It’s often difficult to properly heat a room over a garage. Whether it’s a regular room with HVAC already in it or a previously unused room atop the space, there are often challenges to getting the climate control right.
There are quite a few options on how to treat a room such as this properly. Some homeowners have tried extending their central system to that area. Others have invested in portable space heaters or similar appliances.
But, these have their drawbacks. Adding new ductwork is expensive. And, it’s difficult to regulate the temperature correctly. Space heaters are cheap and easy to install – all you have to do is plug them in. But, they use a lot of energy and can start fires.
One option that’s becoming more popular is Ductless Heat. It’s easy to install and is just as powerful as a central system. It also makes less of an impact on the home’s energy bills.
Let’s take a look at the challenges of heating the room over a carport and how this system handles them.
Challenges of Heating A Room Over The Garage
There are a few challenges to heating a room over the garage. It’s usually not surrounded by warm areas as other spots in the house. And, if it’s an unfinished room you may have to start from scratch to warm it. Those are in addition to the challenges of heating any second-story room.
Typically, there’s no HVAC setup in this spot. So, it’s going to be much colder than the rest of the house. That affects the room above it.
That room will also be colder because there’s less warm air surrounding it. In the dead of winter, the floor may even be cold to the touch. That makes it harder to keep warmth in the room. Since warmth is attracted to cold air, it will keep escaping outside.
On top of that are the usual problems with heating the second floor of a house. It’s common for bedrooms to be colder than, say, a living room or kitchen. That goes double for a spot like this.
First, the thermostat is usually on the first floor. That means it reads the temperature and makes adjustments based on the heat down there.
But, it’s often warmer on the first floor than the second. The system will turn off once the first floor is adequately treated. But, the upstairs rooms are still too cold.
On top of that, the forced air doesn’t always reach the second floor properly. The further from the furnace the room is, the more likely it’s not getting enough heat. It takes pressure to send the forced air throughout the house. In many cases, there isn’t enough to reach the whole house.
Using Ductless Heat For A Room Over The Garage
Ductless heat provides powerful heating for less money than other solutions. This is the case if you’re adding climate control for the first time to the room over your garage. It also works if you just need to add more to the heating system that’s already there.
These systems are also called mini-splits because they have outdoor and indoor components. The condenser, which provides the warm air, sits outside the home. It uses a transfer process to attract warmth that’s around it, increase the temperature, and send the heated air into the house.
On the inside are units, also called heads or air handlers. These are long, rectangular pieces that sit high up on the wall. They provide circulation by drawing air inside and sending it to the condenser while also pushing the warmth into the room.
This process creates a “zoned” system. That’s when different rooms, or zones, are treated independently of each other. Contrast this to a central system, where one thermostat regulates the entire house.
It’s an especially important feature when heating a room over the carport. In this case, you’re not trying to affect the entire house. You just need to treat one small area.
What makes this work is that each unit has a thermostat on it. That means the air handlers all work on their own. Some people decide to outfit their entire home with units. In this case, we’re looking at just one room.
With one unit, you can set the thermostat in the room exactly where you want it. Then, the mini-split regulates that temperature. It works the same if there’s already some warm air in the room or if there’s no other hvac set up at all.
And, installing a mini-split is very easy. The heads and condenser are connected by plastic tubing that transports the air. It’s small and flexible. All an installer needs to do is run it through the house from inside the wall.
The tubing connects to the back of the unit, where you never see it. The same goes for the outdoor unit. Installing takes less than a day and doesn’t require any significant work on the home.
Benefits Of Ductless Heat
Ductless heat works well for just one room. It’s easy to install, and each unit is designed to treat only one area at a time. But, there are even more benefits of a mini-split. These range from how they operate to how much they cost to run.
A significant draw for mini-splits is how little noise they produce. Even when working at full capacity, the air handlers never get louder than 20 decibels. That is literally whisper-quiet. For comparison, whispers and the sounds of leaves rustling are around 22 or 24 decibels.
That’s much quieter than a forced air system. And, it’s significantly softer than a window-unit air conditioner. That’s a popular option for cooling a room such as this. And, although we’re focusing on the winter right now, that’s important to bring up.
LIke a central hvac system, a mini-split can also provide cooling. And, it can do so for a lot less money than a window air conditioner.
While those units are portable and relatively cheap, they don’t really work all that well. They use a lot of energy, to begin with. And, a lot of cooled air escapes through the window. What’s more, they’re very loud and block out the sunshine.
Mini-splits, on the other hand, are Energy Star-certified. They use less energy to provide the same or more heating and cooling using less energy than appliances that provide the same amount of climate control.
That means that you’re getting more heat or air conditioning for less money than if you invested in portable heaters. And, even putting aside the installation costs, the mini-split would have less of an impact on your energy bills than adding forced air hvac to the room.
Are you looking for ways to heat the room over your garage? Contact us, and we’ll design a system that’s perfect for your home and budget. Give us a call at (612) 306-4600, or email me at