As the colder temperatures begin tapering off, you may be noticing that your sunroom is beginning to feel a bit toasty, especially when there’s a day with full sunshine. Cool days and a possible snow shower are still possible, but the period of humidity and heat are inevitable in just a short time. If you have not added a cooling element to your indoor/outdoor living space or you are in the process of initiating a sunroom installation, take a moment to learn about a few options that we discussed briefly in our previous Prepping for Spring and Summer post.
Piggybacking off your existing HVAC system is the optimal choice for enabling year-round use of your sunroom. You’ll need to work with a professional to determine if your unit has the capacity to cool the additional space and if it will be possible to extend the current ductwork. If the ductwork is extended, temperature will be consistent throughout the home or you can install an independent thermostat that controls the air in the sunroom only. Vents can be installed under the floor or in the wall if the sunroom has glass ceilings.
Ductless Mini Splits
A very popular option, ductless mini splits have high energy efficiency, do not obstruct windows, and do not produce much noise. They are wall or ceiling mounted, stand-alone units, with no reliance on a connection to your main HVAC system or extension or modification to ductwork. This will be the best option to cool your room if you do not have central air.
There are two major components, the outdoor compressor and condenser and the indoor handling unit. They are linked together via a conduit which contains the power cable, tubing, and drain. The indoor portion is fairly discreet and comes in a variety of models and finishes that allow you to retain the general aesthetic of your space and to adequately accommodate the size of the room. This system that is a less invasive install than HVAC extension, also allows for heating and can typically be controlled using a handheld remote.
Window or Portable Units
A lower cost, reduced effort option for keeping your sunroom cool is to install a window unit. The ability to move forward with this choice depends on the type of windows in the room and the supporting walls. If your windows will work, make sure that you are choosing an energy efficient model with the proper BTUs to cool the space. Be sure to locate a spot that will allow for the least obstruction of view. An added benefit to window units is that you can remove them during the cooler months with minimal effort.
In some cases, it may be more feasible to go with something requiring no installation. Portable units can provide heating and cooling when you need it, without becoming a permanent fixture. The only requirements are having an outlet to plug the machine into and a small widow to vent the air. Downsides are that they are not extremely effective or efficient and the bulkiness of the appliance will take up usable space.
If you need a simple solution, basic cooling, or have a screened in porch, a ceiling fan may work best for you. Fans will circulate air and create a gentle breeze. Look for a model with energy efficiency and an energy star rating. These will operate more efficiently and reduce utility costs. Before going through with this option, make sure you have the height clearance to install the fan. Ceilings of 8’ or higher are ideal. You can even combine fans with other cooling options to achieve the same desired temperature, but less reliance on the air conditioning units.
Before moving forward with any of these options, take into consideration your budget and feasibility to accommodate any equipment. A professional will be able to help you identify the best option. Please contact us with any questions, we are here to help!