Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

How High Ceilings Affect HVAC Efficiency

High or cathedral ceilings are a popular design feature in modern homes, but in some instances, they can have a negative impact on your energy efficiency.

High Ceilings Boost Energy Costs

It stands to reason that the more square footage your home has, the harder the HVAC system will have to work to cool or heat the space — and those high ceilings are added space.

Further, warm air rises, so in winter, as your HVAC system distributes warm air to heat your home, it ascends way up to the top of the cathedral ceiling.

What’s more, cathedral ceilings are often accented with many windows in walls to let in the light, adding to the dramatic effect. Of course those windows will affect your energy bills by allowing cold air to infiltrate in winter and to escape from the home in summer. The sunlight that streams in through the windows also adds to the air conditioner’s burden for cooling.

The fact is that an HVAC specialist should help in the design of your home to mitigate the effects of high ceilings on energy bills.

Consult a Specialist

An HVAC consultant can help you avoid mistakes, such as locating your HVAC ducts near or in the ceiling, so that the heater blows out warm air that keeps the ceiling cozy but does nothing to heat the rest of your home.

A consultant can also recommend the right size HVAC system, a key factor for efficient operation. Using computer software, a specialist can input data about your house that will include the high ceiling, extra square footage and extra windows, orientation of the home to the sun, and other factors, and determine by computer analysis the right capacity for the HVAC system. This method takes out the guesswork.

A consultant can also recommend where to place ceiling fans that will not only lift warm air up in the summer to cool occupants at foot level but with reversed blades will push down warm air in the winter.

For more on high ceilings and HVAC, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company of Yuma.