Want Central Air Conditioning Read This Before You Install
Tired of your window AC unit? Heres what you need to know about how central AC systems work before investing in cooling your entire house.
More than any other technology, air-conditioning has transformed how we live and workand where we live and work. Yet as recently as 1993, only 68 percent of houses in the United States had some cooling equipment, either window air conditioners or central AC systems.
Now, more than 87 percent of houses are so equipped. While the number with window AC units has shrunk overall, these appliances are still cooling significant numbers of homes, particularly in the Northeast, despite being noisy and obtrusive, and having limited efficiency and cooling capacity. Not to mention the twice-yearly struggle of putting them in and taking them out.
Read this guide to walk through the factors that affect how these systems function. So whether youre planning to deep-six the window ACs and install central air from scratch, or youre investing in an HVAC upgrade, youll find loads of useful information to help you make smart decisions.
Cooling A Philadelphia Row Home With Ductless Air Conditioning
PROBLEM: This 1920’s home had electric radiators for heat but no central air. This meant our homeowners had been relying on bulky window air conditioners that are a pain to install and take down.
SOLUTION: ECI Comfort installed a Mitsubishi Ductless Mini-Split system. This system doesn’t need ductwork to add both air conditioning and supplemental heat, so it’s a perfect way to solve heating and cooling problems in older homes that lack the extra space for ductwork.
Ready To Upgrade Your Homes Hvac System
Upgrading the heating and cooling system of an older home may seem daunting. Granted, the process is a little more complicated than homes that already have the bones in place for a new central air unit. However, the right contractor will get the job done smoothly. All with minimal disruption or damage to your home.
Dont go through another summer with an old clunky air conditioner. For all residential HVAC replacements to new or old homes in Las Vegas, call The Cooling Company at 567-0707.
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Faq: Finding Your Chill Zone
Unsure about whether to replace or install a central air-conditioning system? The answers to these common questions should help.
My AC system is old but works well. Should I replace it?
An older unit can be up to 50% less efficient than a newer model and might use R-22 refrigerant, which is more damaging to the ozone layer, says US News & World Report. If your system has a low SEER rating, or if your repair costs multiplied by the units age equal more than $5,000, youre better off with a new unit, which will save you on energy and repair costs, experts say. Plus, newer technology such as a smart thermostat or whole-house humidifier can help keep you comfortably cool.
How can I save money on a central AC installation?
Besides tax credits and rebates, shop in the spring and the fall, when temperatures are milder and the need for that blast of cold air is less urgent, experts say. Some contractors will advertise promotions during these seasons or offer an off-season discount. Get quotes from several contractors, too, to find the best deal.
How do I keep my AC system running smoothly?
Best Way To Heat Old Houses
The cooling solutions mentioned above are also some of the best ways to heat old houses. Another option which may be appropriate for your older home is radiator heating. Many older homes have radiator heating systems in place, as this technology was quite common in the 18th century.
Upgrading old, inefficient radiator heating components with new, high efficiency models provides an excellent solution for whole home heating in an older house. Your HVAC contractor can examine existing components to determine which upgrades are needed and if the old system is still usable. In many older systems, in-room radiator units are often in good condition and can be used with a new boiler to provide heating throughout the home.
New modulating-condensing boilers offer better efficiency for hot water radiator heating systems compared to older home heating boilers. These boilers heat only the amount of water needed to provide for the homes heating needs, rather than heating all the water within the unit at once. This technology provides great energy conservation, drastically cutting energy bills as a best way to heat old houses.
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Custom Ac Installation For Northeast Ohio Homes Of Any Age
Many neighborhoods throughout Clevelandincluding historic Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heightsare known for their beautiful architecture dating from the early 20th century. Owning a historic home can be immensely satisfying, but also comes with its own unique set of concerns related to outdated infrastructure that can be too expensive to renovate. For example, older homes that were constructed with hot water radiators or baseboard heat usually do not have any ductwork installed. Because of this, you may think that central air conditioning is impossible for your historic home, and have resigned yourself to cumbersome and unsightly window AC units. If that is the case, think again: high velocity air conditioning may be the right solution for you!
