Americans are bringing their work home. It’s not enough to work 50-plus hours, but more and more of us have an office in our home where we catch up on extra work after dinner and on weekends. Or maybe that’s our fulltime work space. The Census Bureau found that millions of Americans joined the home-based work force between 2000 and 2010. The most likely candidates for at-home office workers were older, and/or specializing in computers, engineering or science.
If you are part of this trend, you may be reading newsletters about setting up a business and consulting your accountant and maybe calling an electrician to rewire the den/ laundry room/ spare bedroom/ garage. At this point— and during this season— you also want to think about how you will heat and cool the space.
We suggest you skip over the space heater, and lose the window air conditioner. Those are piecemeal solutions, and likely to cost you dearly in terms of operating expenses. Without having to cut into walls for ductwork or rewire the entire house, you can install a ductless mini-split heat pump. It consists of an outdoor condenser, and indoor air handler— and of course, a trusty remote so you can easily adjust the temperature.
While heat pumps in the past didn’t work so well with programmable thermostats, they’ve come into their own now. So you can set the temperature to come on a half-hour before you arrive at the office, or you can keep it at a comfortable temperature fulltime, in case you are one of those impulsive types that can’t stay away from the spreadsheet. Either way, the heat pump will cost a fraction of what it would have cost to run a window AC or a space heater.
In addition, there is no clunky window unit to block your view and no extension cords to trip over. Ductless mini-split come in a variety of models— to hang on the wall or mount on the ceiling. They are actually quite sleek and very quiet. The noise is softer than a whisper, and certainly won’t interfere with that conference call.
Here is a heat pump sold by ComfortUp: (http://www.comfortup.com/evo-9-000-btu-ductless-mini-split-w-inverter-heat-pump-230v-23-seer). The system comes with an indoor cabinet, outdoor compressor, and wireless remote, and will heat and cool a 350-square-foot space with almost no impact on your annual budget.
Another possibility is the Gree Terra Superior (http://www.comfortup.com/gree-terra-superior-efficient-9-000-btu-ductless-mini-split-a-c-208-230v-w-inverter-heat-remote-free-15-line-set-kit). While these are fairly easy to install, remember that the warranty won’t be valid unless it’s installed by a licensed contractor.