How to Expand Your HVAC System When Expanding Your Home
Deciding to build an addition on your home requires considerable planning. Changes in your electrical, plumbing, and HVAC system will likely be needed to accommodate your addition. While you may have an idea of the necessary steps to follow for expanding your electrical and plumbing system, the same may not be true for your HVAC system. Do you need to replace your entire unit or can it, too, be expanded? Let’s examine what should be done to expand your HVAC system when building an addition on to your existing property.
Deciding Whether or Not an Expansion is Necessary
The contractor or his plumbing contractor overseeing your addition will do a calculation based on several factors, such as the number and location of windows as well as cubic living space, to determine if your current equipment can accommodate the additional new space. If your current unit is not large enough to properly cool and heat your new room, you have two options. You may upgrade your existing unit or install a separate HVAC unit for the new space.
Adding Extra Ductwork
Upgrading your system may simply require adding more ductwork for forced air systems or hot water piping for homes with radiators to the current network. However, this can be difficult, particularly in older homes with older wiring.
Replacing Your Existing Unit
While it’s always an option to exchange your old unit for a new, larger one that can control the entire home, this is an expensive option that may not be required.
Installing a Split HVAC System
You may also elect to use a split HVAC system, also known as a ductless heat pump or a mini-split system. This provides heating and cooling services, requires the least amount of work, and is less expensive than choosing to have your old HVAC completely replaced. Best of all, it’s usually a very energy efficient option. A split HVAC system consists of a blower unit installed on the exterior wall and a condenser unit that sits on the ground outside. Refrigerant lines run between the two; one takes away condensate, while the other delivers electricity.
A split HVAC system requires that a thermostat be placed in the area it is responsible for. This allows for individual control of the temperature within the space. This is particularly beneficial in additions because the new space may be better insulated or have a considerable number of windows, making it more difficult to align the temperature in your home with only your existing thermostat.
Choosing to build an addition on your home is a big decision that requires plenty of little decisions to be made as well. When deciding how to expand your HVAC system, choose the option that best fits your needs. Consult your local HVAC technician if you’re having trouble making a decision.