Heating and Cooling Solutions for Garage Conversion
If you’re planning to remodel your garage, you should plan to include the right HVAC system so that you can have a comfortable living space while keeping the energy costs low.
Is the existing system enough?
Contact an HVAC contractor and ask them to check your current setup. If they say that the current system is adequate for the upgraded space, they’re probably not giving you the right advice. In a general scenario, you can’t heat or cool down an extra 450-650 square feet of area with the present system.
Your present system was designed for a smaller space. As your space expands, so should your HVAC system. If the present system is right for the upgrade, it means that it was too large for the area, which means you’ve been paying extra energy bills all these years. The heating and cooling bills you’ve been getting were not necessary and the system was not efficient for the space.
The second option could be that the contractor hasn’t assessed the area correctly. In any case, the space has increased but if the HVAC stays the same, you need to ask them about the math.
No, we’re not asking you to invest in a bigger system if the existing one is of perfect capacity. We just want you to be aware that with a bigger area, you’ll need a stronger HVAC system that can keep the environment comfortable.
You can talk to multiple HVAC contractors to find the best one. Talk to them and see who is making the best sense.
Installing a new HVAC system
If your present system has been used for more than 15 years, it’s cost effective to install a new and larger system that works for the new space. Installing a heat pump will further increase the efficiency of the system.
Since new heat pumps and central ACs come with the SEER rating of 20+, you’ll be able to save on electricity bill. Heat pumps have HSPF rating of over 13. About 15 years ago, the best units came with a SEER rating of 14 and HSPF of 8. However, the present ratings are much better and there are efficient furnaces from top brands such as Trane, Lennox, and Carrier that offer the AFUE efficiency of over 97%.
If your HVAC system is comparatively new, you can talk to your contractor and get an idea of how long the unit can last without requiring major repairs. You can get estimates on its efficiency, maintenance costs, and other factors and decide whether you want to keep it or get another system.
HVAC system for remodeled garage
If you don’t want to replace the HVAC system you have already, you can get a ductless mini-split system. It comes with a heat pump that keeps your space warm in winter and cool in summer.
The mini-split system has a condensing unit that is installed outdoors. You’ll need to install the indoor units in 1-4 places. The indoor and outdoor units are connected by refrigerant and drain lines. The contractor will need to create small holes in the home construction.
Indoor units have fans that help circulate the hot/cold air inside the home. With this installation method, there is no need for ductwork. Also, ductless heat pumps can be very quiet.
When it’s time to remodel the garage, make sure you compare all the HVAC options because it will have an important role in the energy efficiency of your new living space. You might need to talk to several HVAC experts to get the right information and correct estimates. With the right research, you’ll be able to have a comfortable space at reduced energy costansus.
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