Our homeowners in Wheaton, IL called us toward the end of a renovation project. They needed the finishing touch for their suburban Chicagoland ranch home: a ductless mini split.
The family had just redone their sunroom, It looked great. Now, they wanted to use it all year, not only when it was warm out.
The only problem? No heating or cooling. So, they could only use the space for a few months. Our homeowners called Compass Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. to see what we could do.
They’d read our great online reviews from homeowners in their town along with nearby Glendale Heights, Carol Stream, and Elmhurst. And, of course, we lived up to our reputation.
Problem: A Wheaton, IL could only use their sunroom for a few months out of the year. Otherwise, it was too hot or too cold because it didn’t have any heating or cooling.
Solution: Installed a Mitsubishi Hyper Heat outdoor heat pump and a wall-mounted air handler.
There are quite a few sunroom pros and cons. The good news is the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. And, with a little work, you can solve most of those problems.
The most significant benefit, obviously, is the extra space in your home. By creating an enclosed patio, suddenly you’ve got an extra room. And, you didn’t pay thousands of dollars more for a traditional addition to the house.
And, as the name implies, you get a lot of natural light in these rooms! They usually have large windows. That gives you the feel of being out in nature without worrying about the elements.
Similarly, you get more use out of the patio. There are only a few months out of the year where you can really stay outside. Then, rain, snow, and other crummy weather keep you indoors.
With an enclosed patio, you get a lot more time out there. You’re protected from the rain, autumn winds and cold temperatures in late spring.
Our Fox River Valley homeowners really went all-out. Their room had a pitched roof that matched the rest of their ranch and vinyl siding along with the large windows.
Of course, nothing’s perfect. Remember, these are essentially enclosed patios. It’s not connected to the house’s heating and cooling. That means no HVAC service out there.
While it may stay a little warmer than the outside, it’s still way too cold to enjoy in the winter. In the summer, you run into condensation problems. That’s when it’s hot and humid, and the water in the air collects on the glass.
At best, it’s a little muggy. But, too much of it and you can run into mold problems.
Fortunately, our solution addressed these concerns. And, it did so at a fraction of the price of adding central HVAC.
A ductless mini split in a sunroom offers you:
First, you get the power of a furnace or central air conditioning. But, you don’t need to pay all that money to run vents and run ductwork out there.
That also helps keep the rest of your home comfortable. Your central system is set up to keep your home warm in the winter. If you have central air it also cools it in the summer. But, it’s not really flexible.
With one thermostat, there’s a single measure for the whole house. If some rooms take longer to treat, they may never get warm or cool enough. The system shuts off once the room with the gauge is at the right temperature.
An extra room probably won’t get treated properly. It’s too far from the thermostat. Move the gauge closer to the enclosed patio, and you’ll run into the same problem elsewhere.
Therefore, a separate system for the new room is the best bet. And, a mini split is the best way to get it.
You start with an outdoor heat pump. It’s like an AC condenser, but smaller. It provides warmth and cooling.
Inside, there’s an air handler or panel. That’s what distributes the air. Connecting the two are some narrow refrigerant lines that fit inside the wall.
These systems are really easy to install. They don’t take up much room, and you don’t have to make any room for ductwork. At most, all you need is a three-inch hole in the wall to connect the lines to the panel. But, the panel covers it up.
And, this system is just as powerful as a whole-house setup. In fact, you could handle your entire home with these panels. In this case, we just needed one for this room.
This setup keeps you warm all winter. And, it does more than just keep you from sweating in the summer. It also reduces the chance of getting mold.
We mentioned water vapor collecting and condensing on the windows. Too much moisture inside creates a breeding ground for mold and mildew.
Fortunately, air conditioning dehumidifies the room while cooling it. This way, you keep the temperature you want. And, you get rid of excess moisture.
Finally, there’s the big factor: Money. Let’s see how a mini split measures up here.
You wouldn’t expect state-of-the-art heating and cooling to be cheap. But, ductless AC and heat doesn’t cost as much as you might think.
For starters, a Mitsubishi system is Energy Star-certified That means it uses less energy to produce the same amount of heating or cooling as comparable models.
In other words, it uses less energy than a furnace or central air. That means paying for less electricity. It’s also way more efficient than any portable option.
No matter what, a new HVAC system is an extra expense. You’re now paying to heat and cool a new area. But, with a mini split, that bill is much, much less than it could be.
And, you can reduce the upfront cost, too. Check out ComEd’s offers for Energy Star products. That’s right, your electric company will actually give you a cash rebate for installing appliances that use less electricity than older ones.
We made sure our homeowners applied for this. As a result, they got $400 off the equipment price. That’s a huge chunk of the cost. Now, they’ve got a new year-round room for way less money than they expected.
Do you want to make your sunroom an all-season room? Contact us, and we’ll design a system that’s perfect for your home.