A Comfortable Family Room in Winter

The Best Way to Heat a Family Room

Heating a family room can be challenging depending on its location. Wherever your family room is located, it’s important to be comfortable and warm during all seasons so that your family can enjoy the space it is named for. Select the best way to heat your family room by considering the options available, determining how location effects heating choices, and calculating cost, labor, and materials.


  1. Measure your family room to determine the size room you’ll need to heat. Forced air or central heating is ideal for large spaces, such as a 400 square foot family room. Radiant heating is ideal for smaller spaces, such as a 170 square foot family room, because no ductwork or electrical installation is required and they are cost-effective when used in moderation.
  2. Base your heating method on the room’s location. The most cost-efficient way to heat a room is to keep the heat from leaving the room through windows, doors, baseboards or open areas. If your family room has a sliding glass door, lots of windows or is in a central location where the heat might disperse into other areas, you may want to consider a heating option ideal for larger spaces.
  3. Calculate cost, labor, and materials. Gas or oil-based heating systems are the cheapest to install and sell for $200 to $1,000 at major home improvement stores. Central systems heat specific rooms or sections of a house at a time and cost around $6,000 installed depending on your location. Space heaters, fireplaces, and propane heaters can be purchased from $20 to $80 and can be easily installed by the homeowner.
  4. Check the house blueprints to discover any features that might prevent you from installing the heating system of your choice. For example, to install a fireplace, the chute and chimney must be built into the original house plans unless you plan to install a stand-alone fireplace. Examining the blueprints will help you ensure there is room for plumbing, electrical ductwork and any ductwork the heating system of your choice might require.