Whether you are looking to find the best way to cool or heat an additional living room, bedroom, or studio apartment, there are multiple options to choose from.
The important thing is to choose something that fits both your room and wallet. In terms of cost, you want to look at both the purchase price and running costs.
That said, we have done extensive research and found the five best single room heating and cooling options for you. Look at the details of each and see what best fits the bill for you.
Single Room Heating and Cooling Options
It may be challenging to choose from such a list because you will probably need just one air conditioning unit. So, to make your work easier, we suggest you go for the most energy-efficiency unit within your budget.
Keep in mind the size of the room you are looking to service. The option you pick should not be too large or small for the room where you intend to install it.
Here are the five basic options to consider when selecting your single room unit.
- Mini-split ductless heat pump
- Window heat pump unit
- Wall-mounted air conditioner unit
- Electric space heater unit
- Gas or electric fireplaces
Heating and Air Conditioning Unit Options for One Room
Let us get into some details on each of the options above.
1. Mini-split ductless heat pump
A single-zone mini-split system is an excellent option for heating and cooling a single room. This is because the same unit will allow you to heat and cool your room at will by choosing the correct setting.
Mini-splits have an indoor evaporator unit connected to an outdoor condenser or compressor unit via dedicated copper lines.
When it is cold, this ductless system draws heat from the air outside and transports it into the room, heating it.
When the weather is hot and your indoor space needs cooling, the unit reverses the cycle, drawing heat from inside the room and transporting it outdoors.
With this mechanism, the temperature inside your room remains balanced and comfortable in all seasons.
A mini-split heat pump can be highly energy-efficient, saving you lots of money in the long run. It can, however, be expensive upfront.
Because most mini-split units come with a complete installation kit, you can install them yourself and save on the installation cost.
2. Window heat pump unit
A window heat pump operates much like a wall-mounted mini-split unit. Unlike the latter, a window unit sits on a window frame, as the name suggests.
When the weather is chilly, you set the unit to a heating mode. In this mode, the unit draws air from the outside, passes it through a coil that warms it, then transfers the heated air inside the room.
When it is hot, you set the unit to an air conditioning mode. This way, it draws warm air from within the room and passes it over a coil containing refrigerant gas.
In the process, the window heat pump extracts and expels heat outside while circulating chilled air back inside.
Compared to mini-splits, window heat pumps tend to be much cheaper. They are also easier to install. However, these dual-function heat pumps are likely to cost twice the price of a window air conditioner.
3. Window air conditioning units
If you are looking for a low-cost air conditioner, you may want to consider a window air conditioning unit.
Prepare to spend more money running the air conditioner since it is less energy-efficient, though.
These units resemble window heat pumps in that they also have all components assembled – making them easy to install.
The ease of installation and low purchase cost are likely why these units are so popular among homeowners.
However, you will have to find an alternative solution for heating your room during winter since these air conditioners are only limited to cooling.
4. Space heaters
Of all the options we have discussed, space heaters are the most expensive to run because they use an inefficient heat source. Still, space heaters are widely used because of their low initial cost.
So, you may want to opt for a space heater only if you will use it over short durations of time.
5. Gas or electric fireplace
These two space heating options are unalike in terms of cost, installation, and risk hazards.
If your primary concern is the amount of heat, then a gas fireplace might be a preference. These produce more heat for your room but would involve installing a propane tank in your fireplace if you don’t already have a gas line.
If you have pets or small kids, you would be better off with an electric fireplace that does not get hot. Unlike a gas fireplace, the electric option does no produce real, hot flames.
An electric fireplace will also cost less money than a gas fireplace.
Other Cooling Options
There are additional ways to keep your home cozy without running up your energy usage or electricity bills. All it takes is being smart.
For starters, you might consider opening the windows to let in some fresh air if it gets breezy enough. A decent amount of fresh air flowing into your room can act as a special kind of fan, keeping your room cool and comfortable.
Alternatively, you could buy oscillating fans to use at times when the weather is not punitively hot.
The Best Solution to Heating and Cooling your Single Room
As you can see, there are numerous ways to keep your room hot or cold – you might be spoilt for choice.
You might choose any of these options based on your room size, preferences, budget, climate, or the individual features of each heating and cooling solution.
So, what are the best ways for your single room heating and cooling options? Our vote goes to a mini-split system.
Besides heating and cooling your home in one unit, it adds to the aesthetic appeal of your indoor space with its sleek design.
Melanie Mavery is an aspiring HVAC technician who is fascinated by the trends and opportunities in the HVAC industry. She spends most of her day writing content on home improvement topics and outreaching to prospects. She’s always looking for ways to support HVACs!