I have put in a small addition to our vacation cottage in Myrtle Beach. The summers are warm here, but sometimes the temperature does dip down into the 40s at night in the winter. We have a small fireplace in the main part of the cottage, but in the addition there is no heating. We'd like to add a small solar panel to the roof that is attached to some kind of HVAC system for the addition to keep energy costs down. Do you have any suggestions on how we can do this?
Brian D. ~ Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Hi Brian, Solar panel HVAC systems are very nice, and can cut your heating and cooling costs down to almost zero, unfortunately they can also be expensive, and I don't know if it would be worth the investment for just an addition. If you are going to redo the HVAC system for the entire vacation home, then it might be worth it, as you will eventually recoup your initial investment by your energy savings. However, for just your addition I might suggest a small Energy Star supplemental HVAC system. A lot of people use them for the second zone when they are doing green remodeling.
If you hadn't already done the addition, I would suggest radiant floor heating, which is a green remodeling heating system. You might also take a look at ground source heat pumps. I have been reading a lot of good things about them. They use the ground temperature to help heat and cool the home, or in your case the addition.