Trying to find a way to cool down an older home can be a challenge. Homes built before the days of air conditioning didn’t have modern systems in place, so it leaves it up to the homeowner to improvise a solution. Luckily, there are a few different solutions so that you don’t have to suffer through the summertime. By simple processes of retrofitting, you can install a number of efficient cooling systems that won’t break the bank or cause your carbon footprint to widen. You may have to sacrifice a closet or a few inches of ceiling space, but it will be well worth it. Here are the best air-conditioning system options for an older home.
- Portable air conditioner. One of the easiest options to cool an older home is to simply plug in a portable air conditioner. These systems don’t require any heavy installation and you don’t have to take apart walls to install ductwork. When you purchase one of these systems, you may want to keep in mind the square footage of your home – some larger homes may not be right for this type of system.
- Central air conditioning. Another option is to go with a traditional central air conditioning system. This is by far the most expensive route, because you have to install ductwork, but it can often be the most effective method. You will also have to take into consideration the importance of clean indoor air - replacing the ductwork and filter will be two important maintenance responsibilities. If you are having trouble fitting in the ductwork, you may have to lower the ceiling and place the ductwork behind drywall.
- Vented system. A vented air conditioning system includes installing a number of automatic vents in the walls that can be controlled from a thermostat. These systems work more efficiently in moderate climates, because they use refrigerant to cool down the home – it is essentially just fresh air that gets sent into the home from dampers. These systems can be incredibly efficient if the vent is installed in the attic – cooling down the attic in an older home can effectively reduce the temperature of all the other rooms in the home.
- Ductless split-system. Another effective option that doesn’t require ductwork is a split ductless system. As the name suggests, a split air conditioning system includes installing a unit indoors and a unit outdoors. The unit outdoors draws in the ambient air and converts it into cool air, which is then sent through the indoor unit and throughout your home. By far, this is one of the most effective ways to cool down a home in a region that gets incredibly warm in the summertime.
- High velocity duct system. These systems are relatively new on the market, but they can be really effective and easy to install in older homes. You may have to sacrifice a closet for the ductwork, but because the system is so powerful, you don’t need a lot of ducts to power the unit, which means less construction. These systems cost a little more money, but they can definitely be worth it.