Convert Your Garage to a Living or Work Space: What Is Involved?
As you plan to convert your garage to a living or work space, make choosing how you plan to cool and heat it a priority. It may affect how you design and use the space, along with the extent to which you need to insulate it to maintain reasonable energy bills and comfort year-round.
- Tapping into your home’s current HVAC system. If you have a forced-air heating and cooling system, you may be able to extend air ducts to the garage. The best way to determine if it has sufficient capacity is to contact your HVAC contractor first. They use software called Manual J and Manual D to estimate the ideal size for your home and the ductwork capacity and configuration based on a variety of factors, including your home’s overall energy efficiency and size.
- Replacing your current system. The contractor can also inspect your current system. If it’s old and inefficient, you might opt to replace it with a more efficient unit that has the capacity to condition the garage. Even though it requires an investment, over time, you’ll recoup the cost in lower energy bills, even when increasing the livable area of your home.
- Using a separate system. A ductless mini split heat pump both heats and cools spaces. They are an energy-efficient option that is easy to install. One with a high heating efficiency can keep the garage space warm, especially if the walls and ceiling are adequately insulated. Wall air conditioners and vented combustion heaters also work. Each of these is a separate unit, so when you convert your garage to a living or work space, you’ll have to take into account the placement for each. Although ventless heaters are available, they’re only as safe as the oxygen sensor inside them. Try to avoid wall A/C units that use electric heating coils. Electric space heating is the most expensive to use.
As you move forward to convert your garage to a living or work space, contact Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing for professional advice. We’ve provided HVAC services for greater Cincinnati since 1910.
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"We scheduled an estimate AND a tune-up. We knew something was wrong with our furnace, but hoped we could make it through the rest of the season. Upon telling Bill what our furnace was doing, he warned us immediately what the possible outcome was going to be; a cracked heat exchanger. He watched the flames roll backward, tested carbon monoxide levels, which were so high they meter’s last reading was 5,600 before saying “high”. He immediately shut it down, tagged it, and explained that with levels that high and children in our home he wanted off right away. He continued his inspection and showed us via a camera that not only was it cracked in multiple places, but had holes all over it. He gave us a few options for repairing it; his knowledge as well as genuine concern was beneficial and refreshing. Luckily we also scheduled an estimator, Micah, to come too and we were able to get costs between repairing and replacing (with several options). We decided to replace with a much higher efficiency furnace and one sized properly to our home. Hands down, not only did they both provide us great service and knowledge, but without sounding dramatic, they may have saved our lives. This was our first time calling Apollo, but it won’t be our last."
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