Our homeowner had a beautiful cottage-style home with one problem: The master bedroom was never at the right temperature. In the winter it was too cold. In the summer, it was too hot to sleep. The central heating and cooling wasn’t doing the job. The rest of the house was fine. It was just the one room that needed work. But, it was a critical spot. Our homeowner wanted to be comfortable when she went to sleep. When we arrived, we realized quickly that part of the problem was the home’s layout. An addition on the back of the house had a significant effect on air circulation. We’d have to take that into account when designing a solution. Fortunately, we had a way to treat just the master bedroom without the other parts of the house affecting it.

Problem: The master bedroom in a single-family cottage-style home in Lisle, IL was too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. It was too large and too far away from the furnace for adequate climate control.

Solution: Installed a Mitsubishi ductless heat and air conditioning mini-split with an outdoor condenser and air handler in the master bedroom.

Heating and cooling challenges in a large home

Many times, the heating and cooling formulas that work in smaller houses don’t translate well into larger homes. Like plenty of houses, this cottage has forced air hvac that’s delivered through ductwork and vents. But, it didn’t do the job in this case. Part of the problem was a large addition on the back of the house. A previous homeowner ran extra ductwork to this area. This became a problem later on. The home’s original system didn’t account for the large room. As a result, it doesn’t always have enough power to reach the rest of the house now. In mild weather, it’s not too much of a problem. But, that’s not the case when it’s especially hot or cold. When that happens, each room needs more treated air. But now, the furnace or air conditioner can’t pump enough through the ducts to do the job. This affected the master bedroom the most. It was on the second floor. Now, the first floor and addition got most of the climate control. There wasn’t enough pressure anymore to adequately reach that room. And, that’s on top of the common second-floor problems. Plenty of homes have second-floor rooms that are too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer. That occurs even with right-sized furnaces, air conditioners and ducts. This occurs in part because of the way air flows through the house. And, the thermostat downstairs regulates the whole house. That’s a problem when the second-floor rooms are a different temperature.

Zoning a room with ductless air conditioning and heat

We recommended a Mitsubishi ductless air conditioning and heat mini-split for this master bedroom. This setup uses the zoned hvac model. Here, different rooms, or zones, are treated independently from the others. This way, we could focus on adding the heating and cooling this room in particular need.

These systems are called mini-splits because of the two components they use. There’s an outdoor heat pump to provide warm or cool air. Then, the air panels, also called panels or heads, circulate the air inside the home.

The key here is that each panel has a thermostat in it. This way, each one works on its own to treat the zone it’s in.

This home just needed one zone: The master bedroom. The other rooms were fine. So, we didn’t do any extra work treating areas that didn’t need it.

We found a good, out-of-the-way spot for the air handler. It’s on the other side of a corner form a large window and high on the wall. It’s tucked away in a corner over a shelf while the nearby window and fireplace draw the eye away from it.

It’s also out of earshot. The panels only produce sounds up to 20 decibels. That’s softer than leaves rustling or someone whispering. And, that’s on full blast.

Finally, we found an excellent spot for the outdoor heat pump. It’s tucked under the deck where no one ever goes.

Better hvac and lower bills with ductless heat and air conditioning

Our homeowner’s new ductless heat and air conditioning mini-split finally gave her master bedroom the climate control it required. And, it does so while lowering her energy bills.

The mini-split is Energy Star-certified. It’s proven to use less power to provide the same or better results as other hvac solutions. And, the less energy it uses, the less money it costs on energy bills.

That’s thanks in large part to the inverter technology in the panel. It uses variable-speed motors which allow them to run at different levels. This way, it doesn’t have to be either off or at full blast. It uses less energy and lasts longer without stopping and starting as often.

Of course, our homeowner still uses her central system. But now, she doesn’t have to use it as much. At night especially, she can turn down the thermostat because the bedroom is treated properly. And, she can wait until later in the fall to turn on the heat. Since the mini-split is more efficient than forced air, she ends up using less energy.

We even made it easier to afford the system up front. Like many utility companies today, ComEd in the Fox River Valley offers cash incentives to install Energy Star appliances. Our homeowner received a $500 rebate on their new system. And, she was approved for zero-interest financing with monthly payments.

Now, she pays just a little each month to finally sleep easy at night. And, with her lower energy bills, it has almost no financial impact.

Do you have a room that’s never warm or cool enough? Contact us, and we’ll design a system that’s perfect for your home and your budget.