How to Vent a Cathedral Ceiling

The cathedral ceiling can be a tricky thing to vent. When figuring out how best to go about this task, many considerations need to be made, and it is not something you want to do wrong. With the proper knowledge, however, you will never have any problems with your cathedral ceilings again. 

The first step in getting started with how to vent a cathedral ceiling is figuring out what type of material your roofing shingle is made of. All kinds of roofs require different methods for installation, which means that the materials they are composed of also dictate the way used in installing vents into them.

10 Steps on How to Vent a Cathedral Ceiling

Steps One: Preparation

Before beginning to vent a cathedral ceiling, it is essential to take precautions not to injure yourself or damage the surrounding environment. You should wear work gloves and protective eye goggles during all steps of this process. It is also good practice to cover the ground below the area with plastic sheeting because dust may drop from the ceiling. It is also good to have a small fan blowing in the work area, which will increase air circulation and help with dust removal.

Steps Two: Remove Seating

The first thing you’ll need to do is remove all seating from the floor below where your ceiling vent will be installed. This includes pews, chairs, benches, and other seating. You will be working with heavy sheets of drywall, and you do not want anything cluttering the space that may get in your way while you’re cutting and installing the vent pieces.

Steps Three: Scrape and Tape Joints

It is important to scrape all loose paint and wallpaper from the walls where your ceiling vent will be installed. Then, use a damp sponge to wipe the walls clean and apply primer. After this dries, you may begin taping off the wall around the ceiling vent installation area with painter’s tape.

Installing  Venting On  a  Cathedral  Ceiling

Steps Four: Cut Out Opening

After you have taped off all of your desired edges, it is time to cut out a hole in your ceiling. If you would like, you may cut out a larger space than what is necessary to install the vent cover. This will allow for future adjustments if needed.

Steps Five: Install Vent Fixture

To begin installing the vent fixture, turn it on its side and thread the wiring through the cavity of the institution until it comes out of the back. Then, slowly pull the wire downwards until you have pulled it through the cavity in your ceiling.

Steps Six: Connect Electrical Wires

Now, turn off all power from inside and outside of your house at the circuit breaker box to protect yourself from shock or electrocution during this process. You will need to connect wires from the fixture to a junction box which you should have attached to your wall prior to this step.

Steps Seven: Attach Junction Box and Drywall

Attach the vent fixture’s junction box to the back of the drywall partition using screws. Again, it is crucial not to cover any part of your wire with drywall at this point, or else it may create a fire hazard.

Steps Eight: Cut Drywall

Cut the piece of drywall that you just installed to match the size of your ceiling cavity. If you have an extra bit of drywall from step seven, use it as a patch for any holes or cracks in your ceiling. Before installing this piece into your ceiling, it’s a good idea to use some ceiling patching material. This will usually be grey in color and is very easy to apply with a trowel. Spread the material over the hole or crack and use your putty knife to smooth it out.

Steps Nine: Test Vent Cover

Once you have patched all holes or cracks in your ceiling, it is time to test if the vent cover fits. First, remove the piece of drywall you installed in step eight and attach the vent fixture to make sure it works.

Steps Ten: Apply Texture Coat

This step is optional because many people choose not to texture their ceiling after installing a vent fixture. However, if you decide to texture your ceiling, apply the textured material with a sprayer or paint roller and allow it to dry.

Do You Need to Vent a Cathedral Ceiling?

Ductless Heat  Pump in Cathedral Ceiling

If you are installing a furnace, air conditioner, or ductless heat pump in your home, then the answer is yes.  The code requires all of these to have their combustion air derived from outside the home through either an attached garage or vented openings in the house’s exterior walls.  

One exception is if you have a furnace with a variable speed motor. This requires so little combustion air that the main supply duct will be sized to deliver 15 cubic feet per minute of outdoor air per horsepower of the furnace.  In the future, furnaces will likely be required to have variable-speed motors.

Are Cathedral Ceilings Outdated?

A big room with some furnitures, wooden Celing, Cathedral Celing, Fireplace

During the 19th and 20th centuries, home builders erected a significant number of homes with cathedral ceilings. The beautiful curving lines and high peaks were seen as an architectural advantage and a status symbol for homeowners in the past. However, many people today know this shape to be outdated and unappealing.

If you are one such person, and you want to convert your cathedral ceiling into a much less steep and more conventional roof, we will now talk about how to do that. The common thing to do with a cathedral ceiling is to leave it as it is, for the sake of tradition and architectural value, but this leaves you no options if you change your mind one day.


The infomercial style of this article has shared information on how to vent a cathedral ceiling. Venting the top is essential for safety reasons and will also help with your heating bill come wintertime.

This blog post contained additional detail about why you need to change vents every ten years and some general tips on what size vent should be used in different situations if you want to learn more about how to vent a cathedral ceiling or other home improvement projects like replacing windows.

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