Signs You Need an Immediate Electrical Panel Upgrade

June 5th, 2023

Electrical panels (not circuit breakers) have their limitations. You can only route so much power through them before they’re over capacity, and that’s not good. When it nears its limits or exceeds them, there are some clear warning signs you need to know how to identify.

It may be time for an electrical panel upgrade in Philadelphia, PA, but before you jump to that, let’s talk about the signs and warning shots your house sends your way. If they sound familiar, you need an upgrade.

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The 50% Rule for Your AC: Repair vs. Replacement

May 22nd, 2023

Your air conditioner has been in your home since you moved in. It works great, it runs into trouble every now and again, but now you’re met with a really big repair. Is it best to just keep up with air conditioner repair and maintenance, or just replace the whole thing?

That’s what we’re here to talk about. It’s important to know what your options are, but it’s not always going to look black and white. There’s a lot to consider, but first, let’s start with the 50% rule.

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Central Air Vs Ductless Mini Split: What’s Right for Your Home?

May 8th, 2023

When it comes to cooling your home, you have two main options: a central air duct system or a ductless mini split. Both have their pros and cons, and choosing the right one for your home depends on a number of factors. In this article, we’ll break down the differences between central air ducts and ductless mini splits to help you decide which one is right for your home.

For your next air conditioning installation in Philadelphia, PA, it’s important to know what options are out there. Let’s talk about which option makes the most sense for you with a list of pros and cons.

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Check Out Our Blog for Advice on All Things Plumbing and HVAC

April 20th, 2023

Be sure to bookmark the Synergy3 blog to start learning the ins and outs of Plumbing and HVAC.

We’ll regularly post energy saving tips, how-to’s on troubleshooting your systems, and breakdowns on even the most complex industry related terms and concepts.

Need help now? Send us a message or get in touch today.

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Welcome to Our New Website

April 20th, 2023

iMarket Solutions has launched Synergy3’s new custom website. To learn more about how iMarket Solutions can expand your presence on the web visit:

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Should A Mini Split Run All The Time? (Plus Performance Tips)

January 4th, 2023
Using a remote control on a ductless unit

Ductless mini splits are an incredible piece of heating and cooling technology. They are energy efficient, whisper quiet, and require no invasive ductwork. One of the questions people have about them is how they operate.

Ductless mini splits operate a bit differently than traditional HVAC systems, and the amount of time they run is one of the interesting differences between the two.

Mini splits have the ability to run all the time, but there are instances where they don’t have to.

Check Out Our Work: Adding A Bryant Ductless To A Pocono Home

Are Mini Splits Designed To Run All The Time?

Ductless mini splits are designed to run all the time, even if they don’t have to. Central air systems usually kick on and off, as the temperature fluctuates. The cool or heat the air to the desired temperature, and then power down. Once the temperature starts to creep up or down, it powers back up to make the space comfortable again.

Instead, ductless mini splits are designed to run all the time, and maintain the desired temperature once you achieve it.

Inverter Technology

Through the use of inverter technology, a ductless mini split system is able to run for long periods of time and provide precise heating and air conditioning. Inverter technology allows you to heat and cool on a broader spectrum. Traditional heating and cooling systems have a single speed. It kicks on and off, and there is no in between on how much power it uses. This can lead to hot and cold spells, and inefficient energy use. With the inverter technology, your system can raise and lower how much output your air handler provides. This way instead of shutting off completely, like the traditional system, it stays on, just at a lower power mode, maintaining the right temperature.

Read More: How Ductless Works

More Precise Heating And Cooling

Through the use of this inverter technology, ductless mini splits are able to provide more precise heating and cooling than a traditional HVAC system.

Like we mentioned previously, the traditional system is going to turn off and on as the temperature goes up and down. This usually leads to certain spaces in the home not feeling as comfortable as the rest of the house.

With the ductless mini split, you are able to hone in on the EXACT temperature you want, and instead of the up and down, it maintains the proper temperature.

