A room with high ceilings is spacious and relaxing. But in the summer, it can leave you a little hot under the collar. These rooms, like bedrooms, are notorious for getting too hot in the summer. That is, unless you have the right air conditioning system for it.
We’ve seen homes in Kuna, Meridian, Boise, and Eagle, ID use all sorts of methods to keep these rooms comfortable in the summer: Window units, giant fans, central air turned up way too high, you name it.
The best way we’ve found for air conditioning in a room with high or cathedral ceilings is a ductless mini split. These setups are flexible, effective, and save you money in the long run.
In this article, we’ll review why you have this problem in the first place. Then, we’ll see how ductless takes care of it. We’ll tell you about a few other benefits of these systems as well.
Why Rooms With Cathedral Ceilings Are Always Too Hot
Rooms with high cathedral ceilings or vaulted ceilings are often way too hot in the summer. They’re usually too cold in the winter, also. The reason is that hot air collects up there, and it’s generally outside the area your conventional HVAC system can handle.
Here’s how that plays out in the summer: Hot air rises to the top of that high ceiling. It collects up there since your vents don’t have the power to reach that high.
Next, you have the hot sun beating down on the roof (usually there’s no room above the room with the high ceiling). That means the heat doesn’t have anywhere to go.
Now, you’ve got this substantial warm pocket above your head. It’s more than your AC can handle, even if you have a vent five or six feet off the ground.
You start cooling the living area, but there’s so much heat above your head! The colder temperature draws some of that warmth back down to where you are. At that point, air conditioning is even less effective.
Meanwhile, central air uses one thermostat for the entire house. That thermostat will be at eye level, not at the top of the room with a high ceiling.
As a result, the AC turns off when the area where it’s located reaches the temperature you want. It doesn’t account for that giant pocket of warm air well above it.
Rooms With High Ceilings Are Cold in the Winter
We’re talking about air conditioning today, but it’s worth mentioning how a similar problem occurs in the winter. The same things happen, at first anyway: Hot air rises. Now, however, it just keeps going!
The room with a high ceiling is now too cold because the heat you’re adding rises. But, it’s once again attracted to the coldest area — which is now outside.
The warmth finds any way possible to escape the house: Cracks, holes, whatever. Unless your house is airtight — and it’s not — the heat at the top of the room ends up outside.
And, once again, this also commonly affects the second story of homes: Bedrooms are often too cold in the winter, even when other parts of the house are fine.
Ductless Mini Splits Vs. Conventional AC
When you have a cathedral ceiling in a room that’s never cool enough, it’s time to consider a ductless mini split versus the conventional air conditioning system you’ve been using. A mini split does a better job treating a larger area, and it does so more efficiently.
If you’re not familiar, ductless heating and cooling uses a heat pump outside and air handlers in each room you’re treating. It’s called a mini split because of these two components. You can put one air handler in the one spot that needs it. Or, add enough to cover the entire house.
In this case, the crucial factor is the indoor unit. Those air handlers make a big difference in these rooms in two significant ways: Reading the temperature and air circulation.
One important difference with a mini split vs. conventional is that each air handler has a thermostat built into it. That’s like having central air with a gauge in each room.
In this case, it means you’re measuring the temperature separately for that problem room. Your air handler will do whatever’s needed to get that specific room the way you want it. That applies whether you’ve gone ductless for the entire house or just added the mini split to supplement your current system.
An air handler circulates the air much better than forced air through a vent. First of all, we can mount this unit just about anywhere in the room. That gives you the flexibility to place it in the exact spot you need for the specific problem you’re experiencing.
Next, the air handler has specialized sensors and fans in it. They’ll detect the hot spots in any room. In this case, that’s the area above your head.
Then, those fans will direct the treated air right where you need it. This way, you’re not freezing out the area closer to the floor just to handle the high ceiling.
More Benefits of Ductless Heating and Cooling
Mini splits are whisper-quiet and save you money. There’s no sound of air rushing through a vent. Nor do you get the constant roar of a window AC or through-the-wall unit.
Instead, the air handlers are so quiet that you won’t hear a thing unless you’re standing directly under them in total silence. For anyone that’s gotten irritated by the noise from their AC, this is a huge bonus.
However, the biggest draw here is cost savings: Thanks to the heat transfer process, these systems use, ductless heating and cooling uses a fraction of the energy conventional HVAC requires.
That means more comfort and lower utility bills.
Ductless Mini Split Installations in Kuna, ID
If you’re tired of that beautiful, spacious room that’s never warm or cool enough, call us here at Snowflake Air. We certified Diamond Dealers for Mitsubishi, the ductless mini splits leader, and have an excellent reputation installing mini splits in Kuna, Eagle, Boise and Meridian, ID.
We’ll start you off with a free consultation and help you find the perfect solution for your home.