Installing Central Air in Older Homes
Common Issues, Facts, and More
Installing air conditioning in an older home requires more pre-planning than a home with an existing air conditioning system. To outfit properly, you need a savvy contractor with experience upgrading older residences to modern comfort levels. Also, to ensure maximum return on such an investment, you need to optimize the energy efficiency of the entire home, order the properly sized air conditioner, and install it correctly.
Contact Comfort Solutions HVAC to schedule an in-home consultation for outfitting your older home with air conditioning.
Considerations for Adding Central Air to Your Older Home
Ductwork or No Ductwork?
The first, and possibly most important, consideration is ductwork. If your older home has never had air conditioning, it might not have ductwork. Therefore, your contractor must install ductwork and plan how to incorporate central air. Retrofitting requires cleverly hiding the ductwork behind walls, in the back of your home’s closets, and even the attic. This prevents your contractor from cutting into walls as much as possible.
If you have forced-air heating in the home already, then adding central air becomes easier. Now, your contractor only needs to plan the central air with the existing ductwork.
Some modifications might be required for your existing ductwork, including:
- Upsizing the Furnace Blower: Your furnace blower must move the cooled air from the air conditioner to the home. If the fan is undersized, it cannot adequately push air. Therefore, an upgrade to the existing blower is likely.
- Sealing Off Ducts: Older homes are likely to have gaps and holes in the ductwork that leave your system imbalanced. Our technicians examine the ductwork and look for any deficiencies. By sealing them, we ensure adequate airflow, but also prevent hazardous back drafting from your furnace in the winter.
- Changing Supply Registers: To accommodate the new needs of your air conditioner and furnace on the same ductwork, we might change your supply registers for ones that allow more air volume through.
Picking the Right Air Conditioner for the Job
Air conditioners come in various types and sizes. The team at Comfort Solutions HVAC will assess your older home’s energy efficiency, including the insulation you have in place. Then, we consider the square footage, number of rooms and layout of your home to determine the proper size air conditioner.
You want a unit that is properly sized, but also offers maximum energy efficiency.
One area that owners of older homes do not think about is the electrical demands of a newer air conditioner. Our technicians must assess the electrical panel to ensure there is room for a new breaker. Also, we must make sure your panel can handle the power load of that new air conditioner. If not, your home might need an electrical contractor to upgrade to a new breaker box.
Schedule your appointment for a new central air conditioner consultation in your older home. Call Comfort Solutions HVAC at 610-438-9300 for more information.