Simple Ways To Keep An Old House Climate Controlled
Old houses can be an incredible investmentand an incredible place to call home. However, they arent without their challenges, especially when it comes to keep spaces cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Given that older homes dont tend to have modern additionseverything from central air conditioning to updated HVACs, furnaces and water heatersmanaging indoor climates can be a challenge. But, with some simple strategies, you can maximize your familys comfort without breaking the bank. Heres where to start…
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Does Your Old House Have Central Air
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Its tough to stay within budget when youre trying to add air conditioning to an old house. Lets say your heatings fineyou have radiators or a radiant floor system however, to condition a house built before central air, youll have to find a home for the bulky compressor or air handler. Do you shove the trunks aside in the attic? Take up basement space? Ducts to deliver cool air to all the rooms can chop up the buildings historic fabric. Are you willing to sacrifice closet space? Here well survey the options, and then well show you two historic buildings whose stewards came up with creative ways to tuck in air conditioning.
As with any major investment, you should not only consider your comfort, but also the value your investment would bring if spent elsewhere, such as on a kitchen or bath upgrade.
The Air Tech Toronto Guarantee
In addition to the manufacturers warranty on the heating or cooling products we install or repair for you, we provide the Air Tech Toronto guarantee. This means that we wont rest until youre completely satisfied with our services. Whether its ductless air conditioning installation, boilers repairs or furnace maintenance, we ensure youre happy with our services.
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Heating Options For Old Homes
Apart from the two HVAC options mentioned above, heating contractors may also recommend radiators as a way to warm the interior of old homes during the cold months of winter. If your home already has a radiator but its old and inefficient, you may want to upgrade to a new, high-efficiency model.
A contractor can inspect existing components to find out which upgrades are required and determine if the old system can still be used. In-room radiator units may still be in good working condition, and when combined with a new boiler can provide heating throughout the interior. When it comes to better efficiency, modulating-condensing boilers are a good choice because they only heat the specific amount of water necessary to meet the homes needs.
Anderson Refrigeration Inc. Heating and Cooling is the top HVAC repair company in our local area because of our excellent workmanship and great products. You can rely on our experienced, certified technicians to fix any kind of HVAC problem. Give us a call at 446-4923 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We serve residents of La Luz, NM, and surrounding areas.
Where Are The Vents Installed
Vents can be installed on the ceiling, flooring, or high up on the wall. Floor vents are installed with a fine mesh screen to prevent anything from falling down into them. We determine where the vents should go based on your homes architecture, layout, and square footage, as well as your familys sleeping locations and traffic patterns.
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Poor Air Conditioning Options For Older Homes
In older structures like NYC brownstones, the heating system typically consisted of a boiler and radiators. If the space was renovated a few decades back, it might even have baseboards. But chances are, there is no ductwork like in newer homes that use forced air heating and ducted air conditioning.
Building in the ductwork for a traditional air conditioning system can be done, but it requires tearing holes in walls and ceilings, and even lowering ceiling heights to make room for the ductwork. In a historic space, youre probably looking to preserve the original finishes and not having to give up beautiful high ceilings to add air conditioning.
Builders may misinform you about the air conditioning options for older homes. You may be told that window units and through-the-wall units are your only choices when you dont have existing ductwork and dont want to tear up your space to add them.
You already know you dont want those options. They are noisy and ruin the aesthetics of your space. Not to mention the possibility of condensation drips causing damage to the exterior of the home.Also, regulations for historic buildings may prohibit cutting new holes in exterior walls, which means no new through the wall units.So, what are some better air conditioning options for older homes? Read on to learn about 3 newer types of air conditioning that dont require traditional ductwork.
Unico Air Conditioning Systems
Unico offers a high-velocity air conditioning system with tiny vents that can run through narrow spaces, allowing air to penetrate rooms through small ducts. The vents are hidden and run between walls and through attics for minimum disruption to your decor, while the condenser unit sits outside the home.
Designed for homes with no duct work, the Unico system can be an ideal solution for homes with boiler systems. The unit itself runs so quietly that you wouldnt even know its there, due to the insulated air handler and vibration pads. The cooling coils lower humidity levels in your home, which reduces the workload on the air conditioning unit and helps you save on your energy bills.
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Home Evaluation And Load Calculation
Once youve selected the contractor, they will do a home evaluation. The contractor will examine the houses structure to determine the specifics of the job.
The contractor will also assess the homes insulation. Older homes were not built as tightly as new homes, resulting in drafty window frames and doors. If the homes insulation is poor, the cool or warm air generated from your HVAC system will escape to the outside and outside air will also be able to flow in. This results in temperature fluctuations that the HVAC system will constantly try to compensate for. To prevent this, your contractor may recommend sealing all air leaks before installing the HVAC system. You also need regular duct cleaning after installation, too.
