Our homeowners are making the most of their cape home in Lawrenceville, NJ. They recently renovated the loft space on the second floor so that it’s now two new bedrooms and a living room. And, they installed a Carrier mini split to keep it comfortable all year’ round.
The new design gives them so much more space without giving up the quaint suburban home they’ve enjoyed for so many years.
The last step, however, was making it usable all year-round.
The upstairs wasn’t designed as a living space. As a result, the home’s forced-air heating and cooling system didn’t reach that far. So, our homeowners called Ice-Man to find out what options they had and what would work best for their home.
This case study takes you through what we noted and considered during our consultation. We’ll look at the pros and cons of a few different options and see how our homeowners arrived at their choice.
Problem: The second floor of a cape home in Lawrenceville, NJ, needed heating and cooling after the owners renovated it to include bedrooms and living space.
Solution: Installed a Carrier mini split with a heat pump and two air handlers. It supplements the forced air system downstairs and offers efficient, customized comfort for this space.
Adding Ductwork Vs. Ductless Mini Split For a Home Renovation
The big question for this Lawrenceville cape home was whether to extend the ductwork, so their central system reached the new rooms. Or, to install a ductless mini split as a supplement system to treat the renovated area.
Our homeowners went in thinking they’d have to use their existing system. At first glance, it makes the most sense. Why install a second system, especially in a house this size?
But, there’s more to consider than using what’s already there — especially with innovative options out there today.
Challenges With Adding Ductwork
In a nutshell, the big problem with adding ductwork is that you’re now making the system work in ways it wasn’t made to do.
First, the heater and air conditioner they had probably wouldn’t be strong enough to cover the extra rooms. Having an oversized heater is a bad idea, so an HVAC system sized for the house wouldn’t be able to handle much more.
The big problem would be not having enough pressure to push the air through the new vents to circulate well.
Next, you’d never get a good reading. There’d still be only one thermostat, and it’s downstairs. Meanwhile, the second floor would be naturally colder in the winter and warmer in the summer.
But, the thermostat would never measure that. Instead, it would turn the system on and off based only on the first floor.
Finally, there’s the expense of adding ductwork. It could easily add a thousand or two to the renovation cost — and, even then, our homeowners wouldn’t get great results.
Benefits of Carrier Ductless For Second-Floor Home Renovation
Our homeowners saw the potential right away when we suggested a Carrier ductless system. As they learned more about them, it seemed more and more like the best way to heat and cool their renovated second floor.
With a ductless mini split, they’d heating and cooling just as powerful as their central system. But, it would be customized and sized just for their new rooms.
The system uses a heat pump outside to transfer the warmth into the home during the winter and out during the summer. Inside, air handlers mounted on the walls circulate the air.
These offer plenty of advantages when it comes to comfort and efficiency. But, the first big benefit was an easy installation.
Those indoor and outdoor components don’t take up a lot of space. And, we connect them using only a narrow lineset that runs through the walls.
This way, there’s no bully ductwork taking up room and driving up the cost. And, they’d barely notice the system — just how comfortable they are.
Benefits of Zoned HVAC
These systems use what we call “Zoned HVAC.” It’s the opposite of centralized heating and cooling where — as we mentioned — one thermostat regulates the entire home.
Instead, we split up the space into “zones” and installed an air handler in each one. Each of those units has a built-in thermostat. So, while they all draw from the same heat pump, they’ll work to address the specific temperature in the area they’re treating.
It’s a huge advantage for a second floor. How often have you noticed bedrooms that are too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer? The zoned approach fixes that.
Plus, these Carrier models are energy-efficient: They use less energy than traditional units that provide the same heating and cooling. That means our homeowners’ new system will hardly make a dent in their electric bill.
Carrier Ductless Installation in a Lawrenceville, NJ Cape Home
Installing the new Carrier ductless mini split was a quick two-day process in this Lawrenceville, NJ cape home. These systems are very flexible, so finding the best spots for each component was fast and easy.
First, we found a nice out-of-the-way spot for the heat pump outside. We positioned it on some gravel and rocks next to the house, so it didn’t sit on the well-kept lawn.
It’s right under a window, but it doesn’t make nearly as much noise as a conventional AC compressor. So, our homeowners won’t notice it at all.
Next, we split the second floor into two HVAC zones and placed the two air handlers on either side of the home. Putting them on the inside of the exterior walls made it easy for us to run the lines and keep them hidden.
Now, our homeowners’ new second floor rooms are complete! They can use the extra living space and bedrooms in any season.
Rebates and Incentives for Carrier Ductless Mini Splits
Our work didn’t stop with the installation: We also helped our homeowner save money by finding rebates and incentives for his new Carrier ductless mini split. In the end, we helped him save $700!
First, Carrier offered a $200 manufacturer’s rebate with the proper paperwork. Then, we identified another $500 rebate through NJ Clean Energy’s Cool Advantage program. We prepared all the documents for both of these and gave them to the homeowner to sign and send out.
That way, the checks come directly to him. Now, while he’s enjoying his state-of-the-art comfort, he’ll get some extra money in the mail for it.
If you want to learn more about how you can bring down your energy bills while staying more comfortable than ever, call or email us today at Ice-Man. Starting with a free consultation, we’ll help you choose the perfect system for your home.