Building a two-story addition is a sure way to give your family some extra space and increase your property value, but if you don’t plan the heating and cooling carefully, your addition could become a drain on your resources. To keep your new addition comfortable and affordable, you’ll need to choose between extending your current heating and cooling system, upgrading your system, or installing a separate system just for the new rooms.
Extending your system – If your current HVAC system is less than 10 years old and can handle the added space, you can simply extend the ductwork into the addition. This is more efficient if you have a zoned forced-air system. Making the addition a separate zone allows you to condition it only as needed to save energy.
Upgrading your system – Systems more than 10 years old are typically 20 percent less efficient than newer HVAC systems. If your current equipment is older than this, consider installing a new energy-efficient HVAC system sized to handle your home with the addition included. With more efficient equipment, you may be able to condition your entire home with a smaller system. To get the most from your new heating and cooling system, take steps to improve your whole home’s energy efficiency, such as sealing air leaks.
Installing a dedicated HVAC system – The shorter ducts in a new system may make it more energy efficient to install an HVAC system, especially for the addition rather than extending the existing ductwork. A furnace and A/C or heat pump sized for the addition is just one option. You may find it more cost-effective to install a ductless mini-split system or a high-velocity mini-duct system. Hydronic radiant systems, which use tubing embedded in the floor and ceiling, offer another possibility. Finding the most energy-efficient method for heating and cooling a two-story addition can be tricky due to the need to calculate heating/cooling loads and system capacities.
For professional guidance on choosing the system that’s right for your home, please contact us at Pipe Works Services Since 1998, we’ve been providing reliable HVAC services throughout Morris, Union, Somerset, and Essex counties. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Chatham, NJ, and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).