How Can I Add Heating to the Bonus Room Over My Garage near Havertown, PA?
There are plenty of ways to add heat to the bonus room above your garage. Depending on how cold it gets in the winter, you can take some steps to keep more of the warmth that’s there from escaping. Or, you can add a new heating source altogether. Four of your best options are:
- Extra ductwork
- Ductless mini split
- Radiant floor heating
The living area above a garage is usually called a bonus room because it’s making use of a space that’s not always built out. You see these a lot in those older suburban homes in places like Havertown, Wynnewood, and Ardmore.
In this post, we’re looking at ways to keep those rooms warm in the winter. Many times, these add-ons end up colder than the main parts of the house once the temperature drops.
These tips also apply to rooms that are a normal part of the main house but are above a garage. This design is typical for split levels, ranches, and similar models. With those homes, the garage is in front of the house instead of the side.
These rooms have the same heating as the rest of your home. But, they’re often still colder than the rest of the second floor.
In this post, we’ll look at https://johncipollone.com/how-do-i-cool-my-upstairs-without-freezing-out-my-basement/why that happens. And, we’ll offer some of the best ways to keep that living space warm.
Why Do Rooms Above A Garage Need More Heating?
The problem with rooms above a garage is that they’re not nearly as well insulated as other parts of your house. As a result, heat quickly escapes. That leads people to find ways to add more warmth — or, at least, keep it from escaping so quickly.
Meanwhile, people often add that bonus room after the house was built. So, it’s not connected to the central HVAC system.
But, whether it’s an addition or a regular bedroom, there’s still the problem of what’s underneath: An unheated area.
Odds are, the garage doesn’t have any HVAC running to it. In the winter it’s cold and drafty. That makes the problem worse.
Meanwhile, the other rooms are surrounded by areas that are also heated. That makes it easier to keep them all warm. The spot in question, however, is exposed on at least one side.
If it doesn’t get that much colder, some insulation may do the trick. After that, you’ve got plenty of options on how to add warmth. The best choice for you also depends on the size of the room, how it’s laid out, and how you’re using it.
It also helps to have a professional look at the room, too. At Cipollone, we’re very familiar with the common types of houses in the Delaware Valley. We’ll know how much heat you need, where the problem spots are, and what usually works best.
Give us a call if you have any questions.
Your first move is treating the room, so heat doesn’t escape as easily. That’s as simple as putting in some insulation. After that, it’s a question of where.
You can start by adding insulation to the ceiling of the garage. As we mentioned, that’s a part of the house that’s usually cold anyway. That affects the room above it.
They’re usually also unfinished. So, you can do the work without having to tear anything down.
Now, when it comes to the room itself, there may not be much you can do. If that room is already finished, it’s not worth tearing out the walls to add the lining. It’s a lot of work only to rebuild them.
If it’s a new room or part of a remodel, then this is the time to add it. And, you can do this in conjunction with other strategies.
Tap Into Your Furnace
Homes with forced air heat can use the existing system to reach the bonus room, too. The advantage here is that you’ve already got the furnace. And, it’s strong enough to treat the room.
If the adjoining wall has a vent on the other side, it’s likely easy to add a vent in the room you’re treating.
If not, you’ll need to build out more ductwork to reach the area. That’s where the cost starts mounting. Having your HVAC company design the route, build the ductwork and install it can cost hundreds of dollars.
You also need to be sure the adjustments won’t have a more significant effect on the system as a whole.
One word of caution, however: The room will be more comfortable, not necessarily the same temperature as the rest of the house.
Remember, this area is still naturally more chilly than other spots. And, your thermostat is in a warmer room. As a result, it’ll turn off the furnace once that area is the right temperature. The room in question, however, will still be colder.
Heating Mats and Radiant Heating
The next solution is to add a new heating source just for this space. The benefit here is getting the right amount of treatment for the problem area.
Once again, installation is a big factor, however. Radiant heating works by placing coils underneath the floorboards. These warm up the area starting with the floor and then spreading that thermal energy.
Since cold feet are a common complaint in rooms above a garage, this is a pretty good solution.
But, if the room is already finished, you need to decide if it’s worth ripping up the floor to put it in.
Now, there’s another option that less expensive and less invasive. Of course, it’s not as powerful. So, it’s more of an opportunity if you need supplemental warmth.
Instead, you can buy heating mats that fit neatly under a throw rug or area rug. They’re not nearly as powerful as an installation. But, they’re portable, a fraction of the price and still take care of that chilly floor.
Adding a Ductless Mini Split to a Bonus Room in Havertown, PA
Ductless mini split systems are versatile enough to treat an entire home or just one room. They’re easier to put in than radiant floor heating, just as powerful as a furnace, and customized to address the area where you install it. For a room that needs supplemental heat, this is a great option.
You may have seen these setups in restaurants or other places but not realized it. They’ve been getting a lot more popular over the last decade or so in homes and businesses.
The basic setup is that each room has a wall-mounted air handler that circulates warm or cool (mini splits also provide air conditioning) air. For our purposes, you’d just need one unit for the room over the garage.
After that, we connect the air handler to a heat pump outside. The trick is, you only need a few lines running between the two. In a case like this, we can run them through an exterior wall, so you don’t even notice them.
Other perks: Since they’re high-efficiency, they won’t have a significant impact on your electric bill. And, they’re whisper-quiet. You won’t even notice when they’re on.
Depending on the size of the room, this could be the way to go. But you want to choose carefully. Mini splits can get expensive, and you don’t want to overdo it for a small space.
In fact, the price tag is prohibitive to some people. But we can help you cut the cost.
Your average mini split fits that bill, and we can help make sure you get the most money back.
Once you’ve considered your options for heating that additional room, give Cipollone a call. We’ll help you determine exactly how much heating you’ll need, and the most effective installation for your home.