How Do You Circulate Air in Vaulted Ceilings?

Do you have a vaulted ceiling and would like to know how to properly circulate hot air in the room? Trapped air inside the house can rise near the ceiling which can cause problems to the room’s air circulation. Fortunately, there are simple solutions that you do to add circulation to a home with high ceilings. Let us learn more about these solutions below.

How do you circulate air in vaulted ceilings? One way to circulate hot air in a vaulted ceiling is to use a ceiling fan. Run the ceiling fans clockwise so that they push warm air to the floor and pull cool air up. The ceiling fans should run at their lowest speed. You can use the AC unit and ceiling fan together. The AC will provide cool air while the ceiling fan will circulate the air throughout the room.

When properly used, ceiling fans can help rooms with vaulted ceilings cool and maintain a comfortable temperature during the summer season. Moreover, they also improve air circulation so that the temperature inside the room is even. It is recommended that you place ceiling fans in the hottest section of the room. Check out the rest of the article below for more tips and information.

How do you circulate air in vaulted ceilings
Image by BUMIPUTRA from Pixabay

Do Vaulted Ceilings Need a Fan?

Vaulted ceilings need a fan to circulate air that rises to the ceiling. They work best when hanged about eight to ten feet above the floor. Ceiling fans installed in a vaulted ceiling will need an extension rod on the fan shaft to optimize the reach of the fan. The addition of wide paddles will effectively move more air throughout the room for a cool and comfortable temperature. You can also read this article that we have written that discusses if ceiling fans work with vaulted ceilings. We have shared an in-depth discussion about the topic.

Do Ceiling Fans Help Circulate Air?

Ceiling fans help circulate air into the room. You can use a ceiling fan and AC together to make the room cooler. The AC will provide cool air into the room while the ceiling fan will move the air to an even temperature. Using a ceiling fan will also allow you to raise the thermostat setting without reducing the comfort in the room. During the summer season, using a ceiling fan also avoids the use of an AC unit which allows you to save on your energy bills. You can install a ceiling fan in every room in the house. Make sure that you turn off the ceiling fans when you leave a room to avoid overheating and to save on your bills as well.

How Do Ceiling Fans Circulate Air?

Ceiling fans circulate air by catching hot air, creating a downdraft, and providing a wind-chill effect. Sometimes, an HVAC is not enough to cool a room. The ceiling fan will help move air that gets stuck near the ceiling and circulate it throughout the room. It provides a comfortable temperature, keeps the air flowing, and save energy cost. Learn how ceiling fans circulate air below.

Step 1: Catches Hot Air

Hot air rises from the ground above, which can be an issue if you have high or vaulted ceilings. A ceiling fan that runs counter-clockwise sucks hot air around and above the ceiling to the fan. Once the blades of the fan suck in all the hot air, it is then pushed down into the room which creates a breeze.

Step 2: Creates a Downdraft

Next, the ceiling fans push rising hot air back into the ground which creates a downdraft. The usual direction of the air movement is reversed and cool air fills the vacuum that is created by the absence of hot air. Bear in mind that the downdraft of the ceiling fan is on how it circulates the air. Even if the ceiling fan is turned on, hot air still attempts to rise, but the fan continues to push it back down.

Step 3: Wind Chill Effect

The ceiling fan also creates a wind-chill effect. Bear in mind that ceiling fans do not cool a room. Rather, they make people feel cooler. This is because the ceiling fan produces a downdraft, breeze, and air circulation that results in a wind-chill effect. It is done by replacing hot air with cool air.

✅ Video – How to Distribute Home Heating with Ceiling Fans

Ehowhome shared the video below on YouTube. It discusses how to help distribute home heating with ceiling fans. Distributing home heating with the use of ceiling fans is a great way to reduce your electricity bills. Check out the video for more information.

