An addition to a house takes a lot of effort in both the design and construction phase, as there are plenty of details to go over. However, along the process, it's important that you don't overlook just how you'll keep the space comfortable, especially during the warmer parts of the year. Whether it's a bedroom, library, den, or any other space, discover some of the options you have for keeping the new addition cool and comfortable.
The most practical option for cooling the new space in your home is to simply expand your duct system to reach the new area. However, while simple, it's not a universal approach. Your current system has to leave you with a little wiggle room.
Keep in mind that the amount of air a unit can produce is fixed. If your existing system is barely large enough for the square footage and layout of your current home, expanding the ducts will lower the unit's cooling power and make your home less comfortable. A technician can examine the size of your unit and the size of the addition to determine if this is an option.
If the addition is on the smaller side, you might be able to upgrade your unit to a system that offers a zoned cooling feature. Zoned cooling is just as it sounds, in that the unit operates based on a preset zone. For instance, each level in a house could represent a different zone.
Typically, you can upgrade to this feature without the need to install a new unit, as a damper installation can typically accommodate this upgrade. Additionally, if the addition is an area you won't use often, such as a guest bedroom suite, zoned cooling will keep you from cooling the space when it's not in use.
For large additions, a new unit is often the better option. If you're significantly extending the size of your home, likely, the existing unit will not be able to accommodate the size of the addition. However, it's also important to consider cost. Air conditioning units are in part priced based on their tonnage, which determines the amount of surface area they can cool.
The greater the tonnage, the costlier the unit. If you already had a large unit, the cost to upgrade can increase significantly. In terms of cost-effectiveness, it sometimes makes more sense financially to simply install an additional smaller unit to service the new area.
An air conditioning professional can do far more than repair your unit. A technician can also help you select which cooling option you should choose, as well as assist with your installation needs. Ask for as much assistance as you need.