High, vaulted ceilings make any room great. They provide a “lofty” feeling that the room is larger and more spacious than it would be with lower ceilings, but they also come at a price: it’s much harder to keep the room cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
This doesn’t mean, however, that you have to sacrifice your architectural style or family comforts so you can save money on the heating and air condition bill. It just means that you may need to do a little extra planning in order to keep the temperature right where you want it. In fact, you can include a few simple things during construction — or add them in a small renovation — that will help you out all year long. Here are a few helpful hints on keeping those high-ceilinged rooms comfortable no matter the temperature outside.
It’s a simple matter of physics that warm air rises and settles near the ceiling of every room. The warmer it is, the larger that cushion of warm air will be. In the winter, this can be a good thing because the warm air is trapped in the room and can help regulate the temperature. In the summer however, it’s a totally different story.
The best way to get that warm air out of your house during the summer is to install whole-house fans that will transfer the air through the attic to the outside. These systems work best when the outside air is cooler than the inside, so it’s best to use the fan at night, expelling any warm air left over from the daytime while you sleep. Whole-house fans can be installed in any room to help keep it cool. They also use a lot less electricity that an air conditioning unit.
Prevent Heat Loss
High-lofted ceilings are more difficult to keep warm in the winter just because they are so much larger and have that much more air in them to heat. If you find yourself having difficulty keeping your room warm, then you might want to check the insulation.
While every home has insulation installed during construction, it should be periodically checked. You can always add additional insulation if you think there’s a problem.
Also, check the weather stripping around all of the windows and doors in the room. You can lose a lot of energy through unseen cracks in window and door frames that lead to the outside. If the cracks are large enough, you may be able to feel the air escaping. If not, you can hold a candle near the windows and see if the flame is disturbed by any drafts. If you find any, fix them immediately and the room should be warmer in no time.
Use the Right Air Conditioning
If you just can’t keep your room cool during the summer, you may not have the right air conditioning unit installed.
Air conditioning systems can only exchange a certain volume of air at any given time, so if your system is just not powerful enough, it could be why you find yourself sweating even when the thermostat is turned way down. The company that installed the air condition during construction may have only taken the square footage of your home into account, rather than the total volume it would have to cool, making it inefficient.
You can simply add smaller units throughout the house to take some of the workload away from your main unit, or you can replace the unit altogether. Obviously, the latter option will be more expensive, but, depending on what your future plans are, it may still make better sense.
One of the simplest — and cheapest! — things you can do to help both warm and cool your home is to install ceiling fans in every room. And if you have a room with a high ceiling, a fan is a must.
Ceiling fans help circulate the air all around, eliminating hot and cold spots and allowing your air condition and heating systems to work more efficiently, In the summer, you’ll enjoy the breeze that the fan provides and in the winter, you can use the fan to circulate the warm air back down toward you, making you feel instantly warmer. If you are so inclined and don’t mind some DIY, you can even install a ceiling fan yourself in just a few hours.
Consider these points if you want to keep your high-ceilinged rooms comfortable and contact Advantage Air to answer any of your questions.
Millie Hamilton is studying to become an interior designer, always being passionate about home decor and having her own unique style. She writes about pretty and practical matters around the home.