Older homes are harder to keep cool in the summer than houses that were built more recently for several reasons. These homes are often drafty with poor quality insulation and may have cracks in the foundation or around doors and windows that allow outside air to seep inside and treated air to be pulled out.
Fortunately, you have a few options to resolve this issue – here’s what to know and how the experienced HVAC technicians at Jones Services can help.
A ductless mini split air conditioner is one of the best choices for adding cooling capacity to an older home. Instead of building out additional ductwork and increasing the load on an existing central HVAC system, ductless technology allows you to quickly and easily supplement your current AC with cool, clean air.
A ductless system only needs one outdoor compressor for up to 8 indoor units, which are connected with thin metal tubing that moves refrigerant throughout the system. There’s no need to risk damage to your old home or potentially decrease its value by adding ducts to an already maxed out central system – ductless units only require a small opening of a couple inches for each indoor air handler to be connected to the outdoor compressor.
Mini splits work by transferring heat from one place to another. This process can be used year-round to add or remove heat to your home, providing you with maximum comfort for the least amount of energy usage. In the summer when the unit is working as an air conditioner, heat and humidity is taken from inside your home and pumped outside so your home stays cool and comfortable. And the process reverses in winter, transferring heat from the outdoors and moving it indoors to warm your space.
Variable refrigerant flow (VRF) cooling systems have been available in the United States since the early 2000s and is similar to a ductless system except it’s much larger and has a higher capacity.
Like mini splits, VRF systems use inverter technology to increase or decrease compressor and fan speeds as needed to control the temperature within a space instead of just turning off and back on like a central system does. While these systems were primarily used for big commercial spaces and warehouses, they’ve recently been adapted for apartments and multi-story homes.
High velocity air conditioning systems are designed to move air throughout a space four times faster than a traditional HVAC system. This can reduce the humidity in a space by up to 30% without having to run a dehumidifier.
However, high velocity ACs still use ducts to transport treated air from one place to another, so you may still experience some of the same issues with air quality as a regular system. In fact, you may struggle with more issues as more dust and debris is pushed out of your vents at a higher velocity.
It’s also more expensive in most cases to retrofit a traditional system than it is to invest in a ductless mini split. Plus, high velocity systems use a lot of energy and can drive your electric bill through the roof.
Window air conditioners are small, portable, and designed to fit inside a typical-sized residential window. They have the least expensive upfront cost than the other cooling systems on this list, but they can rack up a high energy bill over time. They’re also less environmentally friendly and much louder than central HVAC systems or ductless mini splits.
That being said, they do offer a quick and easy solution for older homes since you don’t have to modify the structure in any way to install the equipment. But they usually don’t work well for the long-term because they’re prone to maintenance issues and aren’t built to last longer than a few years before they will need to be replaced by another unit entirely.
Keeping an old New York home comfortable can be costly without the right equipment or knowledge of how HVAC systems in older homes differ from systems in newer ones. At Jones Services, our dedicated team of veteran NATE-certified air conditioning experts can help you get affordable and reliable home cooling, even if your home is past its prime.
Contact us by dialing (845) 289-8532 to get answers to your important questions or set up a time for our team to come to your home for an assessment.