Energy Efficiency

Person using a wireless hvac control

Some people may think that running your mini split all the time would use more energy, but it’s actually more energy efficient than systems that cycle on and off more frequently.

It takes more energy to constantly turn the system off and on, and regulate the temperature, rather than running at a low power mode and never having to compensate for a big change in temperature. Just like driving a car at a steady pace uses less gas than constantly stopping and going for the same distance. The same premise applies here to your HVAC system.

Ductless mini splits also use heat pump technology, which can be used to heat and cool. Heat pumps are EXTREMELY energy efficient. They use electricity to power the mini splits, and not gas or oil like a traditional heating system. This heating and air conditioning is clean, and will save you money on your energy bills.

How Long Do Mini Splits Last?

Ductless mini splits usually last between 10-20 years. It depends on how well you maintain them. You will want to make sure you clean your filters regularly, and have a professional cleaning every 1-2 years.

Ductless mini splits last a long time, so keeping them running in tip-top shape is essential to getting the most for your money!

Read More: How To Heat A Finished Basement

Four Tips For Great Mini Split Performance And Efficiency

  1. Regular Maintenance
  2. Set The Fan To Auto
  3. Keep Inside Doors Open
  4. Use Your Curtains

Regular Maintenance

Just like we mentioned, make sure your mini splits are maintained by a professional regularly. These systems can build mold and mildew inside if they aren’t cleaned properly every so often. This not only keeps the system running efficiently but it also keeps the air cleaner that it is pumping into your home.

Set The Fan To Auto

Setting the fan to auto allows you to kind of “set it and forget it”. This will allow your system to run properly as it sees fit. If the system is going to run continuously, you will want the fan to be able to run as it needs to.

Keep Inside Doors Open

If you have a ductless mini split system, keeping the doors open for the zones you want to comfort is important to airflow and circulation. If you close the doors around the house, the air won’t be able to get from space to space.

With a central air system, the air travels through ducts in the home to each room, so the doors don’t matter as much. With a ductless system, the air comes through each air handler. Keeping the doors open will let the air circulate around your home!

Use Your Curtains

This is something simple, but a lot of people don’t think about. Use your curtains to help comfort your home. In the winter, open the curtains and let the sunlight in. This helps warm the room a bit naturally. Then at nighttime, close the curtains to help insulate the windows.

In the summer, close the curtains during the day. This will keep the sun from heating the home unnecessarily. This simple method helps save energy, and also improve comfort!

Mini Split Installation In Chalfont, PA

Synergy3 is an expert when it comes to ductless mini split installations in Chalfont, PA, and the surrounding areas. We have repaired, serviced, and installed ductless mini split systems for years, and would be happy to help you out! Give us a call at (267) 686-6004 or click here to schedule an appointment online!

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Hot Upstairs, Cold Downstairs In The Winter: Fix Temperature Imbalance

December 29th, 2022
Diagram of home with differing temperatures

During the winter, it’s not uncommon for the upstairs to be warmer than the downstairs. Sometimes it’s mild, and won’t really make much of a noticeable difference. Other times, it can be uncomfortable, and even starts costing you money.

Luckily, it’s not something we are unfamiliar with, and a problem we solve for lots of homes in the area. We want to walk you through a few reasons why your home is experiencing uneven temperatures, and what you can do to even them out!

Read More: Adding A Ductless Mini Split To A Pocono Home

Four Reasons Why Your Home Is Cold Downstairs And Upstairs In Winter

Before you can figure out how to make your home more comfortable, it’s important to figure out why your downstairs is a lot colder than your upstairs. If you don’t know the source of the issue, you may try to fix it and find that your solutions aren’t working. Here are four reasons your downstairs may be colder than your upstairs.

