Problem: Our New Castle, DE homeowners wanted to convert an unused attic space above their garage into a playroom for their grandchildren, but the space had no heating or cooling.
Solution: Installed a single-zone ductless mini split with a floor-mounted air handler. It provides perfect comfort all year without adding more ductwork.
Our New Castle, DE homeowners wanted to make a special place for their grandchildren to play when they came over. They had the perfect spot: The unused attic space over the garage in their sprawling rancher home.
They planned a complete remodel, including building a staircase and doorway so the kids could get to it from the main part of the house. The only challenge?
Keeping it comfortable.
The rest of the home got its heating and cooling through a Bryant ducted heat pump system. But, since the attic was originally only for storage, it didn’t have ductwork or vents leading to it.
During the design process, our homeowners considered their options: They could go with baseboard heaters and maybe a ceiling fan or portable air conditioner.
Or, shell out thousands of dollars more to add a ducted run to this part of the house.
However, none of those options were ideal. They either wouldn’t work that well or would cost a lot to run.
Or, they’d cost a lot and still not work that well!
But, once they heard about mini split systems, they knew they had found the solution that fit the bill.
In this case study, we’ll cover:
- How Ductless Systems Work
- Single-Zone Mini Split For A Renovation
- Mini Split Installation In New Castle, DE
How Ductless Systems Work
This New Castle, DE home used a ducted heat pump for heating and cooling. So our homeowners had a basic idea of how these systems worked:
Instead of generating heat by burning fossil fuels, the heat pump draws thermal energy from outside in the wintertime and sends it inside to heat the house.
Then, in the summer, the system draws the heat from the house and sends it outside.
But, the ductless part was new.
Instead of having a vent in the room, they’d install an air handler. This indoor unit draws in the air from the room, cools or heats it, and then recirculates it.
Instead of ducts, it connects to the heat pump outside with just a few small, flexible lines that run a refrigerant liquid in a closed loop between the two units.
When that liquid heats up, it carries the heat from the heat pump to the air handler, or vice versa, depending on the season.
Since the system only moves heat, not air, there’s no need to add ductwork. Instead, the mini split installers run the lines through the wall like electrical wiring.
Single-Zone Mini Split For A Renovation
And, they’ll get the exact temperature they want in there all the time.
The air handler has a built-in thermostat. So, it turns on and off (or speeds up and slows down) based on how hot or cold that room gets at any time.
It’s much more precise than relying on a thermostat halfway across the house.
It holds a more consistent temperature than conventional furnaces or central air. That’s because the heat pump can run at various speeds instead of just turning on or off with no other options.
As a result, it often runs in a low-power mode that consistently maintains the temperature. It’s much more comfortable than a single-stage setup that only turns on after the room becomes five or ten degrees hotter or colder than our homeowners want.
That’s also important because it’s complementing the existing system: Even though this room was never treated before, it still gets some heating and cooling from the rest of the house.
Now, instead of overdoing it with a second system, the mini split adds just enough heating and cooling at any given moment to create the perfect climate for the playroom.
Mini Split Installation In New Castle, DE
It took our mini split installers less than a day to add the single-zone system to this New Castle, DE home. Once our homeowner chose the system, all the contractor had to do was mount the air handler against the wall inside, mount the heat pump outside, and run the lines between them.
Most ductless systems use a wall-mounted air handler that sits close to the ceiling. In this case, the installer went with a low-wall unit that sits on the floor. That’s because the attic had a pitched roof with only knee walls.
But, the floor unit works just as well — another testament to the versatility of a ductless system!
If you’re planning a renovation or a redesign for your home, click below for a free consultation to learn how a mini split can add more comfort to your reimagined home.