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What are the Best Ways to Heat a Sunroom Near Rochester, NY?

What are the Best Ways to Heat a Sunroom Near Rochester, NY?A sunroom is a great way to expand your home — when the weather’s warm, that is. Once the cold starts rolling in, that room quickly becomes unusable. But, if you add heating, you can turn that enclosed patio into a space that’s usable year-round. [CTA] Now, we understand it’s not that simple. After all, these additions — also called Florida rooms, or enclosed patios, or three-season rooms — are popular in part because they’re an easy, inexpensive way to add a little more living space. Tacking on more costs and construction to add heating seems like it defeats the purpose.

But, optimizing your enclosed patio for the winter is easier than you think. There are plenty of options out there. The best one for you depends on your preferences, the size of the room, and your budget. Meanwhile, if you still have any questions — or want more information —- give Airquip a quick call. We’re well-known throughout Rochester and Upstate New York for our expert heating and cooling service.

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Heating Options for a Sunroom in Rochester, NY

In this post, we’re looking at how to keep the room warm all winter. We’ll start with ways to keep the heat that’s there, then move into heating. Some options are:
  • Insulating products to retain heat
  • Buying a portable heater
  • Adding ductwork and vents

Insulation to keep a sunroom warm

If your sunroom gets a lot of heat from the main rooms in your house, you may not need to invest too much to keep it cozy even during the coldest months. Sure, some Florida rooms are little more than enclosed patios with a simple frame and windows. But, others are more robust with airflow from the house and sturdier walls. In those cases, you can consider:

Thermal Insulated Curtains

These curtains are specially made to keep heat from escaping. They’re especially useful in rooms like these with large windows. Obviously, they work best when they’re covering the windows completely. But, it often helps to leave them open during the day. That way, the sunlight provides extra heat. Then, shut them as it gets dark. That keeps out the wind and keeps in the heat.

Thick rugs

Next, keep the floor — and your feet — warm with heavy rugs. It’s up to you if you prefer to install carpeting or use a throw rug you can pack up for the summer. A concrete slab floor will get cold quickly. So, the rug prevents the heat from getting absorbed. Plus, it will make the floor feel warmer, especially if you’re in bare feet or slippers.

Radiant floor heating

Normally, we’d consider this a major installation. Radiant floor heating in the home is often powerful enough to be a primary heat source. But, for an enclosed patio, you can purchase lower-grade heating mats. These offer supplement heat for when you need a little extra warmth and don't want to make a huge investment. You can also install one permanently under the floorboards. But, that’s something to consider as you’re building or before you put in new flooring.

Portable options including Space heaters and electric fireplaces

Now, let’s talk more about products that will add heat rather than only retain warmth. We’ll start with portable units — ones that you can buy and plug in to use. If you’re not too concerned about aesthetics, just about any old space heater will do. Or, you can add ambiance with an electric fireplace or other, more visually-pleasing, products. These are less expensive than installing permanent HVAC fixtures — upfront, at least. Portable heaters have a much lower price tag than a major installation. But, they’re far less efficient. That means they’ll use a lot of electricity, which hikes up your energy bills. They’re better for supplementing other sources since you can't leave them on all day. In fact, another concern is leaving them unattended. Space heaters especially are a common cause of house fires. To stay safe, you always have to turn it off whenever you’re leaving the room for a while.

Extend Your Home’s Ductwork

If your home has a traditional furnace setup, you can consider running more ductwork to an enclosed patio. It makes sense: The heating source is already there, and it’s handling the rest of the house. Why not just push some of that heating to this room, too?

In some cases, it works. In others, however, it’s not worth the cost. Adding ductwork can easily cost $1,000 after the design, fabrication and installation. The further the room is from existing ducts, the more we’d have to add. Then, the heat is still controlled by the thermostat inside. That usually means the patio stays colder than other rooms. You’re still measuring the temperature in a room that's warmer. However, if the patio is close to the room with the thermostat, and there’s ductwork nearby, this could work for you home. It’s best to have a trusted professional check it out and give you a recommendation.

Ductless Heating and Cooling in a Sunroom

Ductless heating can offer the best of both worlds for a sunroom. You get the power and efficiency of a central unit. But, it’s also customized just for that one part of your home. A ductless system can be a significant investment, but there are also ways to bring down the cost.

If you’re not familiar with how ductless works, here’s a quick primer. First, there’s a heat pump attracts any warmth that’s outside. It amplifies that thermal energy and sends it to an air handler inside to circulate the air. As long as it’s warmer than negative 13 degrees Fahrenheit, there’s enough heat in the air for this to work.
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These systems are powerful enough to treat an entire house. But, for one room, we’d likely use only one air handler. You can choose between one that mounts high on a wall or a unit that sits close to the floor. Of course, one concern is the price. However, they’re high-efficiency appliances. So, they’ll produce the same heat as comparable units.

But, they’ll use less energy, which amounts to a much smaller impact on your energy bills. And, depending on the model you choose, you can get a rebate worth a few hundred dollars from PG&E. The utility company offers cashback incentives for Rochester and other Upstate New York residents to invest in energy-efficient heating and cooling. If you plan to use your Florida room all year, it’s a great way to keep it as warm as the rest of the house in the winter — or as cool as you want in the summer.

Most models offer both heating and cooling. If you’re wondering if ductless or any of these options are right for your home, give Airquip a call. We’ll look at the unique factors in your house and help you find the heating system that will keep your enclosed patio comfortable — and your energy bills reasonable — all year long.
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