Things to Know About Heating and Cooling Services at High Altitude featured image

Living at a high altitude has many benefits, from crisp fresh air to general healthiness, dazzling views, etc. High-altitude living can have some positive impacts on a person’s health. You should consider two disadvantages in design and construction, including your heating and cooling systems. Therefore, this article will discuss things you need to know about heating and cooling services at high altitudes.

Does Altitude Affect Cooling Systems?

The answer to this big question is a yes. However, the effect is not as much as expected, and it can even be not very important at specific feet. Your HVAC unit cooling performance is often affected by less than three percent.

Furthermore, below 10,000 ft, the effect is so tiny you can overlook it. However, this doesn’t remove the fact that altitude affects cooling systems. Some things that cause this influence include dew point temperature, enthalpy, air density, etc.

Air Density

We know that higher altitudes have less dense air, but how does this impact your HVAC systems? The most significant impact may be the fan’s performance since they are at standard conditions of 14.696 psi and 70°F.

Fans are devices known to be constant-value; therefore, as higher altitudes cause a decrease in air density, the fan’s mass flow decreases.

Things to Know About Heating and Cooling Services at High Altitude 1

HVAC equipment like air-cooled chillers and rooftop units have fans. Therefore, we need to modify the equipment for these high-altitude situations. Therefore, many manufacturers have engineers proficient at handling these issues, so the produced systems can withstand the altitude issues. Special drive packages, motors, and fans often compensate for the conditions.

Also, most HVAC companies have personnel that can adequately handle heating and cooling issues related to building height.

Therefore, if you need to hire this service, you must ensure they can handle the job. Visit Bosque HCP – Albuquerque HVAC Contractor to learn more about heating and cooling services at a high altitude.

Read more: Does an Air Conditioner Work as an Air Purifier?

Why Height Affects Heating

The air at pretty high altitudes is thinner and carries less heat. Also, the decrease in oxygen levels and air pressure equally affects the heating function of your unit.

Therefore, your HVAC professional must use the right equipment to maintain efficient heating under these conditions.

Gas Heating Units

Regarding altitudes and HVAC units, gas heating units are pickier. They need to increase their BTUH output to suit the winter’s colder temperatures. Furthermore, to ensure the proper functioning of the team, it has to be modified in certain aspects.

These types of units often have gas valves and orifices. The HVAC professional would have to change the orifice size for higher altitudes. Also, the gas valve has to be adjusted since it is already set at sea level by the manufacturer.

Without adjustments, it may result in under or over-firing, the unit’s heat exchanger may soot, or the unit may shut down, resulting in more service calls and costs. Therefore, either avoiding gas heating or the professional employed for its installation has proper knowledge.

Air Conditioning Contractors of America’s Manual S and Original Equipment Manufacturer

The HVAC professional can consult the following when determining appropriate heating settings and devices.

You can read this article to learn more about the ACCA Manual S. The OEM gives information about the unit’s model, required accessories, and make. When considering these two, the professional will determine the heating system’s output and input capacity above sea level.

Read more: What A Gardener Knows About BTU (& Why You Might Need It).


This article has discussed essential things about heating and cooling systems at high altitudes. Topics discussed in this article range from why height affects heating systems if altitude affects cooling systems, and so on.


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