat from auto to on, the blower fan runs constantly and circulates more air throughout your home. 

Don’t fret! It doesn’t use a lot of energy, and it may actually lower energy usage as having more constant temperatures in the house results in the HVAC system running less.

Check for Leaky Air ducts

Besides uneven home cooling, have you started getting unexplained higher energy bills? Your air ducts may be leaking.

The purpose of air ducts is to transport conditioned air throughout your home, so when there is a leak, some of the air might escape before getting to the areas that need it the most.

Add More Attic Insulation

Is your upstairs hotter than the rest of your house? Adding insulation to your attic can help keep it cooler, especially in the summer.

If your home was correctly built and insulated, you should not suffer from room-to-room swings in temperature! 

Install a Climate  Zoning System

Is the basement too cold and upstairs too hot in summer? You can keep it cooler by installing a zoned HVAC system.

HVAC zoning is highly beneficial as it allows you to divert air away from areas that don’t need it enabling you to fix uneven cooling while ensuring better energy efficiency.

Upgrade Your HVAC System

Have you tried a little bit of everything, and your upstairs still won’t cool down? Your HVAC system may be too small for your home.

Talk to your local HVAC experts about upgrading to a larger HVAC system.

The Bottom Line

Uneven cooling issues can be a headache to deal with, especially with summer just around the corner.

It’s best to determine the cause and fix your AC right away instead of having to deal with it during the hot heat. 

Julie Higgins
Julie is a Staff Writer at She has been working in publishing houses before joining the editorial team at momooze. Julie's love and passion are topics around beauty, lifestyle, hair and nails.