  1. Static Pressure
  2. Ductwork Problems
  3. Airflow Problems
  4. One-Size-Fits-All HVAC
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Static Pressure

Static pressure is the resistance to airflow in your ductwork. It’s important to have some static pressure, but not too much. If you have too much static pressure, it will push the air back and create improper airflow.

When the air in your home isn’t flowing properly, it can lead to hot and cold spots around the house. If your air supply is too low, or your static pressure is too high, you aren’t going to have even heating or cooling around the home.

Ductwork Problems

Neatly installed ductwork

If you have improperly designed, or leaky ductwork, it doesn’t matter how well your HVAC system is performing. The ductwork carries the conditioned air around the home, and if there’s a problem with it, there are going to be uncomfortable spaces in your home.

In some instances, the ductwork wasn’t designed properly in the first place. You’d be surprised how many homes we go into and find shotty ductwork that leads to issues around the home.

Secondly, ductwork can get old and spring leaks. After years, you never know if a duct has been getting knocked into, or if it’s expanded and contracted enough to crack. Ductwork can have leaks, that then cause you to waste energy and lose air in the desired space.

Read More: 5 Best Ways To Heat A Finished Basement

Airflow Problems

If your system has either of the first 2 issues, airflow problems are going to be an issue. You also will want to make sure that all your vents are clear. Furniture sometimes blocks a vent, causing a backup of air, and a space to stay untreated.

You may also want to have your ductwork cleaned. Buildup of dirt and debris can cause blockages, and dirty air, in your home. A professional cleaning will help, and a technician will be able to check your airflow and make sure that everything is working properly.

How To Balance Heat In A Two-Story House In Winter

Now that you know a few reasons why your home may be uncomfortable in certain spaces, we want to tell you what you can do to fix the situation. The first thing we would suggest is to call a professional. It’s not always easy to assess this problem, especially to the untrained eye.

  • Fixing Ductwork
  • Two Thermostats
  • Dual Furnaces And ACs
  • Ductless Mini Split

Fixing Ductwork

As we mentioned, ductwork can be an issue. You can fix ductwork yourself if you feel capable, or you can have a professional help you out. If the design of your ductwork is the problem, you will likely need a contractor to help you out with that one.

If there are simple leaks though, you could fix this yourself. There is tape designed to patch up ductwork, and it is graded for heat. If you are going to do this yourself, make sure you have the appropriate materials that can deal with hot conditions and won’t become a fire hazard.

Two Thermostats

If your home only has one thermostat, it’s only going to have one reading. If you install a second thermostat, you will be able to control two zones of your home independently. The second thermostat will be reading the second zone, likely upstairs, and account for the difference in temperature.

This not only will allow you to even the temperature out, but it will also allow you to save energy, Both zones won’t be used at all times, and you will have the freedom to put one of the zones in a lower power mode when you aren’t using it.

Dual Furnaces And ACs

Dual furnaces and ACs are hybrid systems that combine electric and usually gas to cover every aspect of comfort you need. These systems are great because they can offer very minimal comfort when you simply need a little heating or AC, but they also have higher performance capabilities in harsher temperatures.

Ductless Mini Split

Ductless mini splits are heat pumps that connect an outside condenser to different air handlers around the house. You control each of these zones independently.

Ductless heating and cooling allows you to customize your comfort. With the help of a professional, you can design a system that breaks your home into different zones, and allows you to heat and cool each one perfectly.

Our Recommendation

Neatly mounted ductless unit

We love ductless mini splits to evenly heat and cool a home. Ductless mini splits are energy efficient, whisper quiet, and have the ability to both heat and cool, all while needing no ductwork installed at all.

Read More: What Is The Best Way To Heat And Cool Your Garage?

More Benefits

Ductless mini splits aren’t just a great way to even out the heating and cooling of your home, but they also provide other layers of convenience. Ductless systems are designed with optimum comfort and efficiency in mind.

Better Comfort

Ductless mini splits use inverter technology to reach your desired temperature and then maintain it. So many traditional HVAC systems will get your home to the right temperature, then simply shut off. While they aren’t working, the temperature starts to dip or rise, until the system kicks back on.

