The typical modern home is built with central air conditioning in mind, but cooling older homes can be more challenging. If you are moving into a house without this feature, then you are likely interested in your retrofit options. Depending on the details of your new home, several types of systems are usually available. Choosing the right one is a matter of determining your cooling needs, your budget, and your willingness to make large-scale alterations to the home. These three questions will help you to narrow down your options.
Does Your Home Use Forced Air Heating?
Forced air heating is a common feature even in older homes without central air conditioning systems. A forced air heating system uses a furnace to warm air, which is then distributed throughout the house via an air handler and ductwork. This type of system offers a significant advantage if you are interested in a split-system air conditioning unit: the ductwork is already installed. Retrofitting a split system into a home with forced air heating only requires an evaluation of the ductwork and installation of the AC equipment. In some cases, you may also have to upgrade your air handler unit.
Is Your Basement Or Attic Accessible?
If your home doesn't have existing ductwork, then installation is generally straightforward so long as access to the basement and attic is available. In most cases, ductwork can be run through closets to reach the attic from the first floor. If access of this type is available in your home, then the installation of new ductwork can usually be performed with minimal disruption. If you do not have access to an attic or unfinished basement, then ductwork may be more complicated. In this case, consulting with an HVAC professional to discuss your options is the best way forward.
Is A Mini-Split System Acceptable?
Although most people immediately think of central air when considering air conditioning, mini-split systems offer an excellent alternative. These systems combine the indoor unit and air handler into a single device, removing the need for ductwork to be installed. Mini-spit systems are highly efficient and can be installed in multiple rooms as needed. Although they still require lines to be run for refrigerant, this plumbing takes up little space and does not require significant modifications to be made to the home. Mini-split systems can be expensive when compared to easy central air installations, but they can be a more cost-effective option if ductwork installation will be costly or highly disruptive.
Reach out to air conditioning services like R & B Inc Heating & Air Conditioning for more information.