How to Cool a Room with Vaulted Ceilings

To cool a room with a vaulted ceiling, you will need to install fans and reposition the condenser. While a vaulted ceiling adds height and appeal to a room, it can cause problems with air circulation. Take note that hot air rises and gets trapped near the vaulted ceiling. To properly circulate the air and make the room cooler, below are some tips that you can follow.

Tip #1: Install a Ceiling Fan

Installing a ceiling fan in a vaulted ceiling can help move air near the ceiling. Choose a ceiling fan that features multi-directional speed settings. During the summer season, run the ceiling fan counterclockwise and at a higher speed. In the winter season, run the fan clockwise in a low setting to help circulate warm air in the room. We have also shared this article that talks about how to move heat from upstairs to downstairs. Read the article for more tips and information about the topic.

Tip #2: Use a Whole House Fan

Another way to cool houses with vaulted ceilings is to use a whole house fan. This type of fan is installed into a ceiling with attic space and vents. If the vaulted ceiling does not have an attic space, you need to place the whole house fan in an area that connects to the room with the vaulted ceiling. Make sure that you purchase the right size of the fan according to the size of the room.

Tip # 3: Add Attic Vents and Fan

You can also add attic vents to help get rid of hot air that is trapped in a room. Bear in mind that when hot air rises, it passes through the attic area and remains there. To determine how many attic vents that you need to add, consider the size of your roof. You can also add an attic fan at the end of the attic to help get rid of hot air.

Tip #4: Place Doorway and Circulating Fans

Another thing that you can do to make sure that air properly circulates in a room is to place circulating fans in the doorways. You can also add standalone circulating fans to the room in your house where there is a vaulted ceiling. Make sure to place the fan in a position that is pointing to the ceiling to help circulate air.

Tip #5: Relocate the Condenser

You might also need to relocate the condenser in your home. The air conditioner’s condenser cools down the air in the room. Placing the condenser in an area that is constantly hot might not make it work properly. Furthermore, avoid placing the condenser in direct sunlight.

Are Homes with High Ceiling Energy-Efficient?

Homes with high ceilings are not always energy efficient. Heat always rises above. If the room has a high ceiling, the wide space can accumulate more heat near the ceiling. Because of this, the room may feel colder during the winter as compared to a room with a standard height ceiling. To keep the temperature comfortable, you might turn the thermostat settings higher which also boosts heating costs.

Furthermore, controlling the temperature in rooms with high ceilings during the summer season can be difficult. Take note that the higher overhead space contains more air which makes the AC run longer to cool the increased space. The extended use of AC also results in higher cooling costs. You can also check out this article that we have shared that discusses if ceiling fans can reduce AC costs. We have shared an in-depth discussion about the topic.

Do Vaulted Ceilings Cost More to Heat?

Vaulted ceilings cost more to heat as compared to rooms with standard ceiling height. This is because heat quickly rises out of the room and into the unused space above near the ceiling. To solve this issue, you can use radiant floor heating that will warm objects within the room. Moreover, you can install ceiling fans to help circulate hot air that rises back down the room. Another solution is to install operable skylights that feature automatic temperature sensors. This will help remove hot air from the room. You can also check out this article that we have shared that discusses what should the ceiling fan direction be with air conditioning, We have shared an in-depth discussion about the topic.

Will a Fan Help Circulate Heat?

Fans can be used to help circulate heat that is trapped near the ceiling and pushes it down below to make the room cooler and more comfortable. Also, fans can lower the thermostat level in a room and save energy bills. During the winter, see to it that your home is warm by doing the right insulation. We have also shared this article titled, are high ceilings harder to heat? You can check out the article for more information about the topic.


You have reached the end of this article that discusses how to circulate air in vaulted ceilings. We have learned that fans help circulate the air by moving hot air near the ceiling and pushing it down below. Furthermore, we have discussed how to cool a room with vaulted ceilings. Ceiling fans are helpful when it comes to moving and circulating air. It can be used together with an AC unit to make the room feel cooler without dealing with skyrocketing energy bills. Thank you for reading!

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