This process leads to uneven heating and cooling, and can create uncomfortable conditions. Ductless systems maintain the temperature you are looking for, keeping the space from having any fluctuations.

Energy Efficient

Ductless mini splits are extremely energy efficient. Because of the heat pump technology they use, they typically use 30% less energy than a traditional HVAC system. Many programs even offer rebates when purchasing a ductless mini split system, to incentivize using less energy to heat and cool homes and businesses.

Ductless mini splits can be a bit expensive to install, but they are then less expensive to operate than almost any other HVAC solution.

Mini Split Installation In Jenkintown, PA

Synergy3 is an expert when it comes to ductless mini split installation in Jenkintown, PA, and the surrounding area. We have repaired, serviced, and installed ductless mini splits into homes and businesses throughout the region, and can help you assess and fix your heating and cooling situation. Give us a call at (267) 686-6004, or click here to contact us online!

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What Is The Best Way To Heat A Garage For Comfort And Efficiency?

December 20th, 2022

Should You Heat Your Garage In The Winter?

Ductless unit mounted in unfinished interior space

Your garage is a large open space that many people use, not just for cars, but as extra workspace, especially for big projects. Some people even opt to convert this space into a “Man Cave” or “She Shed”- at least part of the time. If you’re thinking about getting more use out of your garage in any of these ways- one of the first things you may want to consider is how to heat the space so you can use it all winter long.

Start with some insulation

One thing to consider even before considering the best way to heat the space is adding additional insulation in the walls of the garage and garage doors, to help retain any heating or cooling you might add to the space. You can get insulation and put it behind panels on the walls and get insulation for your garage doors. This will help retain heat, and if your garage is attached to your home, it can even help prevent drafts and keep your home warmer as well. That will make any heating option you choose work better and cost less to keep the space warm.

Space Considerations

When thinking about heating options, one of the first things you’ll need to do is consider how large the space is and how cold it gets in your area of the Country. Here in the Philadelphia area, Winters will see temperatures in the 20’s regularly, or colder- so you’ll have to consider how much heat you’ll need to bring the space up to a temperature at least in the 60’s to be comfortable.

Options for Heating Your Garage

After insulation, what are the next best ways to make your garage more than a garage, but a flexible space for your home?

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Five Options: How To Heat A Garage (Pros & Cons)

  1. Space Heater
  2. Convection Heater
  3. Wood Or Pellet Stove
  4. In-Floor Radiant Heating
  5. Ductless Mini Split

Space Heater

Portable Electric radiator

Space heaters are usually operated by electricity, although some can have other fuels. Given the enclosed nature of the space, the safest space heaters are those that look like portable radiators, filled usually with water or oil. These heaters usually range from between 600- 1500 watts per hour, with a higher number of watts creating more heat. Using more watts means using more electricity, and you can quickly calculate how much these heaters will affect your electric bill by multiplying the rate you are paying by the wattage. In this example, if you are paying $0.10 per kw, a 1500-watt heater will cost about $0.15 an hour to run.

Propane and kerosene heaters would need to be properly vented, and are not great options in a closed environment like a garage. Forced air portable space heaters are cheap and convenient, but they also can be easily tipped over, which can make them a potential hazard if you have small children or pets in the space.

Pros: Inexpensive, portable

Cons: Inefficient, power-hungry, can be a serious fire hazard

Convection Heater

A Convection heater is another great option for heating garages. These units can be powered by electricity, natural gas, or propane and work by air convection currents, that circulate through the unit and across its heating element, thus heating the air around you. The size of the unit will determine how fast it will heat the space, so consider how cold it gets and how long you are willing to wait for it to warm up when choosing this type of system.

