Spread the HVAC Love When You Have an Accessory Structure

Accessory structures are additional buildings added to a residential lot and generally not attached to the primary house on the property. These small buildings — typically far less than half the square footage of the main house — fulfill a variety of needs. In accessory structures occupied by residents, known as Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU), heating and cooling will be imperative. However, other common accessory structures such as garages, workshops, and storage buildings may benefit from a conditioned indoor environment too.

Because accessory structures have no physical connection to the main house’s HVAC system, air-conditioning and heating options must be considered. In most cases, there are two options to cool and heat these small structures.

Ductless Mini-Splits

These downsized heat pumps deliver cooling and heat with a single space-saving system. Mini-splits consist of a compact outdoor unit about the size of a large suitcase and a low-profile, wall-mounted indoor air handler that includes a blower to disperse cooling or heating. The two units are connected by a narrow conduit that requires only a single, three-inch hole in an exterior wall to connect to the outdoor unit.

Ductless mini-splits are available with appropriate BTU capacity to cool and heat accessory structures efficiently and effectively, without the need for ductwork. Drawbacks include a higher upfront purchase price than other options. Also, because refrigerant is involved, mini-splits must be installed by a licensed HVAC contractor, rather than a do-it-yourselfer.

Window Units

An option familiar to those who have lived with window air conditioners, today’s models offer two benefits not common in those old-school units: heating and improved energy efficiency.

Many brands now produce units that incorporate both air-conditioning and heating functions in a single window-mounted unit. While the heating is not as robust as a central furnace attached to ductwork nor a mini-split, it’s superior to and safer than portable room heaters. Downsides of this option are a more noisy operation than mini-splits, plus the inescapable fact that units obstruct the view through the window.

Since 1922, Paitson Bros. has offered HVAC solutions for special applications, including accessory structures. Contact us today for more information.

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    By Jeff Paitson
  • About Jeff

    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

    Jeff’s belief is that the business belongs to Jesus Christ; therefore 10 percent of the company’s profits go toward the Maryland Community Church.

    Jeff is a Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce member and in his spare time, he enjoys photography.
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    Ethan Ethan Rayburn is a lifelong resident of Terre Haute and a 2005 graduate of Purdue University.

    An Eagle Scout, Ethan spent four years as a non-profit executive with the Boy Scouts of America before joining Paitson Bros. as a comfort advisor and later General Manager. In that role, Ethan has brought a renewed enthusiasm for customer care, integrity, value, and service to Paitson Bros. Heating & Air Conditioning.

    Ethan enjoys singing and was a member of the Purdue Varsity Glee Club. He also enjoys playing and coaching soccer, spending time with his family and two young boys, and volunteering his time and resources with his church, Terre Haute First Baptist Church, which he has attended from a very young age.
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