Heat the Bonus Room Over Your Garage in Avalon, NJ

A bonus room or attic-style space over your garage adds extra space to your home year-round — as long as it’s properly heated, of course. Otherwise, it’s going to get pretty uncomfortable during the winter in Avalon, NJ. Three great options for keeping it warm are:

  • Adding insulation
  • Adding extra ductwork
  • Portable or installed floor heating
  • Ductless heating and cooling

Why Does the Room Above Your Garage Need Extra Heat?

The room above your garage often needs extra heat because it’s not as insulated as the other rooms. By nature, they’re usually not attached on all sides. Plus, the space underneath them is open and drafty.

There’s often no HVAC in a garage, so there’s no heat rising to the room. And, any warmth in the room can escape through the floor as well as the walls or ceiling.

We usually see this problem in suburban homes such as split ranches. And, down the shore, there are plenty of raised homes with living space above the garage.

Whether you live in your home year-round or rent it out for the summer, maintaining the right temperature is always important. The big reason is comfort. Then, there’s knowing your home is secure during the off-season when you’re not there.

One other distinction: These are usually called bonus rooms because they’re making use of space that you otherwise wouldn’t consider a living area.

These are typically the attic-style rooms where you’ve built out above the garage. Sloped ceilings and knee-walls are common features.

Other Rooms Above a Garage

For our purposes here, we’re also thinking about areas that look like any other part of the house. But, they’re above the garage and need some extra HVAC attention.

And, as we mentioned, a lot of houses near the Jersey Shore also have living rooms and apartments above the garages. The closer to the water, the more frequent these designs become.

There are plenty of common factors for all these designs. But, they also have some distinct considerations. As we move through the options below, we’ll address how those specific factors come into play.

Meanwhile, feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions! There are a lot of factors at play here. And, at some point, you’ll want a professional to come in for a thorough assessment of how much heating you’ll need.

Broadley’s has worked with residents and property owners in here in Avalon, Ocean City, Upper Township, Marmora and other Jersey shore points for nearly a century.

Not only are we skilled and up to date on all the latest HVAC tools and trends. We also know plenty about the different types of houses there are around here — and what the best ways are to treat them.

Adding Insulation

First, we’ll start by keeping in the heat before moving into options that generate more warmth. You can do that by adding insulation either to the room in question or the area below it.

This strategy takes care of the drafts you get when other rooms don’t surround this one. It may be enough on its own if the space stays at least somewhat warm. Or, you can use it along with other solutions.

In many cases, this is the least expensive option. You can start by adding the insulation to the garage ceiling.

It’s most likely unfinished, and you can get right to the rafters. Then, less heat will escape that way. And, the floor above it won’t feel as cold.

Meanwhile, if the room itself is unfinished, or if you’re renovating, now’s the time to seal it the right way!

Insulate the walls the ceiling to make sure you keep in the heat for the winter.

In some cases, this will be all you need. If the area above the garage is a living room, for instance, it’s probably getting a lot of airflow from the surrounding rooms and isn’t too bad.

However, if it’s more exposed or only has a doorway leading to it, insulation may not be enough.

Use Your Furnace

If you need to add heat, the first thing to consider is whether it’s worth it to add ductwork and a vent. Depending on the layout, the easiest solution could be tapping into the furnace.

However, there are a few potential drawbacks.

First, to be cost-effective, you’d need ductwork already close to the room. If there’s a vent on the other side of the wall, for instance, we can probably use that duct.

If not, you’re looking at adding a few hundred dollars — at least — to design, fabricate and run more ductwork.

Then, there’s the problem of uneven heating. It’s why we’re talking about this in the first place. This room is colder in the winter than others.
And, the thermostat is in the warmer area. So, it’s going to reach its call temperature and shut off the furnace before the room in question gets adequately treated.

Now, adding insulation could help matters. But, you could still end up with a room colder than the others. It depends a lot on the layout.

Radiant Floor Heating

In most cases, adding radiant floor heating would mean getting underneath the floorboards and putting in a permanent installation. It’s an option you can use to heat a whole house, so it’s definitely enough for one room. And, it’s independent of your central system. You’d get all the heat you need, regardless of the rest of your home.

With a system like this, you’re putting electric heating coils in the floor. They warm the room from the ground up.

For a space like this, in particular, you’re not going to worry about a cold floor anymore!

However, it’s a big move to make. Once again, it’s easiest if the room is unfinished or if you’re remodeling. If not, you’re looking at ripping up the floorboards.

But, there are some smaller options, too. For much less than the installation, you can buy portable heating mats that fit neatly under throw rugs or area rugs.

They’re not nearly as powerful. But, there’s no installation, and you can remove these easily in the summer.

If the room is just a little chilly, or your biggest concern is a cold floor, you’ve got a few options to consider here.

Ductless Heating and Cooling for a Room Above the Garage

Ductless heating and cooling can give you the best of all the options we’ve gone over so far. It’s as powerful as your furnace, and you can treat the one room where there’s a problem. Plus, it’s easy to install, and energy-efficient, too.

The only potential drawback is the price tag. But, if you want to go this route, we can help you defray that cost.

You’ll often hear these referred to as ductless mini splits. That’s because it’s split into two parts.

There’s a heat pump outside that’s responsible for gathering heat, amplifying it, and sending it into your home (As long as it’s warmer than negative 13 degrees Fahrenheit, the pump can do the job).

Inside, we permanently mount an air handler on the wall. This part circulates the treated air. It has a thermostat so you can set it exclusively for the room where you installed it. That’s a big advantage over relying on the thermostat in the living room.

If you wanted, you could use these for your entire house by adding more air handlers. In this case, though, we’re thinking about just one in the room above your garage.

Another perk? These also offer cooling. It comes in handy if the same room gets too hot in the summer.

Rebates for High-Efficiency HVAC Installations

Now, as we mentioned, the one drawback in many cases is the price. But, if that’s too much to lay out for one room, we can help you apply for some sizable rebates.

Right now, you can get a few hundred dollars or more off the cost of the equipment and installation thanks to NJ Clean Energy.

As part of an incentive program to use less natural resources, this group offers cashback when you install high-efficiency equipment like this.

If you’re interested in the rebate, we can help you choose a model that qualifies, and make sure you’ve got all your paperwork in order.

Or, we’ll help you determine just how much heating the room needs and what the best option is for your home. Either way, with Broadley’s, you’ll be all set for the winter.