A professional contractor will then conduct a load calculation, also called a Manual J. calculation. This is the industry standard to ascertain the heating and cooling needs of the building so that the contractor can install the right size HVAC unit. Units that are too big or too small wont heat and cool the house properly. A load calculation takes into account the homes square footage, how high the ceilings are, the number of windows, and how much sun the house gets. The technician can also tell where flexible duct would work better than sheet metal ducts. This is an important step. So make sure that the contractor installs the correct size for the best efficiency. You want a unit that can cover your heating and air conditioning needs.
Do You Prefer A Centralized System
Some people prefer to have a centralized system that is controlled through a thermostat in each room. Conversely, others prefer having a separate system in each room to set up different temperature zones.
If you prefer a centralized system, a high-velocity system is your best bet. On the other hand, if you want to manage each rooms temperature separately, a mini-split, window, or portable system is the one for you. VRF systems are a happy medium between the two for those who wish for the best of both worlds.
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What Is High Velocity Air Conditioning
High velocity air conditioning is a cooling system designed especially for older homes without existing ductwork, preventing the use of traditional forced-air cooling. In high velocity AC, cool air is distributed throughout the home via a system of small flexible tubes that run throughout the building in crawlspaces, closets, and ceilings. Outlet holes for distributing the cool air are only two inches in diameter, and the master air handler can fit compactly in an attic, basement, or closet.
Air Conditioning Options For Older Homes
If you have been dreading the upcoming summer because of your loud, clunky, and ugly window unit, maybe its time for an upgrade. Switching to central air can be beneficial when it comes to saving money on energy bills, but the upfront cost of installing duct work can cost thousands of dollars and require a lot of intrusive work in your home such as cutting holes in the ceilings and walls or even lowering your ceilings to accommodate the size of ventilation systems.
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Types Of Central Air Conditioning
Heating and cooling terminology can be confusing because many terms mean different things to a pro or a homeowner. For example, did you notice that in our definition of central air, we didnt mention how the air is cooled? Systems such as evaporative coolers and geothermal units also cool air in a single location and pump it throughout the house, but they are not normally considered central air conditioners.
So when discussing central air conditioners, were really looking at refrigerant-based systems that circulate the interior air of the home. These come in two basic types: split or packaged units.
The classic central air conditioner is a split unit, with a compressor and condenser on the outside of the house and the evaporator coils on the inside. It usually uses the same air handling unit as the furnace. Split units make up the bulk of central air conditioners in U.S. homes.
Packaged units encase the air conditioning and air handling unit in a single cabinet, often located outside. They can also be packaged with the furnace or heat pump, making them ideal for homes with limited indoor space.
S Stone Farmhouse Gets Ac Upgrade It Always Needed
PROBLEM: Our homeowner, David, has a charming stone home built in the early 1700s. The home was built in three phases and was equipped with cast iron radiators for heat with no cooling system. David needed options that would efficiently heat and cool his home without disturbing the clean aesthetic of the property.SOLUTION: ECI Comfort installed a four-zone Mitsubishi Ductless system. This four-zone system provides heating and cooling to the main spaces of the home without disrupting the homes functionality. With the home being constructed in different stages, finding spaces for the splits and the heat pump proved to be tricky. But with help from our lead installer, Matt, and coordination with the homeowner, our team found the perfect options and placements. For older homes with limited space, ductless AC is the perfect match.
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South Philly Rowhome Finally Gets A Permanent Ac Solution
PROBLEM: New homeowners, Ted and Carrie, reached out to ECI during their settlement process on an old Philadelphia rowhome. The rowhome was equipped with cast-iron radiators for heat and window units for AC. Ted and Carrie were looking for a more permanent solution for their new home. Concerned about space and noise, they reached out to ECI about ductless mini-splits.SOLUTION: ECI Comfort installed a four-zone Mitsubishi Ductless system. This multi-zone system was installed across three stories and provides both heating and cooling. This provided a permanent solution for their forever home and eliminated the need for those noisy window units. Since these Mitsubishi mini-splits require no ductwork, our homeowners can save on valuable space and get the most out of their new home. They also feature whisper-quiet technology.
Older Home Hvac Tip #4
Seal it Up
All those little gaps let in cold air in winter and hot and humid air in summer. Start in the attic with a flashlight, a lighter or incense stick, caulk or foam insulation and look for air leaks. Hold the lighter or stick near gaps and if the smoke or flame moves, plug the hole.Do the same in the basement and around windows and doors.
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