The Best Way to Cool Older Homes

June 13, 2020

Incorporating the power of modern cooling technologies into an older home can be a real challenge. Central cooling was not a common home feature until the 1980s. As such, houses built before this time often lack the necessary ductwork for supporting many popular HVAC system designs. Fortunately, there are a number of innovative products that are making it increasingly easier to utilize efficient cooling equipment in these buildings. Understanding how these products work can be key to finding the best solution for your household.

Central Cooling Systems and Window Units

It may be that your home has a window AC unit or a central cooling system in place already. While window units are acceptable for cooling down one or two small-sized rooms, they are neither economical nor efficient. Moreover, window units are rarely quiet when in use. These small and typically noisy systems work extremely hard to create cooler indoor temperatures and they consequently use a lot of energy in the process. Although their up-front cost is cheap, the costs of routinely using a window AC can be incredibly high. It’s also important to note that their method of installation and their position create gaps and cracks that allow conditioned air to flow back outside.

While central cooling is more efficient by far than window AC equipment, there are a number of cost-increasing challenges that homeowners face when using central AC in older homes. To start, unless a current AC system has been replaced within the last 10 years, it doesn’t boast the most modern and efficient cooling capabilities. Running an outdated system that’s not streamlined for supporting the needs of the home can be just as costly and frustrating as using a window AC. In instances in which ductwork already exists, replacing outdated central cooling equipment will result in significant savings over time. It will also dramatically improve overall home comfort and boost the resale value of the property.

If your home lacks ductwork and you’re interested in installing central AC, be prepared for a major home renovation that’s both expensive and likely to significantly alter indoor aesthetics. Installing whole-house ductwork post-construction generally entails a lot of planning, work and concessions. Homeowners will lose interior space with post-construction ductwork, and the indoor environment will look noticeably different after the work is done.

Minor Structural Modifications for Keeping the Home Cool

There are several relatively minor changes that people can make to their older properties to help better moderate indoor temperatures. For instance, adding ceiling fans throughout will help circulate air. Ceiling fans do not condition, filter or cool the indoor air, but they can produce a light, pleasurable indoor breeze. Whole-house ventilators and fans as well as power rooftop or attic ventilators are other products that can help keep the living space cool without actually conditioning the air.

Ductless Mini-Split AC Systems Are the Best Choice for Older Homes

The advent and increasing popularity of ductless mini-split AC systems has totally changed the face of home cooling. These revolutionary systems provide a feasible and incredibly efficient way to bring cooled, conditioned air to every room or zone in the house, even in an old, outdated building that lacks ductwork. For homeowners lacking ductwork, ductless AC provides all of the same benefits of central cooling without the need for extensive building renovations, and without radically altering indoor aesthetics. Best of all, ductless mini-split systems offer the added benefit of customized cooling. With these systems, different temperatures can be set in different zones of the home so that occupied rooms can be kept cool without wasting energy in rooms that are empty.

In this setup, an individual fan and evaporator are used to provide customized cooling to each zone or room. Thus, if someone in the living room is sweltering while someone down the hall is too cool, each person can adjust the local thermostat to reflect his or her needs. Only very minimal changes need to be made to the interior and exterior walls to accommodate this equipment. In fact, unlike a clunky, cumbersome window unit, you’ll hardly notice a ductless mini-split at all.

Additional Benefits of Installing a Ductless Mini-Split in Your Older Home

Choosing to update your older property with a ductless mini-split will provide both immediate and long-term benefits. These systems add tremendous value and appeal to dated properties. If you ever intend to put your house on the market, this is an addition that will help you attract qualified and motivated buyers in record time. The efficiency and overall efficacy of a ductless mini-split will also greatly increase the enjoyment that you’re able to get from your property right now.

Get in Touch With Healthy Home Heating and Air

At Healthy Home Heating and Air in Monroe, we’re committed to helping all homeowners find the perfect cooling technologies for their properties and needs. We start our projects by carefully assessing buildings, learning their nuances and considering the best products for supporting year-round comfort. Whether you want to upgrade an outdated AC unit in your older home or are interested in finding out more about ductless mini-split HVAC, we can help. We can also lend a hand when it comes to heating efforts and indoor air quality services. Call us today to get an individualized plan for creating a cooler living space now.

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