Heating and Cooling Options for an Addition

Options for heating and cool a room addition

Home improvement projects are often a lot of work to make happen.

Once you have the idea, then comes the plan, budget, purchasing, and actual execution, not to mention the myriad unexpected snafus that arise along the way. Perhaps no home project is quite as involved as that of putting an addition onto your home; it requires a great deal of forethought, planning, and decisions to be made.

Among the many choices you must make when planning an addition, is that of how you plan to heat and cool your new room. Depending on the type of room you are building, you will likely need different HVAC setups:

  • Another bedroom
  • Living area
  • Bigger kitchen
  • Sunroom

In order to maximize comfort in your soon-to-be new space, make sure to know your options and plan ahead to choose the right system for your needs.

How to heat a room addition

When it comes to choosing a method for heating a room addition, the first factor that you should consider is the type of room your are building. Obviously, a sunroom, a bedroom, and a kitchen all have varying purposes, and amount that they will be used at different times of the year.

Think about how frequently you plan to use the room, or have people in it. If it is a space that you plan to use here and there but not every day, you might consider a short-term heating option, or something that you can simply turn on as needed. For spaces like this, you might want to get a gas or electric fireplace, or space heater. That way, you are only paying for the heat when you actually require it.

However, you might be planning for this room to be used often, in which case you might want more of a long-term heating plan.

The first long-term option you should look into is to use your existing heater –– first check to see if it is powerful enough to heat the additional space. (You can start the process by checking this with our BTU calculator!). If it’s powerful enough, you’ll just need to extend your heating capabilities into the new addition. If it’s not powerful enough, you could look at the possibility of upgrading your current system.

Another option if your current heater is not powerful enough on its own, is to get a single zone mini split unit just for the addition. These systems are often the best way to heat a room addition, as they provide both heating and cooling capabilities all in one. Another similar option is to install an electric wall heater, which can be another great option for a single room, as they do not take up very much space, but are also powerful.

The best and/or cheapest option for your addition will depend greatly on your particular situation, plans, and needs. Consult a professional with questions before making any final decisions on the HVAC system for heating your addition.

How to cool a room addition

Similar to the considerations for heating your room addition, the same questions should be asked with regard to cooling your new room.

Will there be people in the room all the time, or only intermittently? If the latter, you might just need a short-term cooling option such as a window air conditioning unit or a portable air conditioner. Both of these options can be used as needed, and do not require extensive work or time to install, and depending on the size of the addition, can be efficient.

PTAC units (Packaged terminal air conditioners) are another great option for climate control in a single room. These systems are made for single room comfort, so they are often seen in hotel rooms, but are also a popular option for a new room addition to your home. PTAC units attach to a wall via a wall sleeve so you don’t have to use up your window space. These systems are energy efficient and many come with a heat pump so they can heat and cool your new spot. You can adjust the settings to your comfort level, and turn the system off when the room isn’t being used.

Another option may be able to simply use your existing air conditioner, if it has the capacity to cool the new room, or upgrade it if the AC needs a little more power. However, much like heating, it might make more sense to use a single zone mini split for the room, as it can also provide heat in addition to the cooling components in a more targeted way.

Other cheap options for cooling your new room include fans or even just opening the windows. Depending on how cool the room gets at night, and where the room is in relation to the sunlight and shade, you might not need to invest in a new cooling system. Keep these options in mind as you go about planning your new addition.

As we discussed with the heating options, before you make any major decisions about the cooling units, consult a professional who can advise on which might be the best pick for your particular situation.

Make your addition a comfortable space year-round

If you are preparing to put in an addition in your home, you are likely already aware of the many considerations that must be taken into account to ensure that the space is comfortable for those who will be enjoying it. One of the most important ways to make this happen is to appropriately plan for controlling the temperature, both in heating and cooling.

When it comes to heating, you might opt to use your existing system if it is powerful enough. If not, getting an electric fireplace or single zone mini split unit might be the best option. If the room will be used infrequently, you really only need to invest in a short-term heating solution that can be used as needed, but spaces that will be occupied often may require a more extensive setup.

Similarly, your particular needs for your addition will dictate what type of cooling system you should go for. Again, you may be able to get by with your current central air conditioning system if it is powerful enough, but you may not want to count on that. For an as-needed cooling system, you might want to get a window or portable unit for the space that you can use from time to time. That option helps you ensure that the room will stay cool, but only when you need it to be, which saves you money on your electric bill. Other ways to cool (and also save money) include simply using fans or opening windows.

Our top picks for heating and/or cooling a new room addition:

If you’re ready to start shopping for the best heating and cooling options for your new addition, look no further than Total Home Supply’s selection of mini split units that could be the perfect fit for your new sunroom, playroom, bedroom, or kitchen.

Mickey Luongo

Mickey is the resident heating and air conditioning expert.

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