If you are planning to buy a house and have the choice between a high-ceilinged place with fewer square feet per floor or a lower ceiling place with more square feet per floor, would you save money with the latter?
It seems intuitive that this would be true: By having a high ceilings, it should be harder to heat the area. However, it turns out that this might not be true at all!
Whether you have a high or low ceiling doesn’t matter if you are heating the space by radiation, since heat rises. The more important factor is how much insulation your ceiling has.
Do high ceilings cost more to heat?
It turns out that the heating cost in high ceilings is affected more by how much insulation you have in the ceiling, not the height.
This was studied by looking at the energy required to heat homes in Canada, which found that homes with high ceilings (in this case, more than 11 ft) were only 3% more expensive to heat than a house with a low ceiling (under 8ft). However, houses with high ceilings generally had more insulation, which meant they were actually cheaper to heat.
No matter what your ceiling height may be, insulation is what makes heating costs lower.
How to lower heating costs in a room with high ceilings?
We already talked about having great insulation but there are other factors to consider as well.
Older homes do not have all the insulation in a place like newer homes do. If insulating is not an option for you, it’s still possible to save money by determining the most effective heating method.
An older home usually has fireplace present. While this may provide some comfort to you at the moment, it wastes a lot of energy and is more of a temporary solution. Insulating ceilings and walls should be your top priority asap.
If your newly bought home has poor quality windows, It may be a good idea to consider investing in better ones. Not only do these keep heat in, but also can reduce noise from outside sources.
Maybe they are just not installed properly
Look for cracks around your windows. If you see heat escaping by feeling the air coming through them, it’s a sign that your windows may not be sealed properly.
NOTE: Do not confuse poor quality windows for windows that are simply not properly insulated.
HVAC sistem installed
Installing a good quality, energy-efficient HVAC system is very important. In addition, make sure you clean the devices outside regularly to avoid lower efficiency.
When determining the location of a heater, make sure to place it close to a door. This way the heat from your heating unit will quickly spread throughout the room.
How to calculate the power of the HVAC sistem needed?
The power of heating units is measured in BTUs. This unit measures how much heat the sistem needs to produce to keep your home at your desired temperature.
To determine the amount of power you need use this formula:
Measure the size of the space (length x width x height) and divide it by 3. This is the number of BTU needed to heat your house.
To get a more accurate measurement, use the following equation:
First, multiply length and width and then multiply it again with the number of rooms in your home. Add all the rooms together and divide by 3 again.
How do you push heat down from the ceiling?
You have to understand that when you are heating the space it concentrates in one area. This means that if you are not careful, it can become extremely cold towards the bottom of the house.
To heat the space evenly, push down from the ceiling by using fans or a radiant barrier.
When using a ceiling fan, heat is pushed down throughout the ceiling so warm air doesn’t concentrate in one part of the house.
Radiant barriers are usually installed on the ceiling and reduces heat transfer by reflecting heat back to the source.
This way it’s possible to use less powerful heating units and still maintain a comfortable temperature in your entire house.
What are the benefits of high ceilings?
While working in a house with high ceilings is not financially beneficial in the long term, there are benefits in other areas.
- Open feeling – High ceilings can make a home feel open and provide a sense of space that you do not get in homes with low ceilings.
- Architecture beauty – High ceilings can be quite pleasing to the eye and may increase the overall value of your home.
- Room will feel bigger – The more space you have, the bigger it will feel. You can make use of high ceilings by placing furniture strategically to make your room look even bigger.
- Natural light – High ceilings have higher windows. These allow a lot more light to come in and make your home brighter not only during the day, but at night as well.
- Air circulation – Higher ceilings allow for a better air circulation and the feeling of being closer to nature.
- More decor freedom – With high ceilings you have the ability to install amazing light fixtures which will become focal point and raise overall value of your home.
What are the disadvantages of high ceilings?
While there are a lot of benefits in having a higher ceiling, there are downsides as well.
- Maintenance – Cleaning a high ceiling can be a difficult and time consuming task. It involves either using expensive equipment or hiring a professional to do the job.
- Leaks – High ceilings provide more space for your roof and walls to get damaged which can lead to leaks and severe damage to your home.
- Colder temperature – High ceilings allow cold air to come in your home easier. This means you’ll have to turn on your heating more frequently and most importantly, take care of proper insulation beforehand.
- More chances of having an empty space – You may find yourself with too much open space in your home. You might want to consider painting the walls or hanging pictures to make it feel more welcoming.
TIP: If you can afford it, hire a professional designer to design your room or house properly. High ceilings can be hard to design properly.
Are vaulted ceilings more expensive to heat?
Vaulted ceilings in general cost a bit more than unvaulted type. Since air movement in vaulted spaces is more restricted, heat can be lost faster and are harder to insulate. The same is true for ceilings with beams and elevated floors.
Do high ceilings make a home feel more spacious?
This is entirely up to you. With proper lighting, an average person may feel more comfortable in a room with lower ceilings. Just remember that low ceilings are a bit cheaper to heat and easier to design.
How can you tell if your home has high ceilings?
The best way to tell if you have high ceilings is by measuring the vertical distance between the floor and the ceiling. If your ceiling is the same height or higher than your outstretched arm, then it’s quite possible that you have high ceilings.
Are ceiling fans out of style?
This depends on the style of your home and who you ask. A lot of people find ceiling fans to be quite aesthetically pleasing, but if you want to be more modern, go for chandeliers and find a different method to cool your home.
Why do old houses have high ceilings?
High ceilings are in style in old houses because in the past they were easier to construct. Building materials were not as effective and insulation was non-existent. The higher the ceilings, the more air could flow freely throughout the house and provide enough heat for everyone to be comfortable.