LESLIE: Nick in Rhode Island is on the line and needs some help converting a sunporch into a guest room. How can we help you?
NICK: It was actually a previous homeowner that already transformed it into a bedroom.
LESLIE: Oh, you’re not taking any credit for this.
NICK: No, no. I think it was a terrible idea, personally, just because there’s 6 windows in an 8x10 room.
LESLIE: Well, it’s a sunporch.
NICK: It was a sunporch. I guess they decided to slap up some sheetrock and call it a “bedroom.” But there’s also an entryway in it, as well, and it’s just sapping all the heat out of my house. All of it. I cannot keep my house regulated, temperature-wise, at all. And I just – I’m not quite sure what to do.
TOM: Why do you say it’s zapping heat? Because it’s cold and it’s drawing off a lot of the heat that you’re generating in the rest of the house?
NICK: Yeah. My thermostat – although I should say the heat will always remain on because it senses that the house is not heating up. And it’s because if you walk in that – even that side of the house, it’s freezing cold.
TOM: Where is the thermostat located?
NICK: Outside of that room.
TOM: That’s part of your problem right there. You may need to relocate that thermostat to more of the central area of the house where you’re really trying to regulate, so that the heat is where it needs to be in that part of the house. And then in the sunroom, you might need to add some supplemental heat.
And the easiest way to do that is to add, say, some electric-resistance baseboard just to kind of top off the heat that’s not getting there from the rest of the house. It’s the most expensive kind of heat to run but the idea here is you would only use it on the coldest days.
NICK: Now, my question would be: would that be more cost-efficient than, let’s say, tearing out those windows and putting in – it is insulated with that blue foam-board insulation, the walls in there. But if I tore the windows out and put the pink, fluffy stuff – I’m sorry with the terms I’m using; I just don’t know what everything’s officially called.
TOM: Fiberglass, OK.
NICK: Yeah, the big, fluffy stuff. Would that, in terms of that and those baseboards you said, which one would be more cost-effective long-term?
TOM: In the best-case scenario, you would have those exterior walls insulated. But I think one of your core problems is the fact that you’ve got the house thermostat located, which is – on what has essentially become an exterior wall. That’s why it’s not behaving properly. You need to get that thermostat securely mounted to an interior wall, where it can basically read the average temperature in the house and tell your heat to come on accordingly.
NICK: Alright, alright.
TOM: So do that first. Then everything else that you do will improve the energy efficiency of that space.
NICK: Boy, that thermostat really needs to be moved.
TOM: I think so.
NICK: Alright, alright. Well, I appreciate the help.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.