Temperatures are heating up in Chattanooga, with average June temperatures in the mid-80s and a heat index average that top 96 degrees! But that doesn’t mean we want to hide inside from the outdoors. Sunrooms keep you out of the sun while letting you enjoy a view of the garden. But, if it isn’t air-conditioned, you’ll want to know more about the best cooling options for a sunroom.
Are Sunrooms Climate Controlled?
Sunrooms are extensions to your home that consist of large windowpanes on two to three sides of the room. This provides plenty of natural light and a view of the outdoors.
Three-season sunrooms may not have heat and air-conditioning, and you can close them off from the rest of the home during winter.
Four-season sunrooms are generally open to the rest of the home and have heating and cooling integrated with your home’s HVAC system.
How Do I Cool Down My Sunroom?
If you have a three-season or a four-season with heat only, you’ll want to look at the best cooling options for a sunroom. While south-facing sunrooms are amazing in the winter, they’re too hot to enjoy in the summer months.
There are several ways you can cool down your sunroom without adding AC.
Ceiling fans will help keep the room more comfortable, especially if you have windows you can open.
Keeping the windows covered when the room isn’t in use will reduce the temperature. Blinds also offer privacy, making them an option worth considering. And if you do add air conditioning, it will help keep down energy costs.
While they can obscure some of the view, planting fast-growing trees for shade is the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly option.
Window insulation and tinting
Installing insulated windows or having them tinted are both options for keeping your sunroom cooler during the summer. In the case of insulated windows, they can also help keep it warmer in the winter.
Dark colors and paneling in your sunroom absorb heat from the sun. This heat then radiates into the room until dissipated. Switching to a white or pastel color scheme is one way to cool off your sunroom.
Similarly, if you keep the sunroom open to the rest of your home, you’ll want to make the best use of the HVAC available. Choose lighter furniture, and less of it, to improve the airflow throughout the room.
Can a Sunroom Be Air Conditioned?
If you really want to feel the chill, your best option for cooling a sunroom is to add air conditioning. The good news is that these options span a wide range of wallet sizes.
A window unit is a quick and inexpensive way to add cooling, and most homeowners can install one themselves in an afternoon. The only concern is placement — you’ll need a properly sized window to install it.
Portable AC unit
If you’re stumped by the idea of window installation or unable to add a window unit, you may want to consider a portable AC unit. You’re still going to need a way to vent the unit, but there’s less heavy lifting and complicated installation involved.
Have you ever noticed the heat and cooling equipment used in hotels? Those are called PTACs, or packaged terminal air conditioners.
PTACs can both heat or cool, using either an electric heating element or a built-in heat pump. They can also bring in fresh, clean air from outside for ventilation.
PTACs require professional installation and will need a sizeable area of the wall for placement.
Another good option for cooling a sunroom is installing a ductless mini-split. This is a standalone system consisting of two units — a condenser and a wall unit.
The condenser is installed outdoors and the wall unit contains a fan that blows the cold air produced by the condenser into the room.
Mini-splits are more energy-efficient than PTACs but don’t provide fresh air ventilation.
Finally, one of the most traditional methods for cooling a sunroom is extending your HVAC system into the room through duct installation.
The room will need space to install the extended ductwork. Your current HVAC system will also need to be sized with enough capacity to handle the additional square footage.
While extending your current ductwork may look less industrial, adding a mini-split is more energy efficient.
Time to Cool Off
Some call it a sunroom, a solarium, or a Florida room. This climate-controlled space for relaxing and viewing the outdoors adds quality to your life and value to your home.Make an appointment today with the experts at One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning in Chattanooga for an estimate on a cooling option that fit your sunroom and your budget.