Improving (or Getting) Heating & Cooling in a Converted Home Office
Many of us are working out of our homes more than ever. COVID-19 played a significant role in displacing and replacing where a lot of us spend our business hours. While working from home comes with some benefits (less gas for your car, working alongside your pet, having access anytime access to your fridge), it can be difficult when you do not have a proper place to get your work done at home.
Converting a Room to a Home Office
Many people are getting by with creating a home office space wherever you can plug in a laptop. But now, after a whole year has passed from Missouri’s first COVID 19 shut-down orders, many people still are working out of their homes.
Thanks to our modern digital world, many people can work for companies thousands of miles away anywhere they have internet access. But just having a computer and internet access isn’t enough. Finding a way to be comfortable and productive in your “home office” is also essential to productivity and, let’s face it, worker satisfaction.
It would help if you had a workspace with enough room, enough light, and enough heating and cooling to keep you comfortable.
Do you have a converted home office that has been uncomfortable all pandemic long? Perhaps you were huddled in blankets over the winter (especially during that freezing snap we saw in Missouri last February).
Suppose you converted a room (or part of one) into a home office that was never properly set up to get proper heating and cooling for regular use. In that case, you are in for some very uncomfortable times in the extreme temperatures of the summer and winter.
You don’t have to work from home in a space that you can’t stand to be in for 40 hours every week. Here are some helpful tips for finding the best room or area to convert into a home office. When you don’t have many options in your house, learn how you can make just about any uncomfortable room habitable and a haven for getting your work done.
Picking the Right Room
If you’re looking to purchase a home with a built-in home office, you may be out of luck. While homes don’t typically have a room intended to be a home office, you may be able to buy a house with one extra bedroom for this purpose. As times change, we may see home builders make home offices a standard room in new construction. But until then, we will have to find a room built for a different purpose that can be modified for our office needs.
What rooms make for a perfect home office?
- Extra bedroom
- Finished basement
- Formal living room (that doesn’t get used frequently)
What rooms should you avoid converting into an office?
- Dining room or another kitchen/eating area (as these are typically noisy with other activity, have little wall space, and are likely crowded with furniture)
- Master bedroom. It is considered a bad idea to do work activities in a space designed for rest and relaxation. Think of your bedroom as a sanctuary from the stress and pressure of day-to-day work demands. Plus, working out of your bedroom may make those mid-day naps be too hard to resist.
Unusual potential options for a home office:
- Foyer or entryway
- Garage Bonus Room
These options are unusual because they are not spaces that typically get used regularly – the main reason is because of a lack of comfortable heating and cooling or ventilation.
Many of these rooms were not set up to work with your home’s central heating and cooling system. They are uncomfortably hot in the summer (especially during the day) and incredibly cold in the winter. You may avoid going into these spaces during some of Missouri’s hottest and coldest days.
But this problem can be fixed!
You can convert an uncomfortable room into a perfect home office! Our Jon Wayne Heating & Air team regularly addresses the common problem of rooms that don’t sufficiently stay cool in the summer for homes across Springfield, Mt Vernon, and all the towns we service in southern Missouri.
Jon Wayne Heating & Air has various home solutions to keep all the spaces in your home cool throughout the summer and warm through the winter months. Request a free estimate online today to get started on learning about the variety of options available to make a room in your home more comfortable.
No Duct Work? No Problem!
If your home office space is not connected to your home’s heating and cooling system, that is not a problem. You can get complete and efficient home cooling without any ducts!
While in the past, converting spaces to be adequately heated and cooled required extensive ductwork, not anymore.
Many modern heating and cooling options require no ductwork! Heat pumps and mini splits are excellent ductless options for homeowners to get all the heating and cooling they need.
Mini-split systems have been around for years. They have been very popular in Europe for a while and are now becoming more sought after here in the United States. Nearly 10% of all American homes have a mini-split system, and that number is expected to rise quickly.
Because mini-split HVAC systems do not require any ductwork, they are perfect for spaces without any ducts. But beyond that, they provide the heating and cooling solutions needed for spaces with temperatures hard to regulate, including:
- Garage bonus rooms
- Home additions
Mini-split units are relatively small and non-invasive, even in a small room. They consist of two devices, an air handler unit hung on a wall or mounted on the floor. It gets connected to a condenser that is located on the outside of the house.
When getting a mini-split system installed, be sure you get an HVAC technician trained in installing these units. Our skilled team at Jon Wayne Heating & Air is trained and experienced in providing professional mini-split system installation to homes and businesses.
Curious if a mini-split is right for your home office? Contact Jon Wayne today for a free inspection and quote for providing the best home comfort solution to your space.
Summer Tips: Small Ways to Help Cool Down a Home Office
Whether you have new air conditioning or other cooling system installed, here are a couple of things you can do to help keep any space in your home a bit cooler over the summer.
- Hang dark curtains in your home office & keep them closed. In addition to the sun causing glares on your computer screen, it also can heat up a room. Install dark, thick curtains in your home office and keep them shut. This prevents the sun’s natural light from heating the room so much.
- Turn on fans. Whether you have a ceiling fan or a floor fan, circulating air can help you get some relief. Because this uses energy, it’s best that you only run fans while you are using the room.
Upgrade a Home Office & Save Money on Taxes!
Getting work done to convert a space to a home office has a financial benefit. It typically qualifies you for some tax deductions! Often, work done on a room used for business can be deducted in taxes for that year. That includes any remodeling work such as repainting, the equipment you buy (printer, desk chair, etc.), and the installation of air conditioners or other home comfort systems.
To qualify for these tax credits in 2021, you must be using the space only for office work. Setting up shop at your dining table or on your bed does not count, as those spaces are used for other purposes as well.
To make sure you qualify for any tax deduction, you need to refer to the IRS website for their current office deduction requirements. The IRS frequently makes changes to tax codes and rules and could change from any of the information we are providing here on the day this article is published.
How much money can you save? If you use the IRS simplified method for this deduction, just factor in the square footage of your office space. At the (current) flat rate of $5 per square foot, a 200-square foot home office would allow you to deduct $1000 for this business expense. Again, the IRS likes to change things all the time, so check with them on what can be deducted and current rates and rules.