Vaulted ceilings are one of Newbury Park, California’s most sought-after features for homebuyers. High ceilings, with timbers, beams, and skylights, give a home a majestic appearance.
Unfortunately, high ceilings can impact how efficiently your HVAC system works in your home, especially your air conditioning system. High ceilings may make your AC work harder and increase your energy expenses.
Thankfully, there are ways to successfully cool your house with high ceilings without blowing your energy budget. Here are some tips our professionals at Southland Heating & Air Conditioning recommend to help you get the most bang for your buck from your AC system.
Make Sure You Have the Right Size Air Conditioning System for Your Ceiling Height
In rooms with higher ceilings, heat will rise and get stuck near the top. This can keep the entire space warm even if your AC temperature is set to cool. This is problematic during the summer when hot weather is already taxing your AC system.
Standard air conditioners do not have enough power to reach the upper levels of a room with vaulted ceilings. A greater output is required for higher ceilings.
Your AC unit output is measured in kilowatts. In homes with very high ceilings, the general rule that each square meter requires 0.125 kW of energy to cool is invalid. This is because the volume of the room is so much more significant. So you will need a larger unit with a larger kilowatt capacity even if the room’s overall size is modest and the ceiling is very tall.
For example, technicians installing a mini split system in one room with a high ceiling will measure the total room volume. This is the length, width, and ceiling height of the room. If you have duct air conditioning installed, the technicians will calculate the home’s total volume by adding each room’s volume.
With the following calculations, you can get a basic estimate of how many kilowatts your system will need.
- If your room has a 2.4 m ceiling height, you want to take the area of the room, multiply it by 150 W, and divide it by 1,000.
- If a room has a 2.7 m high ceiling, you’ll take the area of the room, multiply it by 160 W, and divide that by 1,000.
- For rooms with a 3 m high ceiling, take the area of the room, multiply it by 175 W, and divide that by 1,000.
These calculations are a good starting point in determining the right size AC unit for your home. Other factors must be considered, such as windows, ventilation, and building orientation.
Purchasing the right size system for high ceiling rooms is key to keeping your home cool, keeping energy expenses down, and preventing your system from overworking and burning out. The professionals at Southland Heating & Air Conditioning can evaluate your home and recommend a suitable air conditioning unit to meet your needs.
Use Ductless Mini Split Cooling
Ductless mini split air conditioning units provide a customized cooling solution that is efficient for homes with tall ceilings. They can cost less to run than conventional central air conditioning in many cases.
Mini split systems could be the perfect option for rooms with high ceilings because you can install a unit in one room or all over the house. Each AC is equipped with a thermostat that allows it to adjust its cooling for the room that it is in, and air handlers can work to eliminate hotspots in spaces with tall ceilings.
Mini splits only use a small fraction of the energy that central air conditioning systems use. They can be operated in a low-power mode, allowing them to maintain the temperature in a room instead of switching off when the temperature cools and then needing to go full blast when the temperature rises.
Use Ductwork Designed for High Ceilings
A high ceiling could impact your AC system’s efficiency because of ductwork design. Since hot air rises during the summer, your air conditioner will have to work harder to cool a room with a bunch of hot air collected at the top.
Instead of giving up on your dream of having a home with vaulted ceilings, work with the professionals at Southland Heating & Air Conditioning to incorporate high- and low-return air registers in a room. You can turn off the low-return register during the summer months using magnetic covers or dampers. This lets the high-return register focus on removing the heat from the ceiling.
This improves your system’s efficiency and builds up cold air in the room. During the winter months, you can do the opposite. Close the high-return air register, and allow heat to enter the low-return air register. As the heated air rises, it will effectively warm the entire room.
Make the Best Use of Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans can improve the cool air flow by circulating the air from the air conditioning unit. In homes with vaulted or high ceilings, fans can be mounted and operated remotely. This makes it simpler to use the fan without needing to climb up and physically turn it on or off.
You want a ceiling fan that has a reverse rotation feature. If your goal is to get the heat away from the ceiling and push it down to where you are, you will have the fan blades rotate one way. You will reverse the fan’s rotation if you aim to pull the cooler air up from the floor.
Install Proper Ventilation
During the hot summer months, temperatures in your attic can reach more than 150°F. This heats the entire house, especially if you have high ceilings.
One way to fix this and improve your AC unit’s efficiency is to install a whole house fan.
A whole house fan is installed in the attic, along with a shutter in the ceiling. With the shutter open and the fan activated, the hot air that has gathered at the top of the ceiling and in the attic is expelled through air vents. A whole house fan uses minimal electricity and can complement an air conditioner. You can run it for a few minutes to remove any hot air collected at the top of a vaulted ceiling and then allow your air conditioner to do the rest of the cooling.
Reliable Air Conditioning Services in Newbury Park
At Southland Heating & Air Conditioning, our experienced HVAC technicians have been offering quality service in and around Ventura County for decades. We are valued for our high level of integrity, constant communication with our customers, and unparalleled customer support.
Our technicians are trained to work with all AC unit makes and models. We have an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and are certified by EPA, NCI, and EnergyStar.
Our services include HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance. We work with furnaces and heat pumps and offer air quality testing and inspection. If you are looking for the right air conditioning system for your home with vaulted ceilings, we can help you find customized solutions that meet your unique comfort needs. Contact Southland Heating & Air Conditioning today. We look forward to helping you make your home a comfortable place.