Does a 2-Story House Need Two ACs?

September 7, 2021
5 min read
Does a 2-Story House Need Two ACs?

When to Install a Second Floor Air Conditioning Unit


This is a common problem for a lot of multiple-level homes. The second floor never gets properly cool on hot days. You may have to crank up the AC to get it to acceptable levels, which can freeze out anyone on the first floor.

If you live in a 2-story house, you probably know this situation all too well. Here at Tiger Heating & Air, we have heard from many Corpus Christi homeowners suffering from a hot upstairs. And often homeowners wonder if they need a second floor air conditioning unit.

There are a lot of old homes in our area. Being the HVAC company that has serviced Corpus Christi homes for nearly 3 decades, we have run across every type of heating and cooling problem. Fortunately, there are more solutions to get true home comfort in all of your rooms today than there were a hundred years ago. So, even if we are dealing with a drafty old house, you have new options to make all the floors on your home cool and comfortable year-round.


  • Does your home have insufficient insulation? A home without the proper insulation can be so drafty that it’s virtually impossible to get consistent temperature control throughout the house.
  • Does your roof absorb heat? Not only can a poorly insulated roof cause a warm upstairs, a roof made from materials that absorb heat could also make the situation worse.
  • Did your home undergo an attic renovation? An attic remodel can affect your cooling problem. If proper adjustments were not made to your home’s heating & cooling system to accommodate a new living space, comfort levels in other parts of your home could be compromised. After all, a system made to only cool one floor will probably not give you a comfortable temperature when creating a 2nd level of living space.


Hot air rises. Without utilizing any cooling system, your upstairs should always get hotter. But even with central air or another HVAC system, a second floor can still easily become warmer than the main level. After all, your single cooling system (with components usually located on the ground floor and basement) has to do more work to get that cool air to your second floor.

So, what are your options?

You may think your only choice is to get a larger, more energy-efficient air conditioner for your entire home. And until then, you’re left with just trying to avoid the hotter second floor whenever possible.

There are more solutions to fixing a hot upstairs!

When you have Tiger help you finally solve your hot 2nd floor problem, the first thing we do is determine the source of the problem.  Some of the issues we will look for include:

  • Could you have an issue with your ductwork?
  • Do you need better insulation?
  • Is your AC unit the proper size to handle your home’s square footage?
  • Is your cooling system in proper working order?


Photo of 2 AC units installed outside 2 story home with a hot upstairs

While upgrading your air conditioner to a newer, bigger AC unit may be a solution, some homes are better served with a 2nd AC. Instead of replacing what may be a working air conditioner with a larger one to accommodate your second floor, you can get an additional AC unit installed to address cooling the 2nd floor specifically.

There are a few things to consider when deciding if you need a second air conditioning system installed.


An additional unit may cost less than what you think. After all, this AC is not going to cool the entire square footage of your home. A 2nd AC unit that works to only cool your 2nd floor would be smaller than any AC needed to cool your entire home.

Tiger Heating & Air, or any professional HVAC company, will calculate exactly what size AC unit your rooms upstairs need. The square footage of your 2nd floor will determine the proper unit size. Contact Tiger online or call (361) 371-7541 and we will come out to determine exactly what air conditioner would be best for your home.


New installation isn’t the other financial factor to consider. How much do you spend on your energy bill each month? It might sound surprising, but having two air conditioners to cool a 2-story home may save you money!

If you’ve been dealing with a single AC system that cannot cool all your living spaces, you are putting great demand on your system. It’s working to put out more cool air than it is designed to do. If you are making your downstairs cooler than comfortable with making it right upstairs, then you probably already have realized you are wasting energy (and money). An additional air conditioner focused on cooling just the upstairs will take the work away from the other unit.


Having two air conditioning units provides you with some unique assurance. You may feel more secure in knowing that your chance of a summer HVAC disaster is significantly reduced. If one of your air conditioners were to break down, you would have another unit still operating. While this sole unit won’t be sufficient to cool your entire home, you will at least have some level of cooling in your home until an AC repair technician comes out and fix the broken air conditioner.


Finding where to put a 2nd AC system can be a challenge. This includes the inside unit (the evaporator) and the outside AC unit (the condenser). You may have limited space for installing a second air conditioner. In addition, a 2nd unit will need ductwork that is separate from existing ducts with your current unit. Our technicians can walk you through your options to ensure the best space is used for this installation.


If you’re not ready to upgrade your home system or are still not sure it is needed, you can try to remedy your problem with some smaller tactics.

2 air conditioners installed

Here are some basic home maintenance tasks that can help solve some of the problems of overly hot spaces in a home:

  • Make sure your furnace filter is clean and is getting changed on a proper schedule
  • Make sure your vents are open and not blocked by furniture or anything else
  • Close your window blinds and curtains in 2nd floor rooms to keep the sun from heating up the space

If these little steps do not provide enough relief to the heat, give Tiger a call at (361) 371-7541. We will be happy to come out and see what sort of cooling system work can be done to even out the temperature throughout your home.

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