The worldwide pandemic situation has made it necessary for many families to spend most of their time at home. Instead of going to school each day, many children have had to cope with attending online classes from their homes. Parents have also been affected, with many experiencing temporary layoffs or being forced to transition from a brick-and-mortar workplace to working from home.
In houses where space was already at a premium, finding enough room for each person's work or school activities during pandemic-related shutdowns caused many to make changes in their home's design or layout. While these changes were helpful in adding more space, homeowners may still be struggling to find ways to heat a newly finished space in their garage, attic, or unfinished basement because they lack duct work to connect them to the home's HVAC system.
If you are currently struggling to add comfort to this type of newly finished home office or study space, here are some options to consider.
Newly finished spaces in the home that cannot be easily connected to the home's main heating system may be good candidates for one or more baseboard heaters. When installed correctly, usually near a window or door, baseboard heaters use convection waves to heat a space.
As heat is produced by the baseboard heater, it rises and is caught by air currents that move it throughout the room. Baseboard heaters are available in several sizes, some of which can be hardwired into the home's electrical system for permanent use.
Space heater or fireplace
Another option to supply heat for a newly finished space in the home is a space heater or freestanding fireplace that uses propane, natural gas or electricity. If the home is already plumbed for gas service, choosing a model that uses the same type of fuel can be a convenient option.
Gas fireplaces or space heaters that can be operated without any electricity offer the additional benefit of providing an emergency heat source in the event of a power outage. Both ventless and vented models of gas fireplaces and space heaters are available in variety of sizes for different spaces and heating needs.
Another excellent way to provide heat in a newly finished space with no ducts or vents is a mini-split system. When properly sized for the space, a mini-split system are a compact, quiet source of heat and cooling that requires no ducts, vents or connections with the existing HVAC system.
Mini-split systems are composed of an external unit that connects through the wall to a compact interior head component that houses a powerful fan. Most mini-split systems offer the option to add additional heads to the exterior component to make them capable of heating and cooling larger areas.
A major benefit for homeowners is the fact that mini-splits can be installed quickly, usually in a matter of hours, and they are very economical to operate.
Another excellent source of heat for a newly finished space is the pellet stove. These appliances burn small amounts of highly compressed wood fiber pellets to create comfortable, economical heat.
Pellet stoves are typically freestanding units, although they are also available as inserts that can be installed inside an existing fireplace opening. Freestanding pellet stoves can be safely vented through an exterior wall or ceiling using insulated metal piping and fireproof materials.
Available in many different sizes, pellet stoves use an automated hopper system to store and feed several hours worth of the pellets, making it a convenient method of heat for larger spaces.
To learn more about adding an additional heat source to any newly finished space inside your home, take time to discuss your plans with a heating contractor in your area.