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Can You Add Central Air to Older Homes?


Air Conditioning, Older Homes

Classic older homes in the Chicago North Shore area

When you own an older home, you either feel like you must compromise the integrity of your home or give up on living in the modern world with comfort during the blistering summer heat. If you’re looking to preserve the classic beauty of your older home while making comfort upgrades with new technology, we’re all for it here at American Vintage Home. Let our team walk you through your air conditioning options.

What to Consider

While some homes are easier to retrofit, others require more creative solutions. Here are some things to consider when thinking about upgrading your old home with central air.

  • Is it possible? Yes, it is possible to install a central air system in an older home, especially if your home has a ductwork system that can be shared with your heating system to provide a minimally invasive installation process. However, chances are your older home does not have a ductwork system and will require a professional installation to modernize your home with central air.
  • What are the constraints? Ductwork requires an invasive installation procedure. This process can leave holes in your walls and may even require you to have your ceilings lowered. A professional technician determines the kind of work that will be required based on the unique construction of your home. To help minimize damage, older homes often have ductwork installed in closets or ceilings, if feasible. You will also have to consider the extensive repair work that will be needed for post-ductwork installation in your home to restore its previous aesthetic.
  • What are the benefits? While the installation and restoration repairs may be hard to swallow, the benefits of upgrading your system to a newer, more efficient system can’t be beaten. Some of the perks of a central air conditioning unit in your home include low utility bills, greater interior comfort, better indoor air quality, a quiet cooling system, and added value to your home.
  • What is the oldest home that would be the best eligible for central air? Home designs and technology often go hand in hand. Homes that were built in the early 1900s and 1940s weren’t designed with the ventilation systems needed for central air because the technology simply didn’t exist. Furnaces were powered by coal, sawdust, or oil and served as the main heat source. While it may be possible to install central air in these homes, it will require extensive work to accommodate the technology.

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More Affordable Options for Air Conditioning

Central air isn’t the only option for a modern cooling system. There are more sophisticated and affordable alternatives on the market that can provide the same comfort level you seek without the aggressive installation process of a central air system. These solutions include:

  • Spacepak: Designed to be installed into the framework of your home, the Spacepak cooling system consists of 2-inch flexible ducts that can be easily installed into the walls, floors, and ceilings of your home to provide optimal cooling power. This cooling system takes into consideration the unique design of your home and requires no major renovations or invasive vent installations that will damage the integrity of your older home.
  • Heat pumps: Heat pumps can be easily installed in homes that are insulated to maintain efficiency, particularly ductless mini-split systems. Houses that are well-insulated are good candidates for this system.
  • Unico AC: This cooling system is geared toward older homes and restorations and does not require extensive remodeling. It is also one-third the size of traditional central air systems and runs along existing floors, walls, and ceiling cavities to deliver complete cooling.

Contact American Vintage Home for HVAC Advice for Older Homes

At American Vintage Home, we understand your concerns about updating your older home. That’s why our team of certified experts handles all your cooling needs with great consideration and thought to the construction and age of your home to find the right solution. We currently serve as the leading Spacepak installer in the country. So, if you’re looking for an older home expert, look no further than American Vintage Home to help you find the right solution for your unique needs.

To learn more or to get started with installing a Spacepak system in your vintage home, call American Vintage Home at (847) 999-4595 or contact us online.

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