A Systematic Guide to Heating & Cooling Your Barndominium
The wide open spaces that make barndominium living so appealing can also make temperature regulation challenging. High vaulted ceilings, abundant exterior wall exposure and scarce room divisions demand strategic heating and cooling installation approaches. Follow this comprehensive guide when designing and integrating your HVAC system to maximize comfort and efficiency.
1. Maximize Insulation & Sealing
Before determining equipment size, optimize insulation to minimize heat/cooling needs:
– Use closed cell spray foam for R-values up to R-7 per inch
– Add radiant barrier surfaces on roof decking
– Caulk and foam seal all envelope cracks/gaps
2. Calculate Required BTUs
BTU calculations help properly size units to conditions. The standard formula accounts for insulation levels, building size, window area and climate factors. Online BTU calculators simplify inputting the specs.
3. Choose Heating System Type
Common whole-home heating systems like forced air furnaces, electric baseboard, in-floor radiant and wood stoves each offer pros and cons for barndos. Weigh BTU capacities, zoning abilities, aesthetics, operation costs and installation requirements.
4. Determine Zoning Approach
Strategic HVAC zoning tailors temperature control across the open floorplan for efficiency. Designate bedroom, kitchen, living room and workshop areas overlaid across respective equipment heat/cool zones. Smart programmable thermostats optimize automation.
5. Install Central AC System
Use the earlier insulation and BTU assessment analysis when picking an energy-efficient model unit. Mount the large central air handler unit internally or externally depending on space. Strategically place vents, returns and ductwork through ceiling and floors.
6. Add Supplemental Stoves
Wood stoves or space heaters supplement primary HVAC with additional warmth in especially high ceiling or poorly insulated spaces. These make kicking on central systems unnecessary during temperate weather as well.
Properly prepping insulation, calculating true needs and installing zoning HVAC systems requires extra diligence but pays off immensely for barndo comfort. Sizing systems for realistic demand and reinforcing with secondary stove heating mitigates punishing utility bills too. Get each step right to stay cozy all year round!