CommunityHeating a Cold Room: Reduced Insulation and New Skylight Affect Warmth of Remodel

Heating a Cold Room: Reduced Insulation and New Skylight Affect Warmth of Remodel

I need some suggestions for heating a cold room in my house.  My recent kitchen remodel included raising the ceiling to the roof and installing a large skylight. Since then, the upstairs area of the kitchen and surrounding rooms seem colder. Could it be that when the contractor did this construction, he didn’t insulate properly? Is there a way to fix this? 

The Money Pit Answer

Before I suggest options for heating a cold kitchen, a couple of things come to mind regarding your remodel. First, you say you raised the ceiling. Therefore, I'm guessing you took a flat ceiling which had around 10 inches of insulation on the unfinished side and replaced that with the six inches of insulation you'd been able to fit inside the roof rafters that now form the ceiling. If this is the case, then even in a perfect world, you will have chopped your insulation in half. As a result, you now need more heat to make up for the loss of insulation.
Second, you added a large skylight. Skylights, or even windows for that matter, can create a feeling of drafts by virtue of the convective airflow pattern that occurs around them. As the warm air in your kitchen rises, it strikes the cold skylight glass, then chills and falls. This convective loop can leave you feeling a draft where none really exists, making heating a cold room a bit of a challenge.
Adding these two educated guesses up, I'm thinking your contractor is not at fault here, unless he shares a bit of the blame for not recommending additional heat for the kitchen. I do have one simple solution for heating a cold room that may solve the comfort issue: Install a Reiker Room Conditioner, which is a ceiling fan that also heats. I put one in my own hard-to-heat kitchen and it really took the chill out of cold mornings.