Our handyman homeowner in Hanover, PA did an amazing job turning his garage into a rec room. Along with couches, a TV, and video games, he decked it out with new drywall, a drop ceiling, carpeting, and even a mini-fridge.
The only problem? The family couldn’t hang out with friends, watch TV, or play video games in the dead of winter or dog days of summer. As great as the rec room looked, and for all its amenities, it would get too cold or hot. The house’s HVAC system didn’t reach this area.
This problem is similar to what we see with sunrooms and even full-fledged additions: They look great, but without heating and cooling, they’re uncomfortable a lot of the time.
Fortunately, HVAC technology improved a lot over the last 15 years! When our homeowner called Air Comfort Technologies to find out how to put the finishing touch on his rec room, we recommended the latest-and-greatest to him.
And after learning more and weighing his options, he was confident and excited to add ductless heating and cooling to his garage.
In this case study, we’ll explore:
- Single Zone Mini-Split Vs. Extending Ductwork
- Installing A Mitsubishi Mini-Split In A Garage Rec Room
- Benefits Of Ductless Heating And Cooling
Problem: Our Hanover, PA homeowners turned their garage into a rec room, but it gets too cold in the winter and really hot during the summer. They wanted to use it year-round but needed to add heating and cooling.
Solution: Installed a single-zone Mitsubishi mini-split. It offers the power of a furnace and central air system with zoned heating and cooling to keep this room perfectly comfortable in any weather.
Single Zone Mini-Split Vs. Extending Ductwork
Our homeowner’s first big question was, why he couldn’t just extend the ductwork to reach the garage? After all, his home already had heating and central air. Surely he could just add this room?
Well, he could — but it wouldn’t work the way he imagined it would. Extending ductwork is expensive and has its limitations. When you compare the cost to a mini-split and then consider how well each one works, you realize that tapping your existing HVAC system isn’t the best option.
First, you’re looking at over $1,000 easily just to design and fabricate the extra ductwork. Then there’s the cost of the installation, where our homeowner’s careful design would get ruined by soffits to house the ducts.
Then, it wouldn’t heat or cool quite right. An HVAC contractor carefully sizes the system for the home. Adding an extra hundred or so square feet means it’s suddenly not as strong. Plus, you lose pressure with more vents. And, the thermostat won’t get a good reading since it’s all the way in the living room.
Now, compare that to a single-zone mini-split: With ductless heating and cooling, you get a system that’s as strong as the central heating and AC. But it’s sized just for that space. And, it barely takes up any room. Imagine something smaller than a window AC providing customized year-round comfort!
Once our homeowners learned more, this was the obvious choice. As we talk next about how we installed it, we’ll also explain how — and why — it works so well.
Installing A Mitsubishi Mini-Split In A Garage Rec Room
As the name implies, a mini-split is “split” into two parts: An outdoor heat pump that provides the heating and cooling and the air handler circulating the air inside the room. All we need to connect these two is a narrow lineset, just a few inches wide, that runs through the wall.
And, for a garage, it’s a straightforward installation. Our homeowners went with the popular wall-mounted model, which sits up in a corner near the ceiling. All we had to do was permanently install the handler, then place the heat pump right on the other side of the wall, outside near the house.
Then, we ran the lines through the wall behind the air handler. You won’t see anything sticking out of the indoor unit, making it neat and more visually appealing.
Now, here’s the trick: The air handler has a built-in thermostat. So, it keeps track of the temperature right in the room that it’s treating — there’s no relying on a gauge halfway across the house!
Meanwhile, these systems are strong enough to heat an entire house. If our homeowners wanted, they could outfit their entire home with these! But, they just needed to treat this one spot.
Benefits Of Ductless Heating And Cooling
Finally, fixing the climate control in the garage rec room was everything our homeowners wanted. But, their mini-split offered them so much more! The benefits of ductless heating and cooling also include:
- Energy Efficiency
- Silent Operation
- Low Maintenance
A mini-split may have a significant price tag. But, once you make the investment, you won’t notice that cost again — especially not on your utility bills! The air handler heats and cools a room quickly, using less energy than forced-air. Then, the system runs in a low-power mode to maintain your setting instead of blasting treated air a few times every hour when the temperature drifts.
For all the power you get with these systems, you won’t hear a thing! Since they use specialized fans to circulate air and don’t need to push through ductwork, these setups make less sound than people whispering in a library. That goes for the heat pump, too: You can put it right next to a patio, unlike an AC condenser, and never notice it.
There’s no contest when it comes to a mini-split versus a window AC in the summer. All you have to do is occasionally clean the filter and get a tune-up — about the same as you would a conventional furnace. There’s no dragging a heavy piece of equipment out of storage, cleaning it off, and shoving it in a window in the summer. Instead, it works year-round on its own to keep you comfortable.
Mini-Split Installations in Hanover, PA
Are you interested in finally making that problem room comfortable or even upgrading the heating and cooling for your entire home in Hanover, PA? Call or email us here at Air Comfort Technologies for a free consultation. We’ll learn more about what you want and how your home is set up. Then, we’ll help you decide if a mini-split installation is right for you.