There is no doubt that high, vaulted or cathedral style ceilings are a very appealing design feature in a home, bringing a spacious, open and airy feel. However when it comes to heating and cooling, homes with high ceilings present more of a challenge to cool. That’s not to say it’s not achievable, but there are some important considerations that the air conditioning experts at H&H Air Conditioning explain below – before you go out and buy a standard air conditioning system for your home, this is something for homeowners with high ceilings to understand.
Greater Output Required For High Ceilings
The output of air conditioners is measured in kilowatts (kW.) For homes with high ceilings the general rule of thumb about each square metre requiring 0.125kw of energy to cool goes out the window. Because the volume of the room is much larger, a unit with a larger capacity in kW will be needed, even with modest sized rooms. This means a system with a greater output is required, which is more expensive to purchase. But the right sized system for high ceiling rooms is essential and will do the job it is supposed to. Getting the wrong size system means it will be costly to run, and may not be able to maintain a cool temperature, especially on hot days when you need it most.
Consider Supplementing with Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans can help the flow of cool air by evenly circulating cool air from the air conditioning unit. One of the benefits of homes with higher ceilings, is any heat rises further away from the ground which means less contact with the heat for residents. For homes with high ceilings ceiling fans are a great alternative to reduce the demand on your AC system, and can reduce your cooling bill.
Other Thermal Performance and Ventilation
If your home has whirly birds, and roofing eave ventilation this can be a useful measure to take to help remove hot air from the home. The placement of the outdoor unit is also very important to consider in rooms that are more challenging to cool – including those with high ceilings. Where
ever possible have the condenser shaded from sun, and in an area where it receives optimum air flow. Consider under an shaded awning, or near trees or shaded areas. Other factors, which will influence the output you will need to effectively cool a home with vaulted high ceilings, include the grade of thermal insulation in the home and the glazing of the windows. An air conditioning technician will provide the right advice relating to this based on a visit to your home, and after assessing the home design and thermal performance. For those building a new home with high ceilings, the best chance to get thermal performance right is now. Read our blog post about important considerations for those installing a HVAC system when building a new home.
If you have more questions about how to effectively cool a home with high ceilings, including expert advice on a system that will work well for your home and budget, contact the experts in air conditioning in South-east Queensland at H&H Air Conditioning today. Phone (07) 32761800 (Brisbane) and (07) 5477 1777 for our Sunshine Coast office.