Do High Ceilings Have Any Impact on HVAC Efficiency?

High ceilings can create a dramatic effect in your home, making it seem more spacious than it is. However, that space can have a serious impact on the efficiency of your HVAC system and cost you more in utility bills. Learn how you can enjoy your high ceilings and keep your utility bills from going through the roof.

Heat Must Rise

One of the things to remember if you’re building a home with cathedral ceilings is that heat rises. As your furnace or other heating system pumps out warmth, it will inevitably rise and keep your ceiling very warm. This is especially crucial if your home is designed where there is a duct located high up, which will be delivering warm air to the cathedral area—a waste of energy.

But that’s not all. High ceilings also provide more space to heat or cool. Add to the square footage of your home and your HVAC system will have a bigger load.

Designing for Efficiency

When designing your home with a high ceiling, get the right size HVAC system. Too large and it will short cycle, turning on and off and never completely heat or cool your home. Too small and it will run continuously. Your HVAC consultant can use computer software to calculate the right-size HVAC capacity for your home. These calculations will take into consideration the number and location of windows and the orientation of the house to the sun, in addition to the square footage.

Also, make sure the duct design does not include ducts located high that are going to be wasting conditioned air.

Some other things you can do for a more energy-efficient home to mitigate the effect of the high ceilings:

  • Install energy-efficient windows in the cathedral area and also throughout the home. Add window treatments that cut down on sunlight.
  • Install ceiling fans to push down the heating in the winter; reverse the blades in the summer to lift the heat from the occupancy level.

For more information on high ceilings, contact CCAC of Corpus Christi, serving the HVAC needs of the Coastal Bend area.

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    David Mathewst David Mathews is the owner of CCAC Air Conditioning and Heating. A Corpus Christi native... More »