There are low-cost, short-term options that use more electricity and long-term, more expensive options which are cheaper to run.
Which heating and cooling unit are best will vary on the scenario.
Budget and other considerations must always be taken into account.
So what are the best units for heating and cooling one room?
With the many options available, let’s break down each to see which one fits your scenario.
5 Best Ways to Heat and Cool a Single Room
- Window Heat Pump Unit
- Mini Split Heat Pump
- Portable Air Conditioners
- Window Air Conditioning Units
- Space Heater
If you are looking for a combination of heat pump efficiency and ease of installation, then a window heat pump unit may be the best option.
Most units are affordable, about twice that of an air conditioning-only model.
Mini-splits have separate indoor and outdoor coils and have cooper lines feeding refrigerant between them. The copper lines transfer heat and cold into a room, depending on the setting.
The downside to a mini-split system is the initial cost and installation.
Mini-split units cost 3-5 times more than other units. Installation costs also need to be considered as they do require more skill to install.
If you are a home DIYer, then there are units that can be bought that come with everything needed to install it.
Portable air conditioners are easy to install and set up.
The units will have a 5-7 inch hose that can be fitted out a window or even up to the roof to pump out hot air.
They can be good in many scenarios, such as an apartment or a rental since they can be quickly packed up and taken with you.
Window air conditioning units are widely used and are popular for cooling a room. They are cheap and relatively easy to install.
The downside to them is that they only cool and are not very efficient.
Since they will only cool, they will not do any good in the winter; a heat source will also be needed to keep a room warm when it is cold.
Space heaters are cheap to buy but costly to run.
The way they generate heat, usually by heating up a ceramic element combined with a fan, is terribly inefficient.
Since the initial cost of a space heater is low, this may be a good option for a room that only needs heat once in a while.
If you need a long-term heating solution for a room, then a heat pump would be much better.
What is the Cheapest Way to Heat and Cool a Room?
A heat pump is the best way to heat and cool a single room as far as running cost and long-term durability.
New heat pump units have a very high efficient rating called a SEER rating which makes them use less energy and cost less to operate.
Heat pumps use electricity to circulate refrigerants the same as any air conditioning unit does.
When it becomes cold outside, the cycle is reversed to put out heat, warming up a room.
Heat pumps are cheap to run and last many years.
The downside to a heat pump is the initial cost to purchase, which can be 2-3 times higher than other options.
Mini-split heat pump units have become very popular since they have DIY kits and have high SEER ratings.
The two main heat pump types for a single room are the window units and mini-split units.
Since there are many options for heating and cooling a single room, the initial cost and long-term running cost need to be taken into account.
Where the room is located will also be a factor.
For example, a room addition that is attached to a home will be easier to heat and cool than one that is separate.
For long-term use, a mini-split heat pump unit would be the best option.