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The Best Ways to Heat a Room With High Ceilings

Heating and High Ceilings

High ceilings are gorgeous, but anyone with that home design knows how hard it can be to heat that large space. We’re sharing how to stay warm when Winter is upon us. For those of us that live in areas where temperatures reach 30 degrees Fahrenheit and below, we know what it’s like to be cold.

What’s worse than being outside in the cold? Going inside to warm up and still being freezing, even though the heat is on! I’m sure this scene sounds familiar if you have a house and/or rooms with high ceilings. Although they look great in your downstairs common rooms, they don’t always make you feel the coziest during those cold frigid days.

The deal with high ceilings

Everyone is looking for homes with high ceilings nowadays. They are a big ticket item that adds a lot of character and makes a room look significantly bigger. However, what they tend to lack is their ability to heat a home. We’ve all learned the basic science component of heat rising, leaving cold air at the bottom of the surface. It might sound simple, but this is exactly how it’s working in your home.

The heat comes out of your vent and rises to the top of the room to settle there. This is great for our upstairs, but it doesn’t do much for our downstairs common areas — aka the areas we tend to spend the most time in. It’s a harsh reality knowing how much we are spending in heating our homes every winter just to bundle up in blankets. But, on the bright side, there are ways to combat this.

In most situations, it has to do with the way homes are built, but there are a variety of things we can do to better distribute the heat in our cold rooms. You don’t have to settle for a freezing living room or spend a fortune to fix your heating system. Here are the best ways to go about heating rooms with high ceilings.

Look into radiant heating

Radiant heating is something to look into when you live in a home with high ceilings. Especially if you’re just beginning to build a new home. It’ll be a lot more affordable to invest in this system during the building stages than trying to add a whole different heating system once it’s finished.

How radiant heating works

Radiant heating is a technology that uses the floor or panels in the wall or ceiling to heat a household or room. This process focuses on delivering the heat to the people and objects in a room by radiating constant heat. This heat hits the coolest areas first, rather than making the warm spots even warmer like forced-air systems. This energy is made possible by installing tubes or coils that create heat underneath your floor or inside your wall panels.

There are all different kinds of radiant heating offered, depending on how many rooms you are heating, if you want the heating located within the floor boards or within the wall panels, and the type of flooring materials used.

It’s clearly a more intense process than what forced-air systems provide, which is what we are used to, but it’ll pay off with lower heat bills and a happy family in the long run.

Plus an added bonus — radiant heating is allergy-friendly, produces little-to-no noise and saves lots of energy.

Limit the heat loss

Insulation is the material inside your walls and ceilings that keep your rooms warm. It works by slowing down the process of heat escaping. However, a lack of insulation and high ceilings is grounds for a freezing cold bottom floor. Depending on when your house was built could dictate how much insulation was installed into your home — older homes tend to have less insulation.

How insulation works

The effectiveness of this energy is measured by R-value and the higher, the better. In the winter time, you’ll want no less than an R-40. If you experiencing this, you’ll want to hire a heating company to install more insulation for you.

There are a number of different kinds of insulation to look at based on the use, the price, and the type. Installing more insulation will help keep more heat inside, fighting the little warm air that high ceilings produce. Another way to limit heat loss is checking any openings you may have to the outdoors, like outlets or laundry pipes, and making sure cold air isn’t getting in through these places.

The fewer windows, the better

Something that comes along with most high ceilings is lots of windows. And while windows are another feature homeowners look for, they contribute to lots of heating problems. Windows suck the radiant energy out of us, leaving us feeling very cold. In order for us to be at a comfortable temperature, the room around us needs to be properly heated. If the walls, doors, and objects in the room are at a cold temperature, this creates an uneven amount of heat distribution. While we can’t always control the number of windows in our home or rooms, we can control the type of glass the windows are made of. If you seem to be losing lots of heat, consider using higher grade glass windows that are made specifically for keeping warmth inside. And, as always, make sure they are installed properly without any cracks or openings.

Use pressure to circulate air

Ceiling fans are a great way to offset the tendency of warm air to settle with high ceilings. If your home uses a forced-air system, uneven amounts of air are distributed throughout the rooms in your home. Fans can distribute this air much more evenly. By using high pressure, the warmer air at the top of the floor can be pushed down to the colder bottom floor. Putting this pressure at the entrance of the home, by the door, works the best because it helps the air inside stay while the air produced by the fan escapes. Make sure to find a setting on your fan to create just enough pressure to move air, but not too much to create a breeze.

High ceilings can be a blessing and a curse. If you follow this advice to combat heat loss, you’ll be able to enjoy your high ceilings as well as be comfortable in your home.

It’s Worth It

Investing in these fixes in the long-run will be well worth it when you see your energy bill dropping significantly. Heating a room with high ceilings isn’t impossible, it just takes a little bit of work to get there. What are some ways you heat your rooms with high ceilings? Let us know!

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