Sunrooms add a fantastic new dimension to your home in the warm weather. They combine extra living space with an outdoor vibe and plenty of sunlight. But, when the weather gets colder and the nights get longer, you’ll need some heating to keep enjoying that space.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to treating a space like this, just like there’s no layout for them. You could have a simple enclosed patio, a more sophisticated Florida room or three-season room, or something more like a full addition to the house.
In this post, we’ll look at ways to make a room like this comfortable all year long. Once you have an idea of your options, you can decide what would work best in your house.
And, give us a call at Bovio if you have any questions about what would work best, or how to decide.
We’re based in nearby Sicklerville and have served South Jersey for more than 40 years. We’re certified to install all major HVAC brands. And, we’re a participating contractor with NJ Clean Energy.
Not only are we familiar with the types of houses in South Jersey, but we’ll also connect you with the most reliable, energy-efficient options.
The Best Options for Heating a Medford, NJ Sunroom
When you’re deciding how to heat your sunroom, you need to take into account how big it is, how it’s constructed, and how it’s connected to your home. With those in mind, the best options to consider are:
- Insulating to retain heat
- Portable heating options
- Using your central heater
- Adding a ductless mini-split
Insulating a Sunroom
Depending on the size and setup of your sunroom, you may be able to keep it warm enough with heat from the house. In that case, you can use a few tools and tricks to make sure the room retains that warmth. You can do this with:
- Thick Rugs
- Thermal Curtains
- Heating Mats
Most patios are on concrete slabs. These tend to stay cool, which is great in the summer. Winter is a different story, however.
Laying down rugs or carpeting prevents the concrete from absorbing the room’s heat and leaving the room colder. Plus, the floor will feel warmer. That’s especially helpful if you’re in bare feet or slippers.
It’s up to you whether to lay down permanent carpeting or use an area rug you can pack up for the summer. Either way, the thicker, the better.
This item isn’t insulation. But, we’re listing it here because it works with our last tip. If the rug makes a difference but isn’t quite enough, you can put a heating mat underneath it.
These are a less powerful, and less expensive, version of radiant floor heating. In this case, they’re portable, too. You can put the mat away with the rug for the summer.
Now that the floor is covered — literally! — we can move onto the area that usually loses the most heat: The windows.
If your room is more of an enclosed patio than an addition, the structure is mostly windows. That’s great for letting in sunlight but lousy for keeping in the heat.
That’s where thermal curtains come in. These are heavy enough to prevent heat from escaping out the windows.
And, like the rug and heating mats, they’re easy enough to put up in the fall and take down in the spring.
To make the most of them, close them at night when it’s cold and windy. Then, open them when it’s sunny out. Even though it’s cold out, the sunlight coming through the glass will provide some extra warmth.
Portable Heaters and Electric Fireplaces
Now, let’s look at ways to add heating to your sunroom. If you don’t want to invest in any permanently-installed (read: more costly) options, the next best thing is a portable unit like a space heater or electric fireplace.
The benefit here is a lower cost — upfront, at least. If you only need a little extra heat, one of these can make all the difference.
You can pick one up for anywhere from $50 to a few hundred dollars. It depends on what you need and how fancy you want to get.
An inexpensive space heater really isn’t much to look at, for instance. But, a nice electric fireplace will cost a little more, but also become part of the room’s decor.
However, these will also run up your heating bill.
Portable heaters aren’t nearly as efficient as other options. So, you’ll see your electric bill go up while you’re using them.
They’re also not as safe. You have to be careful, especially with space heaters, to turn them off whenever you’re leaving the room for a while. Also, pets and small children need to stay away from them.
Ductwork from Your House
You can turn your three-season room into a year-round living space using the same ductwork and forced-air heat that warms the rest of your house. All you have to do is run more ductwork out to the additions.
The advantage here is having the same firepower that’s warming your whole house handling this room, too. It shouldn’t affect your heating bill as much as a portable heater. And, it’s safer. careful.
Since the furnace is already there, it’s just a matter of running the ducts and adding a vent.
But, doing it isn’t cheap.
Your HVAC installer will design the new routing, fabricate the ducts, and then install them. The more they have to put in, the more expensive it becomes.
And, the new ductwork will affect the rooms inside your home, too. You’ll notice the soffits they build around it when they run it through the other rooms.
And, your thermostat’s location will make a difference. Remember, that’s controlling when the heat turns on and off based on the temperatures.
The room with the thermostat is usually warmer than an enclosed patio. So, it’s going to turn off the heat before it treats the addition completely.
However, if you have ductwork and a thermostat close to the sunroom, this can work out.
Ductless Heating for Sunrooms Near Medford, NJ
Adding ductless heating to a sunroom gives you the power of central heating with some of the flexibility of the portable units. It’s a considerable upfront investment. But, the upside is better heating — and cooling! — for the room with less impact on your energy bills.
You can read up about how it works here. But, what you need to know is that these use a heat pump outside than transfers thermal energy, and an air handler that circulates the treated air inside.
The advantage is that they’re easy to install almost anywhere. We only need to run a few lines between the two components. Most times, they fit behind the walls where you can’t see them.
And, the air handler has a thermostat on it. That means it regulates the temperature based on how hot or cold the room is where it’s located. It’s not relying on a gauge somewhere else in the house.
Another benefit? These units also provide cooling for the summertime.
Now, there’s the larger upfront cost to consider. But, these are also high-efficiency units. That means they’ll make less of an impact on your energy bills than portable units.
And, since they use less energy, you can apply for rebates from NJ Clean Energy. Depending on what model you get, these offers can knock a few hundred dollars off the price.
We mentioned before that Bovio is a participating contractor with NJ Clean Energy. That means we know all about these offers, which models qualify, and how to apply for them.
And, of course, we’ve got an excellent reputation in Medford, Sicklerville, Cherry Hill, and all over South Jersey when it comes to HVAC installations. If you’re considering adding heating and cooling to make your sunroom usable all year, give us a call. Starting with a free consultation, we’ll help you find the system that’s just right for your home.