Ductless HVAC vs. Central HVAC for Older Homes

Do you own an older home? If so, you’re probably well aware of the many additional challenges these homes can face. An aging home means the materials it’s built from are likely starting to show their wear, meaning considerable work fixing and replacing them. Likewise, when it comes to retrofitting modern technology into these older homes, the design of your home may not exactly be right for it. This is particularly true with heating and cooling systems.

How to Heat & Cool Homes Without Ductwork

If your home was built before central heating and air conditioning were widely accepted and commonplace in homes, then there’s a good chance your home was not built with air ducts in mind. Your floors may be thinner, your walls more narrow, and that can present a problem. Installing ductwork when you don’t have the space or structure to accommodate it can be a major intrusion on your life, and cost tens of thousands of dollars or more. Plus, on top of that, you’ll be tearing apart the walls, floors, and ceilings which may hold so much of the charm that got you to purchase the house in the first place.

This begs the question: is a central heating and cooling system really better for your home than a ductless option? Here are a few considerations to keep in mind that may be able to help you answer that question:

  • No need for ductwork. A ductless heating and cooling system, as the name implies, doesn’t need air ducts. The systems themselves blow the air into each room from a fan contained inside the indoor unit, which is a small box mounted on your wall. The whisper-quiet motors and fans make them easy and peaceful to operate, and they completely avoid the need to have to tear apart your house in order to install bulky ductwork.
     
  • Small outdoor units. Outdoor units are large, loud, and consume a ton of energy. Installing one outside your home can be disruptive and even ruin the look of your historic home. Are you trying to preserve a piece of what the community looked like in the 1800s or early 1900s? An air conditioner sticking out the side certainly isn’t going to help that. But a ductless system is small, easy to hide, and generally much quieter than a large central system.
     
  • Space saving technology. Speaking of smaller units, the same problem can come up inside as well: where are you going to put your indoor unit? Because most older homes weren’t designed with central heating and cooling in mind, they didn’t build the home with a closet to stick your air handler and evaporator coil in. You could stick it in your attic, but even that might prove difficult based on how your home was designed. With a ductless system, this isn’t even a concern. You only have to install the units in rooms where you want heating and cooling, and the entire system mounts right on your wall. No need to sacrifice a closet or your attic space to a giant indoor unit.
     
  • Modern amenities. But wait: what’s the point of retrofitting heating and cooling technology if you don’t get all of the amenities of a brand new system? Well, you can. Ductless systems are loaded with features that make them easy to operate and efficient to use. Wi-Fi connectivity means you can connect to them from anywhere in the world via your smartphone or tablet. Their modernized air filters can make your air cleaner, healthier, and easier to breathe. And their smaller size makes them even more effective at heating and cooling smaller spaces, all while using less energy!

When you think about it, when it comes to older homes, there’s almost no other choice!

To learn more about a ductless air conditioning system or to make an installation appointment, call the St. Paul ductless HVAC experts from HomeWorks at (651) 401-8068 today.
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