What Is the Best Way to Heat the Space in a New Home Addition?

Putting an addition onto a home is a great way to get the extra space you need, but it will also require a lot of planning and preparation. One area you should analyze and talk about involves the heating system you will need in the new space. Here are several things you will need to consider as you make this big decision.

The Options You May Have

While every house is different, there are still usually three main options you may have for adding heating to an addition on a home, which are these:

  1. Install a new system for just the addition—With this option, you will keep your current heating system for the purpose it now serves and add a second system that will heat and cool the new space you add to your home.
  2. Connect your current system to the addition—It may also be possible to simply add another zone from your current system to the new space. With this method, you could avoid purchasing a new furnace, and you could complete the process by adding ductwork and registers to the addition.
  3. Replace your existing system and then connect it to your addition—Installing a brand-new system that will control the entire home (old space and new space) is also an option when putting an addition on a home.

These are the three main choices you may have; however, you should discuss your decision with an HVAC contractor before making up your mind. The HVAC contractor will look into several important factors before giving you advice.

The Factors That Will Help You Make This Decision

The contractor will want to see several things before giving you advice, and this includes your home as it is now, the area where the addition will go, and your current heating system. By looking at these three things, the contractor may be able to tell you which option will be best, and this decision will be based on the following:

  • The condition and age of your existing system—According to Energy Star, you should replace your furnace if it is 15 years old. If your system is this old, or close to it, your contractor will probably suggest replacing it with a system that is large enough to heat the entire home. Newer systems operate more efficiently than older ones. While a new system will be a large investment, it may help you save money on your energy bills for years to come.
  • The size of your existing system—As the contractor looks at your system, he or she may find that it is not even large enough to heat the new space you will add. If this is the case, the contractor may recommend putting in a separate system for your addition, or he or she might suggest replacing the old system with a new one that is much larger than the existing system.
  • The location of the new space in comparison to your existing system—Another factor that affects this decision is the space between the furnace and the new addition. As heat moves from the furnace to rooms in a home, it loses efficiency. If the addition is located on the opposite side of the house as the existing furnace, installing a separate system might be the best and most efficient solution for your situation.

Making the right decision is important, but it's hard to say what the best answer is for your home without consulting with an HVAC contractor. If you would like to find out more about your options, contact a company that specializes in furnace replacement services, like HomeSmart From Xcel Energy.