Adding An AC System to An Older Home: 3 Things You Should Know

Adding An AC System to An Older Home: 3 Things You Should Know

There are a lot of reasons why older homes are such a wise investment. Aside from the fact that they tend to be built out of long-lasting materials and the rooms are oftentimes a lot larger as well, older homes also have quite a bit of character and can be fun to decorate, too. Oftentimes, they are the kinds of homes that are cheaper than some of the newer ones, as well.

That doesn’t mean that older homes do not come with their own challenges, though. For instance, being that they’ve been around for many years, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll need to make some repairs or even replace certain items inside of them.

Take an AC system, for instance. If the house had small portable units throughout it or the current unit is over 10 years old, it’s a good idea it put in a new system altogether. However, before you do, there are three things that you should keep in mind in order to make the purchasing and installation process a breeze.

Adding An AC System to An Older Home: 3 Things You Should Know
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Consider the Home’s Electrical System

There are a lot of owners of older homes who make one crucial mistake when it comes to making certain upgrades: they don’t check their house’s foundational aspects, such as the plumbing and electrical system. Take the electrical system, for example. In a lot of older homes, there is barely enough power for the current lights and appliances that it already has, let alone something newer. For instance, many old houses only have 110-volt circuits and 60-amp to power the entire home. Meanwhile a new AC system can require as much as 230-volt circuit and 20-50 amps of power. The bottom line is that before putting a new air conditioner into your house, first consult with a professional electrician to see what kind of adjustments need to be made to the wiring of your home.

Consider the Size of the System

Whether you’re thinking about getting an AC that has an Energy Star label on it or you’re interested in adding a geothermal heating and cooling system, something else that you need to consider is the size of the system that you want to install. If you get one that is too big or too small for the house, it could prevent you from receiving the adequate cooling that you’re looking for. Not only that, but it could also result in the unit being too loud, breaking down often, and also your electricity bills becoming higher than you would like them to be. You can avoid getting the wrong size system for your house by hiring a reputable contractor to install it. One way you can know if they are indeed the right person for the job is if they present you the industry-standard “Manual J” and “Manual D” sizing calculations for your home. If they recommend going with a “rule of thumb” estimate, there’s a lot of room for error with that. Therefore, you should go with someone else.

Consider If You Want a Retrofit System

Something else that you should think about is if you would prefer to go with a retrofit system. While they do tend to cost more money than regular duct systems on the front end, the reason why they’re still worth considering is because in older homes, the installation process does not require a lot of carpentry or finish work. Typically, they range between $8,000-10,000. However, they are energy-efficient, provide plenty of cooling power, and can last 10-12 years. For more information on retrofit systems, visit The Air Genie and put “HVAC retrofit” in the search field.


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