Purchasing or inheriting an older home can be a mixed blessing. While many of these structures offer benefits like high ceilings, large rooms, and intricately detailed woodwork, they can also provide some difficult challenges for homeowners who want to install a residential air conditioning system. If you are currently making plans to cool your older home, here are some important points you will need to consider.
Does the home already have a central heating system?
Since the original heat source used in your older home was probably not very efficient or convenient, a previous owner may have already installed a furnace system outfitted with ducts and vents. While that furnace may now be too old or inefficient and require replacement, the basic system of ducts and vents it is connected to can be very helpful when installing a modern residential cooling system.
If the home does not have a central heating system that offers the bonus of existing ducts and vents, homeowners will need to design a duct system that can be easily integrated into the existing structure of the home. In order to do this, homeowners may need to consider using high-velocity, small-diameter ducts, ceiling vent placement, and the possibility of using a portion of existing closet or storage spaces to house the ducts.
Has the electrical system been upgraded?
Many older homes are still outfitted with limited electrical systems that are incapable of safely meeting the power requirements of today's residential heating and cooling systems. If your older home has not undergone recent upgrades to the electrical panel and wiring, this work will need to be done before or during the addition of the new cooling system.
Since electrical safety is a primary concern when doing any HVAC repairs or renovations, the existing electrical system will need to be thoroughly inspected by the AC installation contractor, even in situations where upgrades were made by a previous owner.
Could zoned AC be an appropriate choice?
Many older homes offer sprawling or multi-story designs that can be very difficult to cool, often due to airflow issues. In these situations, homeowners may want to consider installing a zoned air conditioning system. Zoned air conditioning can be achieved through the use of multiple air conditioning components that have separate thermostats to control them. Zoned cooling can also be achieved by supplementing the main AC system with one or more ductless mini-split systems.
Achieving cool comfort in your older home is an important goal. To learn more, take time to discuss your situation with an air conditioning installation company, such as Pacific Air & Heating.