Many modern families favor the gorgeous look of a vaulted ceiling or wide-open living space. While these features catch the eye and improve a room’s aesthetic appeal, they can also have a negative impact on an HVAC system’s efficiency. The more air volume in a room, the more energy it takes your HVAC system to get the area to your desired temperature.

The large, open rooms in your home could be skyrocketing your monthly utility bills and putting serious strain on your furnace and air conditioner. Read more below to learn more about the connection between ceiling height and your indoor comfort.

Impact of High Ceilings

Modern residences often have an average room height of eight feet, which can vary depending on the home’s overall size and the number of floors. Increasing this height by even a few feet makes it harder for your HVAC system to provide consistent temperature control.

During the winter, heat will collect toward the top of the ceiling. While this will keep the upstairs warm, the ground floor will be perpetually uncomfortable. You may even face freezing issues with your plumbing and electronics. On the other hand, despite turning down the thermostat during the summer, the upper bedrooms may remain miserably hot. These dramatic temperature inconsistencies waste a lot of energy.

Adjusting your thermostat to produce more hot or cold air will skyrocket your energy costs. Additionally, using your HVAC system more frequently decreases its lifespan and leads to more repairs. Adding new rooms or remodeling your living space without making adjustments to your HVAC system could also have disastrous effects on your overall indoor comfort.

If you’ve recently moved into a home with high ceilings, keep an eye on the HVAC system for any signs of excessive wear and tear. The system may not be the right size for the home if you’re noticing frequent drafts, hot and cold spots, massive energy bills, and sudden system shutdowns.

Indoor Comfort

Fortunately, there are several ways to ensure your home has efficient and reliable temperature control. A local HVAC technician can help you find the ideal indoor comfort system for your home’s unique ceiling height and size. Here are a few ways you can decrease your monthly energy costs and your HVAC system’s energy efficiency.

Properly Sized HVAC System

Ensuring you have the right HVAC system for your home will save you a lot of time and worry in the future. Relying on an undersized system to keep you comfortable will likely cost you more in maintenance and repairs. On the other hand, a system that’s too big can cause various issues, such as making humidity levels in your home uncomfortable.

You need an appropriately sized HVAC system to ensure your home is reaching peak comfort. HVAC professionals have assessed the best furnaces and air conditioners on the market. Trust an expert to evaluate your home’s climate needs and suggest models that can efficiently maintain a comfortable temperature. If you plan to remodel your home, consult a technician first to find out how the increased space will affect your specific HVAC system’s capabilities and efficiency.

Ductwork Layout

Too much ceiling space in your home will lead to a lot of wasted heating and cooling. Rather than lose vital comfort, consider implementing dampers or additional registers at key points. These are particularly helpful features in larger homes that wouldn’t otherwise be able to maintain a consistent temperature. Dampers would allow you to close off certain areas or rooms, funneling the hot or cold air where it’s most needed.

Closing registers won’t be enough for significant airflow changes and, in some cases, can actually hamper your home’s comfort system. Closed registers build up static pressure in your ductwork, making it harder for the HVAC system to deliver hot or cold air. Always rely on a professional to install the necessary ducts in new areas of the home. A trained HVAC technician will also be able to ensure your HVAC system is the appropriate size for your ductwork and vice versa.

Ventilation for Fresher Air

Homes with high ceilings need more ventilation to maintain healthy indoor air quality. In homes with higher ceilings, the air may sit and fester at the top of the house, creating unpleasant smells. For example, you may have noticed that after cooking, the smell of the food your prepared lingers in your home. Whole-house ventilation fans can clear out stale air and even get rid of that garlic smell in the upper bedrooms caused by the home chef making dinner. A ventilation system can also make maintaining a healthy humidity level easier and lower your need for air conditioning during the summer.

Homes with high ceilings need more care to ensure they’re comfortable and the air is fresh. Utilizing ventilation systems that can handle the hard-to-reach areas in your home is a great investment in your comfort.

Ceiling Fans and Windows

Ceiling fans are an energy-efficient way to keep the air moving. They’re especially helpful with high ceilings as they can more evenly distribute your heating and cooling. A HVAC professional can recommend a ceiling fan type that allows you to change the direction the blades spin, so you can change the rotation direction depending on the season to optimize its effectiveness.

Homes with vaulted ceilings often have larger windows to let in sunlight, contributing to their light and airy feel. Unfortunately, this can easily make it harder for your air conditioner to keep the home cool because the sun will raise the temperature in your home. Excessive sunlight could even keep the area around your thermostat too warm, throwing off your climate control in both summer and winter. Implement blinds and shades when possible, and ensure your thermostat is in a clear, shaded area of the house.

Professional HVAC Guidance

An improperly sized furnace or air conditioner will wear down much faster than indicated by the manufacturer’s advertised lifetime expectancy. The excessive strain of trying to provide reliable temperature control in a huge area leads to broken parts and even safety hazards. Keep an eye out for loud noises, water damage, corrosion, and uneven airflow.

You don’t have to sacrifice your aesthetic preferences for your indoor comfort. There are many ways to minimize the impact of your high ceilings on your HVAC system. Consulting with a technician will save you money in the future and ensure your home is as comfortable as possible. It’s always the more cost-effective option to trust an expert rather than to attempt repairs or remodeling by yourself.

Premier Heating and Cooling Team

Bring all your HVAC issues and ceiling height questions to Davis & Green Services in Richmond, VA. We’ve been proudly serving families and businesses in the area since 1984, providing a comprehensive suite of top-rated HVAC, plumbing, and electrical services. You can always rely on our honesty and commitment to customer service. Our dependable team of highly trained experts is ready to elevate your HVAC system and ensure it is appropriate for the size of your house.

Count on us to repair, replace or maintain your furnace, air conditioner, heat pump, or boiler. We can also test your indoor air quality and offer solutions to any issues we find. Call Davis & Green Services today for the best indoor comfort service in or around Richmond.

Davis & Green

company icon