High ceilings are known for adding an aesthetic appeal to your home. They accomplish this by opening up your indoor space, and creating the illusion of a larger living area. Your high ceiling may be nice, but it could be costing you on your energy bill. Read on to learn everything you need to know about how ceiling height affects your HVAC system.
Ceiling Height and HVAC Systems
A room with a high ceiling has more air volume compared to a room with a low ceiling. The air volume in a room affects the heating and cooling dynamics and influences temperature control. As a result, this affects the efficiency of your HVAC system, leading to uncomfortable temperatures and wasted energy.
The key to the puzzle is that warm air tends to move upwards, while cool air sinks. This phenomenon occurs because warm air is lighter than cold air. This means that during cold seasons, your high ceilings keep the warm air up high, away from where you actually live. This will end up making you feel much colder.
Obviously, you can change the thermostat setting to warm the air more. However, this will cause your furnace to work twice as hard to maintain your home’s temperature. This will increase the heating costs and decrease your furnace’s efficiency.
During the summer months, your air conditioner will also need to run longer cycles. This is because there is more air in the room to cool in a high ceiling room. These extended cycles will eventually lead to wear and tear of the air conditioner and increase your energy costs.
How To Cool a Home With High Ceilings
Now that we know how ceiling height affects your HVAC system, we can look at solutions to your efficiency limitations. To effectively cool your home, you don’t need to bring in a home remodeling expert to lower your ceiling! There are ways to cool your home without overworking your HVAC system or incurring high energy bills each month.
Get an Air Conditioner With the Right Capacity
In order for an air conditioner to work well high ceilings, it needs to have a higher cooling capacity. Before buying a new HVAC system, check its cooling capacity to ensure that you select one with enough power. Air conditioners are classified according to their BTU classes, which are based on your home’s square footage.
When dealing with high ceilings, we recommend a higher BTU class than normal for your square footage. This is because your home contains a large volume of air compared to a home with a standard ceiling height.
Strategically Position the Condenser
The condenser’s location impacts the efficiency of the air conditioner. Avoid placing your condenser in an area with a lot of sunlight. This will add extra heat to the system. All this extra heat will wear out your ac and raise your energy bill.
Your air conditioner is already working hard due to the increased air volume in your high-ceilinged home. Place the condenser in a cool area sheltered from the sun. The shady environment will allow your air conditioning unit to consume as much as 10 percent less energy.
Run the HVAC System’s Fan
If you are using a central HVAC system, it probably has an option that allows you to run its fan continuously. When you run the fan continuously, it will operate even when the air conditioner or the furnace cycles off. The continuous circulation of air will mix the warm air with the cool air. This will keep the temperatures consistent in rooms with high ceilings.
Ventilate the Attic
If your home has an attic, you need to be aware of the temperatures in your attic during the summer. They can reach as high as 150 degrees! When the attic temperatures reach this level, the temperature within the rest of the house also increases significantly. This makes the atmosphere within the house very uncomfortable.
The best way to control the attic temperature is by using a whole-house fan. The whole-house fan is mounted inside the attic and features vents that lead outside. Using a whole house fan in the evening helps bring in nice, cooler air from outside. This helps keep the temperature in your attic from getting out of hand during the day.
Whole-house fans are an effective, environmentally friendly way to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. This is especially true when the outside air is cooler than the inside air.
Install a Ceiling Fan
A ceiling fan ensures that warm or cool air is distributed effectively throughout your home. You can use your fan to direct air downwards from your high ceiling. Now, instead of your warm air staying out of reach, you can blow it back down to your living space. This can be a great solution for a high ceiling room during the winter months.
We recommend buying ceiling fans specifically designed for high ceilings because they can move higher volumes of air. These will be more effective than standard fans.
Contact Us To Learn More
Gallagher’s Plumbing, Heating and Air is here to help with all of your HVAC needs. Give us a call today to learn more.
Does your home have high ceilings? If so, we can improve the performance of your air conditioning system by installing a new unit with a higher capacity. We can also ventilate your attic by installing a whole-house fan. Lastly, we can install high ceiling fans that evenly distribute warm air.