Pros: Uniform heating, low noise

Cons: heat dissipates quickly, no air filters, so prone to dust accumulation

Wood Or Pellet Stove

A wood or pellet stove is another good option people use for heating spaces like garages. These systems often look like small fireplaces and have to be properly vented to the outside to be safe. They require feeding of wood or pellets to work, so you will have to consider where to store the fuel for when it\\\’s in use. The systems also require some insulation on the floor and can get quite hot, which may be an issue with small children or pets. They can also take up a good amount of space in the room, which may make this less attractive if you are going to use the garage for many purposes, including your cars.

Pros: Good for warming a space, heat lasts a long time

Cons: Takes up space, requires professional installation, can be a fire hazard, requires proper venting

In-Floor Radiant Heating

Radiant floor heating puts a heating element in the floor, and is usually best done when you are initially laying the concrete for the floor of a garage. It provides a consistent warm heat from the ground up and is very comfortable. It’s quiet and doesn’t involve moving air currents, so it is essentially dust free, which can be important, especially of you are using your garage for projects like finishing furniture and keeping the area dust-free is important. You’ll want to make sure it’s installed correctly and will take the weight of vehicles or other equipment you might be using.

Pros: warm heat, lasts a long time, low energy costs, no allergens circulating in the air

Cons: fairly expensive. Difficult to repair, as elements are embedded in concrete or another solid flooring.

Ductless Mini Split

Home office space and bookshelf

Ductless mini-split units are great options for a garage space. The units consist of two main parts- an outdoor condenser unit attached to an indoor, usually wall-mounted head or cassette. These units can provide both heating and cooling, and distribute the air evenly throughout a space, eliminating hot and cold spots. Ductless is highly efficient, up to 70% more efficient than electric baseboard heating. Because ductless systems can be wall-mounted, they allow you to maximize your use of the space, and can be turned on and off as needed. This can be a great option if you plan on using your garage as a flex space for projects throughout the year, and will help you beat the heat in the summer as well as winter.

Pros: Permanent solution that can provide both heating and cooling to the garage; rapidly brings the room to a comfort level and keeps it there; very efficient and inexpensive to run, mounts on the wall out of the way. Controls temp and humidity. Has a filtration system. Very safe.

Cons: Needs professional installation, more expensive than portable space heaters.

Read More: How To Heat A Large Room With High Ceilings

Our Recommendation

As you can see, there are many options to heat your garage, to turn “just the garage” into a space where you can work on hobbies, and projects, or even use it as a retreat from the rest of your home. In order to choose the best option, you will need to consider how you are going to use the space, the expense involved in both installation and in operating the system, and whether there are any maintenance or storage issues involved.

The best overall system that will give you maximum use of your garage space while providing the comfort you need to make this space usable year-round is a ductless mini-split system. Unlike the other systems, ductless mini splits can provide you with both heating and cooling, making your garage space a haven no matter what the weather is.

How Mini Splits Work

As we stated above, mini splits have 2 main components- an outdoor condenser unit and an indoor cassette or head, usually mounted on the wall. The head contains sensors that monitor the area for both temperature and humidity and can adjust and hold the comfort level for a long time. The high-efficiency inverter systems take heat from the outside air- even in temperatures as low as -13F- and reverse this process in the summer, to provide cool air as well.

Read More: How Ductless Works

More Benefits

Heating And Cooling

Mini-split heat pump systems can provide both heating and cooling in the same system, and deliver heated or cooled air evenly throughout a space, eliminating hot and cool spots. Some systems even come with motion sensors and will adjust into active vs. standby mode, to help save additional energy.

Easy Installation

Installation of mini split systems can be done quickly, and less invasively than other systems. With no ductwork being required, there is less wear and tear of your home, with an easier installation! 

Contact Us Online - Click Here

Mini Split Installation In Abington, PA

If you have hard-to-heat areas like a garage, three-season room, attics, basements, or other spaces where you need additional comfort, the experts here at Synergy 3 are here to help. Here in Abington and surrounding communities, we often install Bryant ductless mini split systems to help homeowners get the most out of their homes. 

