How Do I Keep My Third Floor Cool In Summer? [Havertown, PA]

Havertown, PA is home to hundreds of beautiful older homes. It’s not a stretch to say they don’t make them like they used to, and you can tell by the timeless architecture. Not only in our little town, but across Delaware County, on the Main Line, and in parts of MontCo

One common feature is a dormer or full third floor. People love the extra space! Whether it’s for storage, a home office, fourth bedroom, or additional living space, it’s nicer than setting up shop in a basement. 

Until, of course, it gets too hot. 

At John Cipollone, we get plenty of calls in the spring and summer about third-floor rooms that get way too hot during the warmer months. 

And, we’ve got the solution: A mini-split for ductless heating and cooling. 

These systems offer the flexibility of a portable AC with the power and cost-saving energy-efficiency of central air. 

And it’s easy to install. All you see inside your home is a single air handler, usually mounted out of the way on the wall somewhere. 

To start, we’ll explain why the third floor is tough to keep cool. Then, we’ll see how a mini split does the job. Finally, talk a little more about how they work and why they beat out other options. 

Meanwhile, if you have any questions or want to know how a system like this could fit into your Havertown, PA home, call or email us for a free consultation. How Will A Ductless Mini Split Look In My Home?Click to Call or Email John Cipollone

Why A Third-Floor Room Is Tough To Keep Cool

ERVs in the WinterA third-story room gets too hot in the summer because hot air from the house rises. When it reaches the top floor, it has nowhere to go. 

Even with a central air system in the house, you’ll still run into this problem. There’s still heat in the home, and it’s still traveling upwards. 

Meanwhile, a central system loses pressure the higher it goes. By the time it reaches the third floor, it can’t circulate the air as well as it does on the first and second stories. 

Then, there’s the thermostat: It’s likely on the first floor and regulating the temperature based on how hot or cold it is down there. Since that area gets better treatment, the thermostat turns off the system before the third floor cools down. 

Now, back to that rising heat: In the winter, you end up in a cold room because the heat keeps rising and leaves the house. Warmth always moves toward cold spots, and the outside is colder than inside. 

But, in the summer, you also have the sun beating down on the roof. So, the top floor is already warm. The heat traveling up there remains in the house instead of escaping outside. 

So, why is ductless the best solution? To find out, let’s compare it to a couple of popular options. 

Ductless Heating And Cooling Vs. Two Air Conditioners

Two Air Conditioners Outside A Havertown, PA HomeOne popular option for larger homes or houses with three stories is to double up your HVAC: Two furnaces and two central air conditioners. 

This way, you have two thermostats in the house. This setup provides more accurate readings for different parts of the house. And, you don’t lose as much air pressure. 

Since the second system bypasses the first and second floors, it has more pressure when it arrives at the third. 

The downside? It’s costly — both to install and run. Even a builder-grade furnace will run you upwards of $7,000. And that’s not even cooling anything. 

Then, tack on a few thousand more if you need ductwork up there. Even then, you’re still not getting the best air pressure. And, you’re paying almost twice as much on your energy bills. 

Peco Smart Ideas Rebates For Heating & Air Conditioning

Why Ductless Is Better

Ductless Mini Split Heat PumpFirst off, the installation is a breeze without worrying about ductwork. As we mentioned, all you need is a single wall-mounted air handler. That does the job for your average DelCo twin home and even most of the larger, old Victorians. 

We just run a line out of the back of the air handler and through the wall, down to a heat pump outside. 

The line is narrow and flexible, so we have plenty of ways to keep it out of sight. 

Then, you’re not dealing with air pressure. Instead, that line sends coolant up to the air handler. 

The indoor unit draws in the air from the room, cools and humidifies it, and sends it back out. Since it doesn’t travel that far, it never suffers from weak circulation. 

Finally, the air handler has a thermostat built-in. So, it operates based on the temperature in the room it’s treating. And, it costs way less to run than conventional central air. How Can I Add Heating To The Bonus Room Over My Garage?

Ductless Mini Split Vs. Portable Air Conditioners

The old window air conditioners aren’t always an option for dormers and finished attics without full windows. Newer portable units can do the job while requiring less window space. But, neither work as well as a ductless mini split. 

To be fair, all three of these options offer zoned cooling. In other words, it’s only treating one room in the house. That takes care of the “thermostat two floors away” problem. 

But that’s about where the advantages end. 

First of all, a window unit is loud. Like “shout over it” loud. “Turn up the TV” loud. In a smaller third floor room, that’s a deal-breaker. 

Potable units are quieter but still make some noise. And, both of these options use a ton of electricity. If you’ve ever tried them, you’ve seen what they do to your electric bill. Replacing Your Window Air Conditioners

Why Ductless Is Better

Two words: “Whisper Quiet.” These are literally as quiet as a library. There needs to be no other noise in the room to hear it at all. 

Mitsubishi Ductless In Living RoomAnd, while window ACs do a decent job of cooling, portable air conditioners aren’t as good. A mini split, on the other hand, zeros in on the temperature you want. 

And, it keeps a large space strictly at that setting. 

Part of the magic here is a variable-speed compressor. Instead of always running at full blast, it often runs a low-power mode that maintains the temperature instead of correcting when it drifts.

And, the air handler has sensors and small fans. These detect warm pockets in the room and direct cooled air to them. 

This way, the whole room gets to where you want it. And, it stays there. The icing on the cake? Low energy bills. 

The technology we’ve described here requires very little electricity. Now, you’ll have cooling that barely makes a blip on your monthly expenses. Click to Call or Email John Cipollone

Ductless Also Heats

A bonus benefit: Heating in the winter! Your average heat pump can keep the room warm down to about freezing.

Tenant Metering Mitsubishi

That’s great if you just need a little extra warmth up there to supplement the furnace. Or, you can go with a Hyper Heat model that does the job even when it’s below zero outside. Will a Heat Pump Work in Normal Havertown, PA Temperatures?

Ductless Heating And Cooling In Havertown, PA

Are you ready to finally have a third floor that’s as comfortable as your living room? If so, call or email us here at John Cipollone for a free consultation. We’ll talk about your Havertown, PA home and help you decide if ductless heating and cooling is right for you. 
Click to Call or Email John Cipollone

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