New Air Conditioning Options for Older Homes

In Nevada, a home doesn’t have to be very old to not have central air. Because of our super dry, high desert weather, swamp coolers were the popular way to cool a house for decades. However, the summers are getting a little hotter every year. If you have an older home, whether it never had central air conditioning or it has an older system, these are your best options if you want a new AC:

Central Air Conditioners

Central air is the most popular form of whole-house air conditioning. Why? It uses a system of air ducts to circulate cool air throughout your entire house, whether it’s one floor or multiple floors.

In order to install central AC, a technician will first perform what’s called a load calculation. This will help determine the proper AC size your home needs in order to fully and properly cool.

Next, your technician will assess whether you currently have air ducts, and if so, what condition they’re in. A general rule of thumb is that ductwork installed prior to 1960 will need to be replaced.

Ductless Air Conditioners

Ductless air conditioners, or mini-split air conditioners, are a good alternative to central air systems. If you don’t want to alter the structure of a historical home, or you don’t want to invest in upgrading your ductwork, ductless air conditioning may be your ticket.

Ductless air conditioners are pretty easy to install compared to central air. You will still need to create holes in the wall in each room you want it installed in, but only to hook up the conduits to the compressor unit. These are not as big as the holes needed to install new ductwork.

Choosing the Right Air Conditioner for Your Home

There are pros and cons to each type of air conditioner. Consider the following when making your choice:

1. Customization. While central air offers a complete cooling system for your home, the temperatures you’ll find in each room aren’t always the same. A ductless system allows you to customize the temperature in each room — that means no more fighting over the thermostat.

2. Smart control. Unlike ductless, a central air system is fully wired to a thermostat. Older thermostats are manual, but newer ones are programmable or even smart, meaning they can be operated remotely from a smart device. In other words, you can set your home to cool down to the perfect temperature on your way home from the office — or vacation.

3. Add-ons. Unlike ductless, central air allows you to install various HVAC add-ons to your system. These include air purifiers, whole-home humidifiers, and energy-recovery ventilators. Air purifiers are especially helpful right now, when we’re so worried about viruses spreading through our home.

4. Energy. Ductless air conditioners tend to be more energy efficient, since they don’t require ducts (where a lot of air and energy leakage can occur). You can also choose which rooms of your house you want to keep cool, since they all work independently of one another.

5. Maintenance. Ductless systems require regular maintenance — more than central air systems. With central air, you might wash or replace your single air filter monthly. With ductless, on the other hand, you have to wash each unit’s filter monthly. Skipping this maintenance will inevitably cost you money.

6. Appearance. Ductless systems tend to be very obvious, since they’re mounted from the wall or ceiling. Some homeowners don’t like the aesthetics of this option.

7. Location. If your home already has functional ductwork, replacing your central air unit makes more sense than installing a new type of system. However, if there isn’t pre-existing ductwork, ductless may be a better choice. It’s also worth considering if you’re adding a new addition to your home, or you want to limit which rooms you cool.

Need help weighing your options or ready to start talking about a new air conditioner? Give us a call! We’re more than happy to talk you through your options to ensure you get the system that best suits your home and your needs. We’re serving our fellow community members and business owners with the utmost precautions for cleanliness and safety. As your neighbors, we want to help and we’re here to provide you with the best service possible.

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