If you’d like to start using your garage space more often and are thinking about how to make it a great place to get your projects done this winter, give us a call here at Synergy 3 and we’ll help you design the perfect system for your needs!

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Why Is My Room So Cold During The Winter? How Can I Fix It?

December 8th, 2022

So Cold During The Winter? How Can I Fix It?

Person lying in bed trying to stay warm.

Do you have that one room in the house that you never want to be in during the winter because it’s too cold? This is a problem we hear about a lot from homeowners. It’s usually a bedroom, or a home office. Some sort of room that is off to the sides of the house, further away from the source of heat.

We want to tell you why you may have these rooms in your home, how you can fix these cold rooms, and how to avoid them in the future.

Four Reasons Why One Room In The House Is So Cold

There are more than four reasons you have a cold room in your home, but we want to go over four of the most common reasons. Some of these you may be able to assess on your home, and others you’ll need a professional to come take a look at.

  1. Poor Insulation
  2. Blocked Heating Vents
  3. Temperature Imbalance
  4. Weak Airflow
Contact Us Online - Click Here

Poor Insulation

Your insulation is a key factor in your home comfort, and your energy use. Insulation is designed to keep the warm air inside your home in the winter and keep the cold air outside. It prevents your home from air leaks and wasting energy. If you have a room in your house with poor insulation, it could result in drafts, air leaks, and it always feeling cooler in this room. This poor insulation could be in the walls, which is tougher for you to figure out, or it could be your windows.

Sealing your windows is important. A bit of weather stripping for windows and doors in your home helps prevent small amounts of warm air from leaking out, and creating drafts.

A professional can perform an energy assessment and tell you if you have spaces in your home that are poorly insulated, and how you can fix these rooms.

Blocked Heating Vents

Blocked heating vents will prevent warm air from flowing through the system and properly into your rooms. This is an easy problem to assess, but sometimes can be trickier to fix.

If you have a cold room, locate all the vents in the room. First of all, make sure no furniture is blocking them. Couches, dressers, and larger furniture of this kind can get in the way of a vent if you don’t place it properly.

If all your vents are clear of furniture, hold your hand up to the vent. Is there warm air coming out of it? How does it compare to the airflow coming from the vents of the other, warmer rooms?

If you can’t feel any warm air coming out of the vents, it could be a blockage somewhere within your system. You may need a pro to come clean your vents, and see if anything is preventing the air from moving.

Temperature Imbalance

There are lots of homes where one floor may be warmer than the other, and this temperature imbalance is normal, but something that shouldn’t be overwhelming or too vast. This can be due to thermostat readings, poor insulation like we mentioned above, or being in a room that has an outdoor facing wall.

Weak Airflow

Person standing in front of wall register

Weak airflow is a common problem in older heating systems. Over the years the system could be losing efficiency, and simply having trouble blowing the air with as much power as it did before. You could also have a few other issues, which may be easier to solve.

First off, check your air filter. If it’s dirty and clogged it could be preventing the air from your heating system from properly flowing. Next thing to check if that doesn’t fix your problem is the ducts. You may have air leaking from the ducts, preventing it from reaching every space in your home.

Once those 2 issues are resolved, if your system is still not blowing enough air, call a professional. It could be an issue with your heating system.

How To Make A Room Warmer In The Winter

Now that you know a little more about why the room may be cold, here are some tips to fixing it, and avoiding the problem down the road.

  • Temporary Solutions
  • HVAC Maintenance
  • Zoned Heating And Cooling

Temporary Solutions

You could always use a space heater to heat a problem area. If it’s going to take a while for a contractor to come check out your situation, a small space heater is inexpensive, and will help you in that room for the time being. The problem with those is that they are a fire hazard, they use too much energy, and they don’t heat very evenly. It’s not a bad temporary solution, but not what you want for the long run.

