Heating an extension to your property

Building an extension to on your home, such as a bedroom or kitchen, is very exciting.

It often affects the way you think about your home and the extra space can make a real difference to the comfort level of your home.

One consideration when adding to your home or when creating a new living space from a previously unused area, such as a porch, basement or garage, is the extra heating that will be required.

Your current heating system is probably sized for your current living situation, whether the unit is original or is a replacement. There have probably not been any considerations for any future extensions.

The first thing you need to do is assess your current heating system to see if it can be extended to heat the new part of your house.

As a general guide for heating requirements is that 40 to 50 BTUs (British Thermal Units) are required for every square foot of space.

Work out the square footage of your current living space and divide it by the 40 to 50 BTUs. The type of construction and geographical location will have a bearing as heating a property in Scotland will require more heat than in say Cornwall or London because the climate is colder.

To calculate how much more you will need just add the square footage of the new extension to your current figure. When you have this total, you can calculate the amount of BTUs you will need for the extension.

Generally, if your current heating system can handle the extra load then this will be the most effective option.  If it’s a room you are not going to use in the winter then electric heating is very cheap to install.  However, it is one of the most expensive methods of heating.

You may be able to use the same input size heater if you buy a more efficient one. If you replace a typical heater that is 60 percent to 70 percent efficient with a heater that wastes just 5 percent to 10 percent of its heat/fuel, and if it includes an outside air supply for combustion, you could buy a heater sized at approximately 25 percent to 35 percent fewer BTUs for every square foot of living space. More effective energy improvements may allow you to reduce the size even more.