A ductless mini-split is the best way to heat the bonus room above the garage. It provides the power of a furnace and the zoning of baseboard heating. But, it’s more effective and costs less to run than both these options. While the upfront cost is more than other one-room options, you also get more benefits from a mini-split.
Like many suburban areas, you’ll find many Camp Hill, PA homes with bonus rooms above a garage. Whether it’s a split-level, a ranch, or a standalone structure with a room above it, these popular for homeowners looking for an extra bedroom or home office.
But, these rooms are notoriously hard to keep warm in the winter. And, while there are many options, some don’t work as well as others. And, some cost way more to run.
In this article, we’ll explain:
- Why Bonus Rooms Above A Garage Get So Cold
- Four Ways To Heat A Bonus Room
- Our Recommendation: Ductless Heating And Cooling
And, if you’re looking for the best way to fix chilly rooms in your Camp Hill, PA home, reach out to us at Air Comfort Technologies for a free consultation.
Why Do Bonus Rooms Above A Garage Get So Cold In The Winter?
Thee-room above a garage is often colder than the rooms around them because:
- The Garage Below It Is Unheated
- It’s Not as Insulated As Other Rooms
- It’s Far From The Thermostat And Furnace
The Garage Below It Is Unheated
Other rooms in your house have the benefit of being next to other spaces that are heated. These all work together to keep the whole place warm. But that’s not the case here. Instead, the floor below it is cold. That means you’re not only getting heat rising from that area. Generally, heat moves towards cold areas, so the garage also draws warmth away from where you want it.
It’s Not as Insulated As Other Rooms
The bonus room is likely on the top floor of the house. And, it’s got at least one exterior wall. That means more ways for heat to escape. It’s a common problem on the top floor of any house: heat rises there and then finds any way out as it’s drawn toward the cold.
It’s Far From The Thermostat And Furnace
Forced air systems (thinks furnaces with ductwork and vents) work great on the first floor. The thermostat is usually down there, and you get the best air pressure coming up from the heater. But, the air circulation loses force as it goes higher. And, you don’t get as good a reading the further you get from the thermostat.
These factors create a problem in general for second and especially third floors: The heat is naturally weaker the further from the furnace you get, making the rooms colder. The thermostat registers that the room downstairs is warm, so the system shuts off before the bedrooms heat up. Then, with the bonus room, you’ve got the problem we outlined in our first two points.
Three Ways To Add Heat To A Bonus Room
The three most common ways to warm up a bonus room are:
- Portable Space Heaters
- Baseboard Heating
- Ductless Mini-Splits
Portable Space Heaters
Space heaters are cheap to buy and require no installation. But, they’re expensive to run. You may pay less than $100 upfront, but you’ll see a massive rise on your electric bill. And, they’re not safe to leave on all the time. They’re considered a fire hazard, so you can’t fall asleep with them running. They’ve even been known to fry power strips.
Baseboard heaters used to be the best option here. They cost more than space heaters, and you permanently install them. But, they are more radiant, meaning they’ll heat the entire room, not just the space right in front of them. And, they’re more efficient, so you’ll save money on your utility bills.
Ductless mini-splits offer the best of both worlds: Power and zoning. These use a heat pump outside to transfer warmth into the room. Inside, there’s an air handler warming and circulating the air. They’re more expensive up front but provide plenty of benefits in the long run.
Our Recommendation: Ductless Heating And Cooling
At Air Comfort Technologies, we recommend ductless heating and cooling for single-zones like the bonus room above a garage. The biggest hurdle here is the cost: A single-zone mini-split starts at around $3,200. But, you can apply for rebates through Met-Ed to bring that cost down. And, when you consider how much less you’ll pay on your monthly bills than if you went with any other solution, you’ll get that money back, so to speak, over time.
Ductless Heating And Cooling Vs. Baseboard Heat
Both ductless heating and cooling and baseboard heaters offer “zoned” HVAC: treating one area — or zone — of your home instead of a one-size-fits-all approach to the entire house. That’s a huge advantage in this case because we’re focusing on treating a specific problem room in the house.
However, ductless does a better job, and it uses less energy to do it. That’s why it is such a better option now. The air handler uses fans and sensors to find cold spots in the room and direct the warmed air directly to them. The heat pump has a low-power mode to maintain the temperature while using almost no power at all.
More Benefits Of Ductless Mini-Splits
Along with heating a problem room effectively and efficiently, ductless mini-splits:
- Operate Silently
- Offer Cooling
- Can Treat An Entire House
Even at its loudest, a ductless air handler is as soft as people whispering in a library. It’s great for keeping a bedroom quiet at night or working in a peaceful home office.
If your problem room is also too hot in the summer, then you can solve both problems with one system! Your ductless heating and cooling system also functions as an air conditioner — and it uses a tiny fraction of the electricity you’d need for a window AC.
Can Treat An Entire House
You can add up to eight air handlers to a single heat pump. And, your average house in Camp Hill or any Central Pennsylvania town wouldn’t need close to that many to heat and cool the entire house. If you like how it works in one room, you can consider expanding later. Each additional room costs less to set up than the first one.
Ductless Heating And Cooling In Camp Hill, PA
Are you ready to finally get the temperature and comfort you want in that one room that’s always too hot or cold? Call or email us here at Air Comfort Technology for a free consultation. We’ll help you decide if ductless heating and cooling is the right choice for your Camp Hill, PA home.