Our homeowners are very proud of their new sunroom. Some are merely enclosed patios, but this one is much more sophisticated. It has hardwood floors, a sloped ceiling and paint job that matches the rest of the house. The finishing touch? Ductless heat and air conditioning so they could use it all year.

As the project was underway, our homeowners contacted us. They wanted to find the best way to add climate control to the new room. After all, they’d spared no expense in making it look and feel like part of the house.

At the same time, however, they didn’t want to spend more money than they had to on this part of the project. Already, they’d make some considerable investments. And, they wanted to keep their expenses down one the room was ready.

Problem: A new sunroom in a ranch home in Palatine, IL did not have heating or cooling.

Solution: Installed a Mitsubishi Hyper Heat mini-split with an outdoor condenser and one wall-mounted indoor air handler with iSee sensor.

Adding heating and cooling to a renovation

A sunroom is a popular addition to a home. By enclosing a patio, you can create another room in your home without paying for a more extensive renovation. Without proper heating and cooling, however, you can’t use it all year.

Our homeowners have a forced air hvac system. It uses ductwork and vents to circulate warmth from a natural gas furnace in the winter and central air in the summer. But, of course, no vents were leading outside.

So, when they built the new room, there was nothing in place to keep it warm in the winter or cool in the summer. They considered a few different options, but none were ideal.

One solution would be to build new ductwork leading there. But, that would be very expensive to do so. And, it would never get the temperature quite right.

The forced air system is controlled by one thermostat in the living room. But, that room is much better insulated. It will reach the temperature our homeowners want quickly. Then, the system will shut off before adequately treating the new room.

They also considered space heaters and window air conditioners. But space heaters can be a hazard. People, especially children, can get burned if they get too close or touch it. And, it’s not safe to leave it on for hours unattended. It could start a fire if it falls over.

Window air conditioners also pose a safety hazard: They’re easy to remove. That means a burglar can just push it in and gain access to the home.

On top of that, they’re loud and inefficient. Our homeowners didn’t want to see their energy bills skyrocket in the summer just to have a constant rattle and bulky unit affecting the look and feel of their brand-new space.

These are common challenges. As a result, many people decide not to treat a room like this. Instead, they just use it a few months out of the year, when the weather is just right. But, we had a solution for our homeowners that would make the room comfortable all year long.

Zoned hvac with ductless heat and air conditioning

Mitsubishi ductless air conditioning and heat offers the same power of a central hvac system. But, it’s much easier to install. And, it uses less energy. That means it won’t impact our homeowner’s energy bills nearly as much as their other options.

These systems are often called mini-splits because it’s a two-part setup. It starts with an outdoor condenser. This unit operates a panel, or air handler, inside the home. They’re connected by small plastic tubing that sits neatly in between rafters inside the wall.

The panel has a thermostat built into it. This creates a zone that our homeowners can control apart from the rest of the house. This way, they can set the temperature however they want in the addition. The mini-split will warm or cool the area accordingly, regardless of the rest of the house.

We always mount the air handler in an out-of-the-way spot. They’re designed to sit high on a wall. So, we placed it between the sliding doors and large casement windows. We followed the lines of the top frames for both, so the panel blends in with them.

It’s placed well behind the sofa, so no one is facing it when they’re sitting down. And, it’s whisper-quiet even at full blast. The “loudest” an air handler gets is less than 22 decibels. That’s lower than a whisper or rustling leaves.

Energy efficiency with ductless air conditioning and heat

Thanks to the new mini-split, this sunroom now has efficient cooling and heating. It never has hot or cold spots, and it’s always just the right temperature. It’s also safer and costs less to run than our homeowner’s other options.

The panel is equipped with an i-See sensor. It monitors the entire room for temperature variations. It can also tell if someone is in the living room or not. When there are people present, it adjusts the temperature accordingly.

The sensor helps our homeowners save money in their energy bills. When there’s no one in the room, the panel goes into energy-saving mode. It knows it doesn’t have to work as hard as when people are there, so it uses less energy. That reduces the impact it has on the electric bill.

Next, the mini-split uses inverter technology to conserve energy and extend its life. It works like cruise control on a car. The system has variable speed motors instead of just on or off options.

This way, it operates at different levels. It doesn’t have to keep turning on and shutting off. When that happens, it wears out more quickly. And, you get some rises and drops in temperatures.

Instead, the panels will quietly run at low, energy-saving levels and only kick into high gear when necessary. Thanks to this feature, homeowners often see savings of around 35 to 40 percent on their energy bills.

Those are savings in the long run, however. Up front, the system is so efficient that our homeowners qualified for a rebate from ComEd.

Like many utility companies today, ComEd offers cash incentives for people to install energy-efficient appliances. In this case, our homeowners received a $500 rebate off their installation cost.

Now, this family has excellent climate control in their beautiful living room. And, they’re paying less than they expected to enjoy it.

Are you looking for an energy-efficient heating and cooling solutions for a new addition? Contact us, and we’ll design a system that’s perfect for your home and your budget.