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Air Conditioning Options for Older Homes


Air Conditioning Options for Older Homes

When it comes to charming old homes, getting the maximum efficiency possible out of the heating and cooling equipment is a complicated project. Between solving ductwork issues and figuring out how to upgrade HVAC systems without spoiling the character of a classic structure, contractors face countless challenges. Nonetheless, there are plenty of air conditioning options for older homes... Here are five things to know before tackling the project:

1. Your Contractor Must Be Creative

Because older homes were built before modern HVAC existed, you’ll need contractors who can get creative and work around the challenges that Atlanta’s vintage homes might present. This could involve cutting into decorative woodwork, running lines through the ceiling or finding ways to work through walls. Your HVAC contractor will have to tread lightly and have an exit strategy that leaves little to no trace of technology’s footprint. Alternative plans that bring in window AC units will be nowhere near as efficient or comfortable for your family as central HVAC systems.

2. Proper Sizing Is Crucial

When installing HVAC in your old home, much of the project’s success hinges on how well your contractor sized the system. HVAC that can’t cool or heat a home comfortably will end up overworking and having a shorter life-span, and systems that are too big create challenges in controlling humidity. There are industry standards for sizing a home, so work only with contractors who reference Manual J or Manual D guidelines that specify sizing loads for HVAC equipment.

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3. You Can Do It Without Ducts

Believe it or not, modern HVAC systems can operate without ducts. Whether you use unobtrusive split systems or high-velocity equipment, contractors can keep ductwork to a minimum. These techniques allow you to keep the character of your old Buckhead home while upgrading the HVAC equipment’s efficiency to a high level. If you do opt for ducts, there are numerous ways to disguise their presence, if needed.

4. Certain Factors Make Installing HVAC in Your Old Home Easier

Even though upgrading HVAC and plumbing in an old home is a challenge, there are some instances when older homes make it easier on contractors. For example, old ductwork is usually larger than the systems modern contractors install. This additional size comes in handy when you want space for central air and heating. To get the most efficient performance from your retrofit cooling and heating system, have your ductwork sealed.

5. You May Need a Larger Electrical Supply

The other X factor in HVAC upgrades for older homes concerns the load that an electrical system can handle. Modern HVAC systems will overpower a home that is equipped with 110-volt service. Your contractor’s electrical expertise comes in handy when this issue arises.

A system upgrade will allow you to adapt your home to modern specifications. In the end, you’re going to have a more efficient overall output. Homeowners have many options in HVAC renovation. Let Reliable Heating & Air’s expert technicians deliver advanced HVAC systems that preserve the character of your classic home.