You could also rent a portable heater. Once again, not something we consider a permanent fix, but this is a way to keep the space warm until you have it fixed for good!

HVAC Maintenance

HVAC maintenance is essential to getting the most out of your heating system. When you have your system serviced by a professional every year, you are making sure it stays energy efficient, lasts as long as it should, and also heats properly! If you leave your system uncared for, it’s going to run into more breakdowns, and repairs needed, and eventually will die early.

HVAC maintenance is a great way to avoid uncomfortable rooms with cold spots.

Contact Us Online - Click Here

Zoned Heating And Cooling

Zoning the heating and cooling in your home means that you have your home broken down into different spaces independently. You can heat and cool each one to a different temperature, depending on how warm and cool you want that zone to be.

This helps in larger homes, especially ones with one thermostat. The thermostat reads the temperature around it, and doesn\’t always account for the temperature in every room.

If you zone your HVAC system, you can warm up the zone that never seems to stay warm, without putting any strain on the HVAC system and the other zones.

Using A Mini Split For Zoned Heating And Cooling

Installing a ductless mini split is a perfect way to zone your heating and cooling, and fix that cold room in your home. A ductless mini split uses heat pump technology to heat your home in the winter, and cool it in the summer. This is a perfect solution to use as a supplement to your current system. A mini split requires no ductwork, and doesn’t have to replace your current heating system.

Mini splits are extremely energy efficient, whisper quiet, and can be used year-round. This is one of the best solutions if you don’t have an easy fix available for heating that problem room.

Mini Split Installation In Chalfont, PA

Synergy3 is an expert when it comes to mini split installation in Chalfont, PA. We specialize in repairing mini splits, servicing them, and installing them. We can help you assess your home comfort situation, and make the right decision on how to heat and cool your home! 

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The Best Ways To Heat The Bonus Room Above Your Garage In The Winter

November 30th, 2022
Two people bundled up, trying to stay warm

Heating a room above the garage can be a challenge. The garage typically isn’t insulated, because it’s not a spot that people spend time in, and doesn’t have the same comfort concerns. The only problem is when it affects the rooms it is directly connected to. One of the trickier places is a room over the garage, typically a bedroom. Because the cold air is present under the room, it can be difficult to keep it comfortable!

Read More: Adding A Ductless Mini Split To A Pocono Home

Why The Bonus Room Above The Garage Gets So Cold In The Winter

There are a few main reasons why a finished bonus room over the garage has a hard time staying warm in the wintertime. I have listed a few below and many can be addressed with very little effort or expense. Let’s take a look:

  • Lack of Insulation vs. Other Rooms
  • Unheated Area Below the Rooms
  • Weak Airflow From Ducts

Lack Of Insulation Vs Other Rooms

Most bonus rooms or rooms over a garage are above a non-insulated or temperature-controlled space. These rooms frequently are the victims of an insulation layer that is inadequate for these conditions. And if these are “accessory” rooms – or rooms that are not expected to be occupied or used on a regular basis, then the builder just may view this area as a way to cut some expenses. Until recent years, home offices were not a regular feature in new construction. Now they seem to be a part of everyday life. So making certain that your bonus room or “home office” is adequately insulated is a must.

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Unheated Area Below The Room

If your bonus room is above a non-insulated garage or other non-insulated space, then the opportunity for cold air to seep in is pretty high. And that means that your bonus room is probably not doing a very good job of holding in heat in the winter or cool air in the summertime.

Weak Airflow From Ducts

Many bonus rooms are quite a distance away from the heat source. In this case, two things can happen. As heat or cool air travel along the ducts to the call location, the warm air will cool and the cool air warms slightly. If you add to that an inadequate duct layout, then even if the temperature-controlled air makes it to its final destination, there is not enough of it to cool or heat to the desired setting. So the thermostat is always calling for more air. Compounding the problem may be high ceiling heights – well above the 9ft standard making it difficult to reach the desired temperature.

