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There are many old homes that don't have air conditioning systems installed in them, and this could be due to a variety of reasons. However, when new people take over these homes, they may have plans, including installing an air conditioning system.

Installing air conditioning in older homes could be a great challenge because many such homes do not have ductwork or dedicated space for an HVAC system.

Since many people plan to install an air conditioning system in their old homes, we shall look at the possibilities of getting it done. In this article, you will learn if it would be worthwhile before you embark on it.

Installing Air Conditioning in an Old House

Many old homes do not have ductwork to accommodate a ducted air conditioning system. There is also a good chance that the electrical system may not handle the load of modern electrical gadgets required for the installation.

Trying to upgrade the electrical system can be very expensive, which could force you to explore whatever available options that can work with the existing systems. Usually, older homes do not have the required space for ductwork installation.

Where such space exists, you may have to destroy the original plaster, flooring, and woodwork in the home before installation. The best you could do in this situation may be to lower the ceilings and let go of any extra closet space. For these reasons, you may consider other ductless options instead of a ducted air conditioning system.

Benefits of Ductless Air Conditioning for Old Houses

You stand to enjoy some benefits if you decide to have a ductless air conditioning system in an old house instead of a ducted one. Carefully considering these points should encourage you to opt for this option.

Easy installation

Before installing a ducted HVAC system in an old house, you should understand that there are some serious renovations you will need to do on the ceilings, floor, and walls to create space for the ductwork.

Since various alternatives are available, it would be needless to go through so much trouble to install a ducted system. For example, mini-split systems do not require more than a 7.5 cm or 3-inch hole in the wall, and window units can fit into a window frame without carrying out extensive work.

Highly energy efficient

With traditional ductwork, HVAC efficiency can be reduced by up to 30% from duct leaks. However, when you use ductless mini-splits, they can deliver cool air directly into the living space, a route which reduces leakages which could have occurred via ducts.

Installing ductless air conditioners also allows you to enjoy much lower running costs than ducted air conditioners. This makes them an excellent air conditioning choice for old houses without ductwork.

Recent studies showed that ductless air conditioners can help you save up to $1000 to $2000 in running costs each year. Ductless air conditioning systems have higher EER and SEER ratings compared to ducted air conditioning systems.

Their EER and SEER ratings can measure the efficiency of air conditioners, showing that with more energy-efficient units, there would be lower electrical bills. Additionally, the use of ductless air conditioning systems is good for the environment.

Customised climate control

With traditional central air conditioners that allow you to heat and cool the entire home, the rooms that are not in use are not left out. You can expect that this is highly inefficient and also expensive.

If you use a ductless air conditioning system, you can heat or cool the rooms you are using. Everyone in the house can adjust the air conditioner's settings to their ideal room temperature for a personalised heating or cooling experience. Apart from this, you can put the dual-zone thermostat to use, creating different zones for maximum comfort.

Smart capabilities

There are some smart AC controllers that can help you convert your ductless system into a smart air conditioner. With one of these AC controllers, you can control your air conditioner right from your smartphone, even when you are far away from home.

Choosing the Right Type of Ductless Air Conditioner

By now, you should be convinced that opting for ductless air conditioners in a house where there is no ductwork is a smart move. However, it would be best to consider the following crucial factors before taking further steps.

Space for installation

You must critically examine the house and analyse the available space. There should be enough space for accommodating the air conditioning system; otherwise, it will not be a feasible project.

Refrigerant lines in Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems and the ducts needed in high-velocity systems are relatively smaller than those of traditional ducts. Nonetheless, they still need some space before they can be installed.

If it is not possible to give up any of the rooms or you cannot afford to alter the structure in any form, you may want to consider installing ductless systems. Using ductless mini-splits will also require a sizable wall for installing the indoor unit. If there are no free walls you can use in the house, you may have to settle for portable or window air conditioners.

Would you rather have a centralised system?

Some people would rather have a centralised system that can be controlled independently through thermostats in each room. However, there are still those who would prefer to have a separate system in each of the rooms in their house so that they can set up different temperature zones.

Going for a high-velocity system could be your surest bet if you want a central air conditioning system. If you want to control each room's temperature separately, you should consider having a mini-split, portable or window system. If you would like to enjoy the best of both worlds offered by these options, then you should look at VRF systems.

Energy efficiency

Regarding energy efficiency, most people have found that ductless mini-splits and VRF systems are better among the available options. They can only condition a room at a time, which makes them energy-efficient, saving you some money in the process.

Cooling requirements

Understanding your cooling requirements in the house before starting the project is an important step you cannot overlook. For example, you need to clarify if you would want to supply air-conditioned air to the whole house or only to specific rooms in your home or business. Air conditioning installed before taking this step almost always leads to dissatisfaction in the end.

If you would like to supply air-conditioned air to the entire house, you should consider VRF and high-velocity systems, as these are better suited for your needs. You should consider ductless units if you want to supply conditioned air to specific rooms.

Existing electrical system

If you want to add air conditioning options to an old house without ductwork, you may need to upgrade the electrical system. Typically, the electrical systems in old houses are likely not capable of handling the load of modern home appliances.

Since faulty wiring is one of the significant causes of house fires, you should let your electrician guide you if an upgrade of the electrical system in the house is necessary.

They will also be able to advise you on the cost implication of the entire process. This is a safety and precautionary step which you need to take with all seriousness to avert disaster in the future.

Discuss with an HVAC Expert

Embarking on an old house air conditioning system installation project calls for taking measured steps. Some estimations will have to be made and a lot of technical issues attended to as well. You can handle this issue by consulting a licensed HVAC expert for the right solution. These experts have all the know-how to handle your HVAC system installation.

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