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How to cool the second floor?

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So I was the ignorant consumer -old house rehab, contracter led me away from two units -one up one down.  He said the basement unit would be adequat, though it has been in the 80's at night and my family has had a hard time sleeping.  There seem to be so many ways to go -already we have been blocking the vents downstairs, but what course would someone take who knows what they are doing do? And doesn't the contractor have some responsibility for this mistake?  Thank you, thank you
asked in Cooling System by debraf (120 points)
edited by darekrudy
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1 Answer

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Hi Debraf,
I can’t really comment on your contractor’s behavior and the reasons behind convincing you on just a single HVAC system installation instead of two, simply because I wasn’t present at the conversation. I’d do 2 systems, as a contractor, because I could charge much more money for such installation. I’d definitely do it as a homeowner because it is much more efficient way to condition a multi-level property.
Since you didn’t explain the design of your HVAC system (air returns location, air supplies, size / BTU’s of the furnace, square footage of the conditioned area, etc.), and your geographical location, insulation in walls, ceiling, you can click on the following link to my article: http://checkthishouse.com/6284/air-circulation-in-homes-with-no-air-return-on-second-floor.html and check the 4 solution explained in it. 
You options will also depend on the installed appliance features. For example, if it has a multi stage blower, special controller to use this feature, and there’s an air return port on the second floor, you can use the lowest speed setting to circulate the air constantly in order to equalize the temperature between all floors. 
Please read the article and if you have more questions, provide me with as much information as possible about your home and HVAC installation, just click “comment” below.
answered by darekrudy (21,730 points)