Read More: The Best Ways To Heat A Finished Basement

Heating Options: Pros and Cons

Luckily there are a few available options to address the problem of a “cold” bonus room. Let’s take a quick look at some of the pros and cons of these options.

Space Heaters

Space heaters come in a variety of types and styles. There are a few different types to choose from, and each is designed to heat up your space through a different method. There are three main types of space heaters: radiant, convection, and combination. Each comes with benefits and drawbacks.


Space heaters do a fairly good job of heating a small area in a reasonably economic way. The ability to turn them on and off whenever you need them can save you money as you do not need to heat large unoccupied areas for extended periods.


Space heaters need to be constantly attended to when in operation. Plus they can be a burn hazard to small children and pets, as they can get very hot while in operation.

Depending on the type of space heater, they can pose a fire and carbon monoxide hazard. Kerosene heaters are known for this.

Rooms with poor insulation, drafts, or high ceilings are very difficult to heat with a convection space heater. The warmth they generate seeps out into the surrounding environment or gets spread out over an area so large that it either can’t be felt or becomes wasteful. Air is a poor heat conductor.

Radiant heaters provide pinpoint warmth making it hard to move about a room in comfort.

Read More: Mini Splits VS. Baseboard Heating

Radiant Floor Heating

Radiant heating systems supply heat directly to the floor or to panels in the wall or ceiling of a house. The systems depend largely on radiant heat transfer — the delivery of heat directly from the hot surface to the people and objects in the room via infrared radiation.


Radiant heating has a number of advantages. It is more efficient than baseboard heating and usually more efficient than forced-air heating because it eliminates duct losses. People with allergies often prefer radiant heat because it doesn’t distribute allergens like forced air systems can.


Air cannot hold large amounts of heat, so radiant air floors are not cost-effective in residential applications.

Mini Split

Neatly mounted ductless unit

A mini split is a wall-mounted heat pump unit that can provide targeted heating and cooling as needed as a stand-alone heating and cooling source or as a supplement to an existing HVAC system.


The main advantages of mini-splits are their small size and flexibility for zoning and cooling individual rooms. Many models can have as many as four indoor air handling units (for four zones or rooms) connected to one outdoor unit. The number depends on how much cooling is required for the building or each zone.

They also don’t require any ductwork. This makes it much easier to install without needing to interfere with your current system. They work as a perfect supplement.

The operating cost of a mini split is economical and can help to offset some of the upfront costs. Plus as a result of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, rebates and incentives are available in 2023.

The mini split operates with a room indoor wall-mounted unit. They hang conveniently out of the way and come in different colors and styles to fit your room. More recent models can even be recessed into the wall to virtually disappear.


We hinted a little about the upfront cost of a mini split. But with generous rebates and reduced operating costs, the mini split proves to be a cost saver over time.

Bonus Room Heating And Cooling Units: Best Recommendation

When it is all said and done, the most efficient, safest, and cost-effective way of heating or cooling in a bonus room is a ductless mini split.

More Benefits Of A Mini Split

Energy Efficiency

Because your ductless mini split operates without major ducts or forced air there is less air leakage and all of your conditioned air gets to where you want it to go.

Easy Installation

Your ductless system can be installed in as little as a day. And because the mini split does not require expensive ductwork installation, there is very little cleanup or disruption in your home.

Heating and Cooling

Your ductless mini split is a two-for-one deal providing both heating AND cooling to your bonus room. Not only will you be cozy in the winter, but cool and comfortable in the summer months too.

Read More: Benefits Of Ductless HVAC In Third-Floor Bedrooms And Attics

Mini Split Installation In Jenkintown, PA

If you are lucky enough to live in the Jenkintown, PA area you have access to some of the best HVAC experts available. At Synergy3 we can help you to assess your situation, and make the best recommendation for your home comfort. Reach out to us today. We will be happy to provide you with a free consultation to help you find the best solution for your bonus room and every room in your home.

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