High Ceilings and What This Means for Your Home

High ceilings are considered an aesthetic asset for any home. In real estate listings, anything higher than the standard 8-foot ceiling receives prominent mention — and typically a higher asking price too.

However, ceilings above the standard height influence the home’s indoor environment as well. The increased air volume in rooms with vaulted ceilings affects temperature control — which, in turn, impacts HVAC costs.

Here’s how a high ceiling alters heating and cooling dynamics inside a home:

Chilly in Winter

In a room with a high ceiling, heat produced by the furnace rises farther above the floor space and accumulates higher up at the ceiling. Rooms with cathedral ceilings are well known to be problematic to heat in winter.

More Costly in Summer

Increased air volume contained inside a room with a vaulted ceiling means your air conditioner must work harder to keep all that air cool. Longer cycles can mean higher monthly cooling bills.

To help minimize the HVAC effects of high ceilings, here are some additions and adjustments you can make:

  • Use a ceiling fan. A ceiling fan blows trapped warm air near a high ceiling into the lower area of the room to maintain comfort. The fan directional switch should be set for counterclockwise rotation to blow air downward.
  • Run the system fan. Keeping the central HVAC blower running after heating/cooling cycles are done helps to keep air in rooms with a vaulted ceiling circulating, in turn moderating temperatures and supporting comfort. Changing the fan thermostat setting from “Auto” to “On” makes the fan run continuously to maintain air circulation.
  • Check A/C and furnace sizing. Proper HVAC capacity for a home is calculated on the basis of square footage. However, if this figure does not take into account the increased air volume in rooms with a high ceiling, an undersized furnace or A/C may have been installed. Undersizing generally means poor temperature control, higher operating costs and more system wear and tear.

For more advice about maintaining comfort in homes with high ceilings, ask the experts at Paitson Bros. After 97 years in business, we’re here to stay and will continue serving the residents of the Wabash Valley.

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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    Ethan Ethan Rayburn is a lifelong resident of Terre Haute and a 2005 graduate of Purdue University.

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