How To Keep A High-Ceiling Room Cool

How To Keep A High-Ceiling Room Cool

High ceilings are a must for many home buyers because they make small spaces seem larger, large rooms much brighter, add a dash of elegance and drama to any space, and boost home values.

However, regulating the temperature in soaring interior spaces can be a challenge. In this post, we’ll outline the reasons that temperatures in such spaces are difficult to regulate and offer tips on how to keep a high-ceiling room cool or warm, as the season and the weather dictate.

It’s All About the Volume

Do high ceilings keep a house cool? Well, that was the intent behind 10- to 12-foot ceilings in many older homes, especially in warmer climates. Warm air rises, so when it hovers overhead, the room seems cooler down where the people are.

Simply, higher-ceilinged rooms have more air to regulate. A 10 x 16 bedroom with an 8-foot ceiling is 1,280 cubic feet. If the ceiling rises to 12 feet, the space increases to 1,920 cubic feet, so your HVAC system has that much more air to treat, increasing your costs.

Vaulted ceilings can further complicate the issue, as they are difficult to insulate compared to ceilings with rooms or attic spaces above. In the summer, heat will enter the home more easily in rooms with vaulted ceilings, while in winter, warm air will escape.

The Rules to Regulation

There are steps you can take to ensure a consistent temperature range in even the most soaring residential spaces. Here are some time-tested methods sure to ease the burden on your HVAC system and make sure your high-ceiling rooms are more consistently comfortable.

  • Install a ceiling fan: The right kind of air movement cools the skin. In the summer, ceiling fans should spin counterclockwise, creating a downdraft for a direct, cooling breeze. In the winter, clockwise rotation creates an updraft and recirculates warm air around the room, easing the load on your furnace.
  • Run your HVAC fan continuously: Instead of running fans in four or five rooms, remember your furnace fan can move air in every room in the house and use less electricity while doing it. The “fan/auto” switch on your thermostat doesn’t interfere with normal heating or cooling cycles but enhances their efficiency by preventing treated air from getting “stuck” in certain rooms or areas.
  • Insulate doors and windows: Air gaps let cold air in and warm air out. Even locking windows can reduce the space air leaks through. Beyond that, air leaks around windows and doors can be addressed in a variety of ways, including weatherstripping, reglazing, caulk, seasonal insulating film and door sweeps.
  • Layer window treatments: Bigger spaces mean bigger windows. Understanding how to cool a room with vaulted ceilings means understanding and using window treatments. Combine blinds (hung inside the frame), sheers and heavy drapes. At the coldest temperatures, keep everything closed; when it’s cold but sunny enough to benefit from the greenhouse effect, open everything to let the sunlight warm the room,

Is Your HVAC System Up to Snuff?

If your HVAC system is too small or too large for your space, its efficiency will be compromised. An improperly maintained system can see its performance suffer. At Gene May Heating & Cooling, our union-trained technicians can analyze your system and your spaces to see if your current HVAC unit is right for the job, needs a tweak or a bit of help, or should be replaced. Whether you need heating service or AC service, we’re ready to offer solutions. We welcome your questions, so contact us today.