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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

If you're planning an addition to your home--or you're converting a vacation cabin to year-round use, you're most likely considering your heating options. Perhaps your heating contractor has told you that you'll need an additional furnace for your new room or project, or maybe you don't want or can't run the ductwork.

Is it possible to heat this new living space with a portable space heater? The answer is yes. With one or more space heaters, you won't have to worry about ducts or a new furnace. But another option that both heats and cools is a ductless system. Which is the better option for you? Only you can decide.

What Is a Ductless Mini-split Heat Pump System?

Operating on refrigeration principles, ductless mini-split heat pumps are similar to conventional heat pumps, except:

  • They're more compact.
  • They don't require air ducts.
  • They offer convenient installation options and may be expanded to include additional zones.&

The compact components consist of an outside unit, a thin conduit containing the refrigerant and an indoor air-handling unit. In areas that have snow accumulation, the outside condenser is sometimes mounted off the ground. The indoor air-handling unit--or units--is typically mounted high on walls, or you may select from a host of other options, including ceiling cassette, low-wall mounting and more.

This is a short list of the benefits of ductless systems:

  • Timed or programmed heating (and cooling).
  • Optional air-filtration system acts as a room air purifier.
  • Whisper-quiet operation produces less noise than many portable heaters.
  • Discreet air handler installation doesn't intrude upon floor space.

Portable Space Heater Options

If you're heating your addition or vacation cabin with a portable space heater--or perhaps more than one--you need to keep some things in mind.  Here are some basic guidelines:

  • Safety is always important. Purchase portable heaters with UL listing.
  • Select a heater with thermostat control to prevent overheating a room and to save energy.
  • Match the heater’s output to the size of the room you’re heating.
  • Place the heater on a level surface, away from foot traffic.
  • For the safety reasons, avoid portable combustion heaters.

For more information about ductless systems or portable heaters, contact a contractor. We serve homeowners in Chicago, northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan.

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