Having a baby changes everything. For our Meridian, ID homeowners, that included the way they heated and cooled their home.
Or, more specifically, the way they heated and cooled the bonus room above the garage.
For years, they’d only used that space as a spare room. Due to some lousy ductwork design, their home’s forced-air didn’t do a good job of controlling the temperature in there.
The result? A room that was too hot every summer and freezing cold in the dead of winter.
Now, our homeowners planned that room to be their baby’s nursery. That meant finally solving this HVAC problem. But how?
They came to Snowflake Air after hearing about ductless heating and cooling. Even though our homeowners didn’t know much about it yet, they thought maybe it would be the solution they needed.
And, once they learned more, they discovered they were right!
In this case study, we’ll explore:
- Why Bonus Rooms Above A Garage Are Hard To Heat And Cool
- How A Single-Zone Ductless Mini Split Solved The Problem
- More Benefits Of Ductless Heating And Cooling
- Installing A Single-Zone Mini Split In a Meridian, ID Home
And, if you have a similar problem in your Treasure Valley home, call or email us here at Snowflake Air! Starting with a free consultation, we’ll help you decide if a system like this is right for you.
Problem: The bonus room above the garage in Meridian, ID was always too hot in the summer and too old in the winter. Now that our homeowners were using it as a nursery, he needed to keep the temperature much more consistent.
Solution: Installed a single-zone Mitsubishi ductless mini split. It works independently from the home’s primary HVAC system. It provides incredible comfort and works without making a sound.
- 1 Why Bonus Rooms Above A Garage Are Hard To Heat And Cool
- 2 How A Single-Zone Ductless Mini Split Solved The Problem
- 3 More Benefits Of Ductless Heating And Cooling
- 4 Installing A Single-Zone Mini Split In a Meridian, ID Home
Why Bonus Rooms Above A Garage Are Hard To Heat And Cool
The bonus room above a garage is notoriously tricky from a heating and cooling perspective. And, the one in this Meridian, ID home faced a few extra challenges.
In most cases, the problem is three-fold:
- The distance from the furnace or AC condenser
- The distance from the thermostat
- The room that’s below it.
First is the distance. You lose pressure over distance with a forced-air system. As the treated air travels through the ductwork, the “push” gets weaker and weaker.
When it reaches the source’s furthest point, it doesn’t have enough warmth or cooling left to treat that room properly. Nor is there enough pressure to circulate the air that much.
Next, your thermostat is on the first floor. Since it’s closer to the heat or cooling source, it gets to the temperature you want faster than the upstairs rooms. So, it tells your system to shut off before the second story gets what it needs.
Finally, the room underneath the bonus room — the garage — is often untreated. As a result, it messes with the space above it.
The ice-cold air in the garage draws heat away from the room above it in the winter. In the summer, hot air in the garage rises to the bonus room, making it too hot.
Bad Ductwork Design
We discovered that someone routed the ductwork in a weird way. That made it lose more pressure than it should before it reached the bonus room.
That, combined with the usual problems we see in these homes, made that room feel almost unbearable a few months out of the year.
And, even if we corrected that problem, it wouldn’t do anything about the other concerns. And, it would be really expensive and require a lot of work on the house.
Fortunately, there was a better solution.
How A Single-Zone Ductless Mini Split Solved The Problem
Our Meridian, ID homeowners chose a single-zone ductless mini split because it:
- Works Independently From The Main HVAC System
- Delivers Strong, Consistent Heating And Cooling
- Doesn’t Take Up Any Live Space
Works Independently From The Main HVAC System
The biggest factor for our homeowners was not worrying about the regular furnace and AC up there. Instead, they’d rely on the built-in thermostat on the mini split’s air handler to do the job.
Ductless uses a heat pump to transfer warmth in and out of the house. IT connects to an air handler in the room that circulates the air and dehumidifies in the summer.
And that indoor component uses its own thermostat. SO, it doesn’t matter how the rest of the house feels. It’s only concerned with that room.
Delivers Strong, Consistent Heating And Cooling
Next, ductless heating and cooling delivers even better heating and cooling than a forced-air system. With an air handler dedicated to a single room, it gets all the treatment it needs.
Plus, those units use special sensors and fans to detect and fix hot and cold spots. Plus, they maintain the temperature all the time using a low-power mode.
That’s a massive upgrade over forced air, which only clicks on to course-correct once the temperature drifts too far from your thermostat’s setting.
More Benefits Of Ductless Heating And Cooling
Quiet operation and easy installation were the icing on the cake for this Meridian, ID home.
Even when it’s working at full power, the air handler makes about as much sound as leaves rustling outside.
That means Baby will sleep soundly without any sudden rushes of air waking her up.
And the installation was a breeze! It took about a day and required very little in the way of construction. This way, we didn’t make a mess of the nursery, which was just about ready for the newborn. Nor did our homeowners have to rethink the room’s design.
Installing A Single-Zone Mini Split In a Meridian, ID Home
Installing a single-zone mini split is usually a one-day job. The work in this Meridian, ID house was no exception.
In a nutshell, all we do is find a good spot outside for the heat pump. It usually goes almost flush against the house, just like an AC condenser.
Then, we determine the best spot on the wall inside for the air handler. Since it circulated air so well, it doesn’t have to be in the middle of everything.
We mounted it up near the ceiling and off to a corner.
The last step is running a lineset from the indoor unit to the outdoor unit. It contains refrigerant lines to transport heat, a condensate line to get rid of moisture, and power supplies.
All told, it’s only a few inches in diameter. So, we placed the air hander on the exterior wall, directly above the heat pump.
Then, we drilled a small hole to run the lines behind the air handler and sealed it back up once everything was set. Finally, we connected the lines.
Our homeowners went from a room barely fit for anyone to a quiet, climate-controlled newborn nursery in less than a day.
If you’re facing similar heating and cooling challenges, don’t settle for “just okay.” And, don’t go through the headache or expense of redoing your ductwork!