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June 29, 2020
Bonus rooms, or as some in the real estate business call them “FROG’s” (Finished Room Over the Garage) or Garages that are turned into a Family room, bedroom, or “man cave” are a great addition for many families here in Oklahoma. Bonus room’s can be a great place to bring the neighbors over to watch this year’s Bedlam Series on the flatscreen, or maybe it is where the kids getaway to play games and have band practice — though the term “bonus-room band” doesn’t have the same ring to it as “garage band”.
What you can actually use a bonus room for will depend on how comfortable it is. If the finished room over your garage is just too darn hot in the summer, you probably don’t want to spend any more time than you need to sweating it out up there. Many frustrated homeowners throughout our service area come to Pippin Brothers asking us how to insulate their bonus room over the garage, and what our recommendations are for the best bonus room heating and cooling units. And though we at Pippin Brothers Home Services will never “prescribe before we diagnose” your home’s unique heating and cooling needs, we have seen mini-split heat pumps improve the comfort of many bonus rooms in our four decades of doing business in the Lawton, Oklahoma area!
Why Mini-Split Heat Pumps?
You may have already heard about mini-split heat pumps in recent years. They are also often referred to as ductless mini-splits. These compact two-part units have grown in popularity because of two main factors: energy-efficient operation and versatile heating and cooling capability. Mini-split heat pumps consist of a wide but shallow wall-mounted indoor air handler that is installed directly where it is needed. The indoor air handler is connected to an outdoor compressor unit via an airtight, virtually leak-free refrigerant line. This refrigerant eliminates the need for ductwork — ductwork that can account for a 30% loss in efficiency in central air systems!
But the most impressive aspect of mini-split heat pumps is their versatility. With a mini-split, you get efficient and powerful heating and cooling, all in one single system. This is done by displacing heat between your living space and the outdoor air, depending on your comfort needs. In the summertime when you need to cool down your bonus room, a mini-split heat pump removes the existing heat outside, and replaces it with cooler air. In the winter when you need heat, the outdoor compressor pulls ambient heat from the cold air (yes, even in sub freezing temperatures!) and sends it into your home.
We have found mini-split heat pumps to be a great solution for many hot bonus rooms, but installing new heating and cooling equipment is actually one of the last measures we recommend when it comes to increasing your home comfort!
Other Home Performance Factors to Consider
Like we already mentioned, we will never “prescribe before we diagnose”. Each home will present a unique home performance hurdle, and at Pippin Brothers, we take the whole home approach to understanding the factors that will make your home more comfortable and efficient. So what does this mean for cooling down your bonus room? There may be factors outside of your heating and cooling system that could be keeping your bonus room hot and stuffy.
Diagnosing Your Home With An Energy Audit
As the Jolly Founding Father Benjamin Franklin once said, “ An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. We prefer to spend the extra time it takes to fully understand your home performance so that we can make targeted and informed recommendations tailored to your home's particular needs. With an energy audit, our team will fully assess your home from top to bottom using a year's worth of energy usage data and diagnostic equipment. We then will give you the results in a report that includes our recommendations, giving you the best bang for your buck when it comes to your home comfort upgrades.
We often see hot bonus rooms benefit from the following services, in addition to mini-split heat pump installation:
Beat the Heat in Your Bonus Room
Bonus rooms and finished rooms over the garage are notoriously hot because they are often underinsulated, and are located right above the largest unconditioned space in your home: the garage. If you are looking to find a lasting solution for keeping your bonus room comfortable all 12 months of the year, trust the experts at Pippin Brothers to get it right the first time.
Our tried and true process, backed by our extensive building science expertise and top-notch customer service will give you peace of mind you’ve made the right choice when it comes to your home comfort from here in Lawton and Fort Sill, to Duncan, OK and down to Wichita Falls in Texas! From mini-split heat pump installation to upgrading your damaged insulation, each job is backed by our industry-leading guarantee — If at any time during the first year of installation, you are not 100% satisfied with the performance of the equipment, our service or even our people, we will, within 30 days of your request, remove the system and cheerfully refund the entire amount of the contract.