Constructing an addition to your existing home can open up a lot of possibilities, but cooling and heating your new home addition may not be a simple task. And it’s one you can’t neglect in the varying climate conditions in Illinois. Here are three options to consider for cooling and heating your new addition.
Extend Your Current HVAC System
You’ll need to have a load calculation or an energy audit performed on your home for either of these first two options; consult your local HVAC experts before you begin to build. If your current system is powerful enough, you may simply be able to extend the ductwork into the new addition and re-balance its airflow to make sure that all areas of your home are still getting the right amount of air.
Upgrade to a Larger Size
If a load calculation reveals that your current A/C or heat pump can’t handle the needs of the new addition, you can upgrade your cooling system and add new ductwork to serve the new rooms. Remember that your heating and cooling needs — and, therefore, your HVAC sizing needs — will change depending on the addition’s insulation, sun exposure and other factors, so keep that in mind when working with your contractors.
Add an Independent System
If the new addition isn’t conveniently located for extended ductwork and you don’t want to upgrade, you can add an independent system. Ductless mini splits or ductless heat pumps are one option, allowing you to control each room or area in the addition from its own small indoor unit. Ductless mini splits are air-source heat pumps that can handle both your heating and cooling at a high efficiency, and because they can be turned on and off according to when you’re using the room, they can save energy over whole-house systems.