The best way to heat the bonus room above a garage is with a mini split, or ductless heating and cooling setup. These offer the power of a furnace with the customization of baseboard heating. And they provide other benefits. But, there are a few things to consider before making the investment.
Rooms above a garage are common in suburban towns like Eagle, ID, Kuna, or anywhere in the Treasure Valley. You see them in split level homes or as a bonus area in ranch homes.
They make the most of your space but come with a drawback: The rooms upstairs are colder in the winter than any other room in the house. Fortunately, there’s now a great solution to this problem.
At Snowflake Air, we’ve made it pretty clear that we think mini splits are great in just about any situation. And, they especially shine when it comes to specific, typical problem areas like these.
So with that in mind, we’ll walk you through why that bedroom is always so cold. Then, we’ll explain why and how ductless heating and cooling solves the problem.
We’ll look at some of the potential drawbacks but then wrap up with a few other benefits that these systems offer.
Meanwhile, if you want to learn more about how a mini split would work out in your Eagle, ID home, call or email us today for a free consultation.
Why Is The Room Above My Garage Too Cold In The Winter?
The room above your garage is often too cold in the winter because the garage isn’t heated. So, unlike other second-floor rooms, this one doesn’t get extra warmth from the area below it. That makes a big difference.
Sure, every room in the house has vents, and this one is no exception. But, they’re also supported by warm air rising from the first floor. Unless you use the garage as a workshop or rec room, there’s no heat coming up to this room.
This problem is made worse by your thermostat location. If you have one furnace, as most people do, then you only have one temperature gauge that’s regulating the entire house.
And, that gauge is often in the living room or dining room. That means your furnace shuts off once the first floor reaches the temperature you want. But, it doesn’t take the second story into account.
This setup is why most bedrooms are a little too cold: The thermostat doesn’t keep the heat going until those areas are warm. And, when the bonus room over the garage has even less heat, it gets the coldest.
You could turn the thermostat up until the second floor got warm. But, then you’d spend much more in your energy bills. And, it would make the downstairs too hot.
So, what can you do about it?
Ductless Heating And Cooling For Rooms Above A Garage
Ductless heating and cooling can zero in on a problem room like this and make it more comfortable than ever before — in the winter and summer!
Instead of drawing heat or cooling through ductwork, we would install an air handler connected to a heat pump outside. This way, you get a powerful setup regulating the temperature, specifically in this room.
Each air handler comes with a built-in thermostat. So, it’s working according to the temperature just in the room you’re treating — not the area downstairs on the other side of the house.
Installation is easy: It takes about a day for a setup like this, and all we need to connect the indoor and outdoor components is a narrow lineset that runs behind the walls.
These systems are strong enough to heat and cool your entire home. You can get a 1:1 setup, as we’ve described here. Or, add up to seven or eight air handlers on a single heat pump to treat every room.
What To Consider When Considering A Mini Split
The biggest drawback here is cost. A setup for just one room with a single air handler starts at $3,200. Fortunately, it costs less for each additional air handler because you’re using the same heat pump. Whole-home systems can run as much as $20,000 or more.
However, those price tags come with plenty of benefits. Plus cost savings in the long term (we’ll get into those a little later). And, special rebates and financing make it easy to fit the upgrade into your monthly budget.
You also need to consider just how cold that room gets. It’s important to note that ductless heating and cooling started as primarily a cooling solution.
Even the older heat pumps stood neck-and-neck with the best central air conditioners. But, they could only provide heat when the temperature was above freezing.
Now, if you only need supplemental heat for a problem room, you can make do with a standard heat pump and air handler. And that same mini split will also keep the room cool in the summer.
But, if it gets especially cold, or if you’re planning to upgrade to your entire house, then you need to consider the Hyper Heat models. They cost more, but they’ll heat your home as long as the temperature outside doesn’t dip below negative 13 degrees.
More Benefits Of Ductless Heating And Cooling
So, what do you get for investment? Besides finally treating that one problem room, ductless heating and cooling costs less to run than any other option. And it’s the quietest solution you’ll find.
We won’t’ get into the science of it all here, but mini splits use a heat transfer process that moves thermal energy from one place to another instead of burning fossil fuels to create it.
As a result, it uses a fraction of the energy that a furnace, radiator, baseboard heat, or any other heating solution would use. So, the more rooms you treat with it, the lower your bills are in the winter and summer.
They’re so energy efficient that you can get rebates through Idaho Power. Depending on how many air handlers you install, you can get hundreds of dollars back to offset the installation costs.
And, once they’re in, you’ll feel the heat but never hear it.
The air handlers are literally whisper-quiet. Our customers have said the only time they ever hear them working is when the room is completely silent, and they’re standing right under one.
That’s a nice bonus in the winter. It’s a huge advantage in the summer when you use them to replace loud window air conditioners or even central air.
Mini Split Installation In Eagle, ID
Are you tired of that one room in the house always staying too cold in the winter? Do you want better comfort while using less energy? If you’re ready to give your home an HVAC upgrade, call or email Snowflake Air today. Starting with a free consultation, we’ll help you decide if installing a mini split in your Eagle, ID home is the right solution for you, your family, and your budget.