An Expert’s Guide to Heating & Cooling a Sunroom

An Expert’s Guide to Heating & Cooling a Sunroom
  • Opening Intro -

    Sunrooms can drastically enhance the value of one's home in a variety of ways.

    They can be decorated to match whatever aesthetic you desire and are optimal for any type of social gathering.

    They can be the focal point of a small hangout or serve as an escape from a larger party in the house.


During the summer, sunrooms provide a similar ambiance of the outdoors without the negatives such as bugs, excessive heat or humidity, and dirt. In the winter, one can watch the snow fall and feel surrounded by the elements from the comfort of indoors.

Depending on your area’s climate, you might not be able to enjoy your sunroom year-round, but you can lengthen your outdoor enjoyment. If you want to utilize your sunroom regardless of the outside temperature, you’re in luck. There is a variety of heating and cooling options that allow homeowners to relax in their sunroom throughout the year, regardless of the weather outside. Read below to learn more about your options!

Ductless Heating and Cooling

Offering versatility and complete climate control, ductless heating and cooling units are an excellent option for controlling the temperature in your sunroom. Because they require no ductwork, they can save you money if your home isn’t already equipped with ducts or if you’re building your sunroom as an addition.

You can install these options virtually anywhere in the room, and they come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles

Heightened efficiency lowers their operating cost, which saves money over the long term. These systems use an individual fan and an evaporator unit to alter the temperature of your sunroom.

It is very easy to control the room’s temperature, and you can turn them on or off when not in use to save energy. Many ductless systems also have Wi-Fi capability that will allow you to control the system remotely via an App on your phone. With their quiet operation, you won’t hear anything as you relax in your sunroom!

Expanded HVAC System

One of the most common options is expanding your already existing central air system into the sunroom, assuming that you already have one. Since it’s under the same operating system as the rest of your house, it’s very easy to control the temperature from the thermostat or with smart technology.

You can also install a separate thermostat in the sunroom if you desire a different temperature from the rest of your house. This makes your sunroom accessible regardless of the outdoor temperature.

However, if your home has only one central system, this additional thermostat wouldn’t separate or isolate the sunroom’s temperature from the rest of the house. Any temperate adjustment would impact the whole house unless the sunroom was zoned off (separated) from the remainder of the house via another system.

Several elements must be considered before moving forward with this option. Expansion can be expensive, and the renovation work could prolong the project. Additionally, this is not a DIY project, and you must speak with a professional HVAC technician. They will assess your current system and ensure that it can handle heating and cooling another room.

They will also have knowledge of the industry’s most trusted brands and make any other necessary recommendations. If your house does not have a central HVAC system, don’t worry. There’s a litany of other options available.


Portable Heating and Cooling Units

Portable heating and cooling units function similarly to the more common and well-known window models but are easier to install. All it requires is a small window or opening to vent the air outward and an electrical outlet.

Some homeowners prefer them because they don’t stick out from the window, which can affect the visual appeal of the home from the outside. However, these units are fairly bulky and can take up space inside the room. Similar to other non-central units, it can take time to get the room to the desired temperature.

Space Heaters

Another excellent option for your sunroom is a space heater. An efficient and cost-effective source of heat, space heaters can be used in smaller sunrooms, as they do not take up much space. However, they are not without fault. Since they are not connected to the main HVAC system in your home, they must be manually turned on and off.

They also take time to heat up and get going. Finally, their small size and limited heating capacity means they are not ideal for larger sunrooms. Space heaters also need to be monitored and are not ideal for long-term solutions.

Window A/C Unit

Window air conditioning units are another excellent choice to cool your sunroom. If your central HVAC system cannot handle heating and cooling another room or your home does not have one at all, window units are a perfect alternative. They are very affordable and simple to install.

Each time you walk into your sunroom, simply flick your window unit on to lower the temperature. However, it will take some time for the cold air to circulate, especially if it is a larger room.

other valuable tips:

Since they are separate from your central unit, there may be a slight increase in your heating bill. Therefore, it is important to turn it off after you leave the room. Window unit efficiency ratings (SEER) are much lower than options available in a ductless mini-slit system.

Non-HVAC Options

Installing blinds or curtains or tinting the windows can keep the sun out and naturally cool the room. Another option is flooring. For example, carpet acts as an insulator for heat, which naturally increases the temperature, while tile flooring gives off a cooler feel.

Finally, overhead fans are a viable cooling option. They are fairly cheap, efficient, and easy to install, and circulating air throughout the room will naturally lower the temperature.


Use Your Sunroom Year-Round!

Your sunroom doesn’t have to sit unused during the winter. With one of the many aforementioned heating and cooling techniques, it can be enjoyed year-round in many areas of the country. Enjoy the view from your temperature-controlled sunroom on a hot summer day or a brisk winter night.

Make sure you consult with a professional in your area before moving forward with any of the options, as some of them can be dangerous to install yourself.

Author Bio: Emily Hodges is a Marketing Communications Specialist for Comfort Up, a provider of indoor and outdoor heating and cooling systems. Emily oversees all marketing related functions from their Miami, FL office. In her spare time, she loves all things interior design and has helped many friends completely renovate their homes.

Image credit: Pixabay

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