New Air Systems Give Older Homes Relief From Heat

Posted by on Jul 2, 2013 in Tips | 0 comments

New Air Systems Give Older Homes Relief From Heat

Those who own older homes know that history comes with trade-offs: No closet space. Doorjambs with fun-house angles. And, more likely than not, no central air conditioning.

Traditionally, if your older home didn’t have a forced-air heating system, with ductwork to which a central air-conditioning system could be added with relative ease, window units were the only accessible, affordable option for home cooling. Of course, that meant another trade-off: Keeping cool meant compromising your curb appeal.

But with hot and humid weather that slammed us a few weeks ago (and with all those dire predictions about global warming), more aesthetically minded homeowners who have previously gone without are looking to high-tech options for whole-house chilling: mini-ductless systems and high-velocity units.

Combined systems

Unlike conventional air-conditioning systems, which combine a cooler and blower in an external unit, both the mini-ductless and high-velocity systems are split, meaning they operate using an outdoor condenser or refrigeration device paired with an indoor blower. In the mini-ductless system, the blower system — about the size of two shoe boxes side by side – -mounts on a wall and is directly attached to the exterior condenser. With high-velocity systems, cold air travels from a blower (usually located in an attic) through narrow, flexible tubes laced through walls to small (4-inch) ducts in each room the homeowner wishes to cool.

The cost of cool

Installation costs for a high-velocity set-up run about 20 percent higher than conventional air conditioning , and operating costs are roughly the same as conventional systems, and less than window units. By their nature, (high-velocity systems) do a better job of removing humidity than a traditional system.

Often, the decision between the two technologies comes down to time and impatience. The mini-ductless systems aren’t cheap, but you can have one installed in a matter of hours. Installation of high-velocity systems takes three to five days.

Other options

Of course, high-tech isn’t always the only option for historic homeowners. The first thing many air conditioning repair in Columbus professionals likes to do when sussing out what system’s appropriate is to find out what tops a homeowner’s want list. What temperatures do they want? What about aesthetics, or closet space?

In pre-existing structures, the ductwork in a traditional system is generally installed in closets, connecting to an air-conditioning unit in a basement or attic.

With traditional ductwork, which is a common product, there’s no scrambling to find a specialist if something breaks.

Of course, many homeowners are concerned with space management. For example, if a homeowner had all walk-in closets in your house and was asked to take maybe 12 inches out, they probably wouldn’t notice it; but if they have only a few, small closets, like many older homes, and were told they had to take space out of it, they might not like it as much.

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