HVAC for Your Sunroom: What are the Options?

By Emily Klump on 05/25/2021

Add a patio sunroom to your house, and you can enjoy the outdoors without having to go outside! A sunroom allows you to avoid the less desirable parts of nature, such as bugs and extreme temperature. Before you soak in the sun’s rays from the comfort of your home, you need to find the best way to heat or cool your sunroom.

The sunroom functions more like an enclosed patio than a regular room in your home, so the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system in this room does not need to match the entire system. Some options provide only heating or cooling, while others provide both. Some require more work but cost less, while others cost more upfront but have higher energy efficiency.

Consider these options when deciding on the HVAC system for your sunroom:

Cooling Only

If you live in an area that is warm year-round, or you rarely use the sunroom, you can purchase a window unit. They require no ductwork or additional installations, and easily exhaust humidity and heat. Drawbacks of using window units include manual operation, a slow cooling process, and low energy efficiency, leading to increases in monthly energy bills.

Heating Only

If you plan to use your sunroom in the colder months and have a different system for cooling, a space heater will easily warm the room and stay cost effective. Space heaters do take a long time to heat up and cause the room to feel drafty. Just like with window unit air conditioners, someone must manually turn the heater on and off.

Heating and Cooling Options

Packaged Air Conditioner

Despite its name, a packaged air conditioner both cools and heats. Many commercial facilities use this system, but they also work well in sunrooms as they do not require any ductwork. Installing this system requires many accessories such as a grill, installation sleeve, remote controls, hard wiring connections, and a separate thermostat.

HVAC vents

If your house already uses a central HVAC system, you can expand that system to include your sunroom. You can control the temperature in the sunroom using the same system and will not require a separate thermostat. No one needs to worry about manually turning anything on or off either. If your home uses a smart thermostat, you can include the sunroom in that system.

However, since the sunroom has so many windows, it might not match the temperature of the rest of the house if put on the same system. You also must consider the high cost of installation before deciding on this system.

Ductless Mini-Split System

A ductless mini split system heats or cools your sunroom while staying energy efficient. A ductless system allows the sunroom to use its own separate thermostat. Although installation costs a lot upfront, you will soon see a lower energy bill each month.

Fun fact: Many states offer cash rebates as an incentive to install a mini-split system!

How to Maximize Efficiency

The way you decorate your sunroom can go a long way to maximize the efficiency of the HVAC system. After you decide which system works best for your sunroom, use these other strategies to keep the room at the temperature you want:

  • Add thick carpet to improve insultation in the winter.
  • Use windows with thick glass and vinyl trim.
  • Use doors and windows constructed to retain heat.
  • Use blinds or drapes to provide insulation and control the amount of sunlight in the room.
  • Use a ceiling fan to make the room feel cooler without changing the temperature.
  • Install a fireplace for the winter months.
  • Add or improve the existing insulation.

Your sunroom is a unique space in your house, so choose the system that allows you to enjoy the room to the fullest. HomElectrical sells a variety of HVAC system equipment at competitive retail prices!

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