So you’ve added an addition to your home—great room, bathroom, kitchen expansion, etc.—with the intent of having more space and amenities for you and your family to enjoy. But it turns out that the room you were looking so forward to spending time in is always cold!
Causes of a Cold Room
There are a number of reasons why the added space is always cold, including:
- The HVAC is not large enough to accommodate the extra space.
- The thermostat is not ideally located.
- The flooring is of a material that is typically cold (ceramic tile).
- Air is not circulating well.
- Air ducts are not sufficiently reaching the cold room.
- Poor insulation.
- …and more.
5 Ways to Warm Up a Home Addition
There are a number of ways to make a room warmer; some can be pretty expensive, others are simple, lower cost solutions. We’ve listed some simple DIY remedies here for your consideration before shelling out the big bucks.
1. Install Retrofit Light Kits
If it’s been a few years since your home addition has been built, it likely has the incandescent recessed lighting installed. Replacing them with energy-efficient LED retrofit kits can prove to be quite beneficial. They are ICAT rated (insulation contact/air-tight), which means the light fixture’s ventilation system is directly connected to your roof’s ventilation system, and the two systems work together to pull warm air from your living spaces during cold winter months.
The LED bulbs give out much less heat than the incandescent bulbs and don’t need the same amount of ventilation. The LED kits are a solid, one-piece housing that includes the bulb and surrounding casing unit. They form an air barrier that prevents warm air from escaping from the indoor room to the outside through the roof.
2. Hang Ceiling Fans
Many consider ceiling fans as a means to cool a room, but they are also advantageous in increasing the warmth, as well. Simply switching the direction of the fan blades will push the warm air that rises to the ceiling down to circulate around the rest of the room will increase the comfort level.
Oftentimes, home additions are built over concrete or dirt crawlspaces. These areas usually have minimal insulation, if any. To compound the situation, vents in crawlspaces are located on the exterior, so the cold and damp outside air blows into the living space. Vapor barriers can control moisture and insulation can improve the comfort level of rooms that are over crawl spaces.
Another area that would benefit by installing additional insulation is the attic. This is especially true for extra rooms added to upper levels of the home, or for room additions with cathedral ceilings. Retrofitting with dense-packed cellulose or spray foam insulation will dramatically improve insulation performance in these areas.
4. Check for Drafts
Improperly sealed windows and exterior doors can be a factor in the warm air escaping. To check for drafts, hold a lit candle and run your hand along the window trim. If the flame flickers, that indicates that there is an air leak. You can then caulk or add weather-stripping to the window. If that doesn’t completely eliminate the draft, take off the window trim and spray foam sealant between the wall and window frame, then put the trim back on the window.
5. Get an Energy Audit
If you’ve tried all these tips and your room addition is still cold, you can hire an expert to perform an energy audit. The audit involves inspecting the HVAC systems, water system, ductwork, insulation, ventilation, doors and windows. They will also probably look at your appliances and lighting as well. These audits can cost a few hundred dollars, but they will pinpoint areas where you need to concentrate to improve the comfort of your home addition.
Finnteriors Can Answer Your Questions
Finnteriors Construction Services installs home additions with energy efficiency built in. We are the experts in home remodeling, as a locally owned and operated general contracting business based in the St. Louis area for over 20 years. We offer exceptional general contracting services at fair and competitive prices.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you get that home addition project started!