The Pros and Cons of Ceiling Air Conditioning Air Vents


When you want your home to be cooled in the Southern California heat, it’s understandable if you don’t really care how it happens. But the fact is, how your air conditioning is installed has a direct impact on your comfort and budget. Today, we’re going to discuss the placement of ductwork and air vents. Specifically, what should you know about ceiling AC vents?

Air Conditioning

Why attic installations are common

If you’re adding central air conditioning to an older home, you have to work around existing structures. This can pose a challenge to find room for a bulky air handler unit and fit ducts in walls around plumbing, electrical, and other obstacles. But attics and crawl spaces (especially in single-story home) often provide enough room and access to other rooms, which make them prime targets for new HVAC installations.

Pros of ceiling vents

When the air conditioning unit is placed in the attic, there are many logical reasons for the air vents to be mounted from the ceiling into the rooms underneath.

  • Easy installation – Instead of snaking ductwork through walls, the vents can be installed right from the attic.
  • Lower upfront cost – Less labor and materials means an overall lower installation cost.
  • Efficient distribution of cooled air – Since cold are falls, there is less heat transfer loss when conditioned air comes out of ceiling vents.
  • Doesn’t take up walls or floor space – So you don’t have to give up a closet or rip up the floor to add vents.

Cons of ceiling vents

  • Inefficient air distribution for heating – If the unit is used year-round, some heated air will be lost due to heat transfer. Remember, heat rises, so if it starts at the ceiling, it has nowhere to go but up.
  • Exposes HVAC system to unconditioned spaces – Attics tend to be dusty and prone to extreme temperatures, which can add wear-and-tear on the equipment and increase heat transfer loss.
  • Potential for higher energy bills – In hot climates that use air conditioning frequently, the amount of heat transfer loss in the attic can make the system more expensive in the long run.

Ways to improve ceiling vents

If an HVAC system in the attic or crawl space is the best or only way to go, there are ways to minimize the issues on the “con” list above. Instead of installing the system in an unconditioned space, you can look to utilize dropped ceilings or bulkheads. This approach can improve indoor air quality, reduce your monthly energy bills, and increase the service life of the air conditioning unit.

Air conditioning experts in the Central Valley

After reading this article, you should have a better appreciation for how your next air conditioning system is installed.

Every home is different, which is why you should trust your comfort and investment with an experienced team like All American Plumbing, Heating & Air. To schedule an air conditioning consultation and estimate, call us today at (209) 509-4448.