How to Heat and Cool Third-Floor Rooms in Avalon, NJ Homes
Heating and cooling third-floor rooms in homes is a common problem for luxury houses in places like Avalon, NJ — and anywhere, really. Fortunately, new HVAC technology can do what traditional heaters and air conditioners often can’t: Offer comfortable climate control that can make every room in your house the same temperature.
In particular, we’re talking about ductless mini splits. These setups draw heating and air conditioning from an outdoor heat pump.
Then, inside, air handlers circulate the treated air wherever you need it.
The systems have been popular and very common in Europe for decades. And, over the last ten or so years, it’s been catching on here in the U.S.
That’s especially so as the technology gets better and better — to the point where you can use them for virtually all of your HVAC needs today.
In this article, we’ll look at why those third-floor rooms are often so uncomfortable. And, we’ll look at the drawbacks of older solutions.
Finally, we’ll dig into how the mini splits work, why they’re so effective, and some of their other benefits.
Meanwhile, if you have any questions, or want to know if a setup like this would work in your Jersey shore home, call or email us here at Broadley’s.
Why Are Third Floor Rooms Too Hot or Too Cold?
Third-floor rooms are often too hot or too cold for two big reasons: First, heat rises to the top floor of the house. Second, there’s usually only one thermostat in a home. It’s usually on the first floor. From there, it can’t accurately gauge what’s happening two stories up.
Let’s look at these a little closer.
Hot Air Rises
Hot air rising is a fundamental law of physics. So is the fact that heat always moves toward cold areas.
In the summer, then, hot air moves up until it collects on the top floor. But, since the air outside is even hotter, the thermal energy tends to accumulate up there.
It makes that area exceptionally warm.
The air moves the same way in the winter. But, now the air outside is much colder.
So, after the top floor pulls a lot of heat from the levels below it, that warmth starts finding any way out it can: Through cracks, openings around windows, and through uninsulated attics and crawl space.
Only One Thermostat
Maybe this wouldn’t be as much of a problem if you could get the right amount of cooling or heat up there. But, with only one thermostat, this usually doesn’t happen.
If you only have one temperature gauge — the case for most homes— then it’s not taking accurate readings for the entire house.
And, since the system usually treats the first floor best, the thermostat tells your HVAC to turn off once that area is at the temperature you want.
So, you’re first dealing with natural heat problems. But, after that, your system isn’t staying on long enough to address the third floor. That makes it even more noticeable.
These problems are the same for two-story houses. But, a home with a third story has it even worse. For starters, the thermostat is even further from the top floor. And, forced-air systems usually can’t push enough heat or conditioned air all the way up from the ground level.
Drawbacks of Having Two Furnaces
For a long time, the best solution was twin furnaces: Two units, each with a dedicated thermostat. One handles the first and second floors. The other is dedicated to a third, or even fourth, story.
It makes sense: this way, there’s a gauge dedicated to those areas of your home. And, when the forced air bypasses the bottom floors, there’s more for the problem areas.
But it’s far from perfect.
First of all, it’s costly. You’re now using twice the fuel or electricity. Then, it’s two units to maintain.
Since it only works if you install a pair of the same model furnace, it’s even more important to keep them in good shape.
The same goes for air conditioners. And, two of these units gets really, really noisy.
Finally, it often won’t even work as well as you’d think. It still takes a lot of force and pressure to get the treated air up two or even three or four floors, even if you’re not losing pressure on the way up there.
In short, it can be a significant investment with too little a return. There’s a better way.
Mitsubishi Ductless Mini Splits Heat and Cool Third-Floor Rooms
Ductless mini splits can give you even heating and cooling — no hot and cold spots — in every room in the house. It works because it uses air handlers different parts of your house, and each one of those has a thermostat and separate controls.
While there’s one heat pump powering them all, every air handler works on its own.
So, let’s say your living room feels fine, but the third-story bedroom is too cold. The air handler downstairs powers down while the one upstairs keeps working.
In Avalon, NJ, where many luxury homes have three stories, or anywhere on the Jersey shore, where rentals often have a third floor or fourth floor with multiple bedrooms, this makes a huge difference when it comes to comfort.
And, you can install these systems without adding new ductwork or taking up a lot of space.
Each air handler mounts to the wall. Or, in some cases, you can opt for one that recesses into the ceiling.
These connect to a heat pump outside using a few refrigerant lines. Since these lines are narrow and flexible, it’s easy to run them along the walls or even behind them.
As a result, you place the air handlers virtually anywhere in the house. Then, we just run them outside to the heat pump.
Installing Ductless Mini Splits in Avalon, NJ and Other South Jersey Towns
Here at Broadley’s, we’ve been serving Avalon, Ocean City, Stone Harbor, Marmora, and other South Jersey towns for nearly a century.
We’ve got great reviews and a solid reputation. And, we’re certified to work on Mitsubishi ductless mini splits.
That means you’re not only confident we’ll do the work properly. That certification also means the warranty on your new units is valid when a qualified contractor installs and maintains them.
If you want to learn more, or are ready to upgrade the heating and cooling in your home or rental property, call or email us today! Starting with a free consultation, we’ll design a system that’s perfect for your home.