Install Central Air in an Old House Without Mistakes!
Sweating through another hot summer? Here’s what you need to know before investing in a central air conditioner for your older home.
The time has come to finally upgrade your home’s cooling needs with a central air conditioning installation.
However, there are factors you should consider, especially if you live in an older home. Always hire a reputable AC installation company to install your new central air conditioner.
Determining how powerful an air conditioning system needs to be to cool a house properly is easy. Above all, you don't want to install a central AC system that is too large. This will cause it to cycle on and off frequently. A large central air conditioner isn't necessarily the best, and may even be setting you up for trouble.
Larger AC units cycle far too often and don’t run long enough to remove moisture from the indoor air. Dehumidification, or the lowering of humidity levels, does not happen when the air conditioner is not on for at least ten minutes.
How do you choose the right-sized AC unit for your home? You can use one of two methods to determine the right size of AC system you will need. First, take your home's square footage and multiply it by 25. Then divide by 12,000 and subtract .05. The second way to calculate the correct size your central air conditioner should be using the square footage range by the climate zone where you live.
For example, if you live in a scorching, humid climate, you will need a unit that is capable of providing maximum cooling comfort in heat and humidity. A licensed HVAC expert can conduct a load estimation as well as determine the correct size of a central air conditioner for a home. They will evaluate your whole home, including:
- Size of living space.
- Home’s age, and condition.
- If there is existing ductwork.
- If your home has sufficient insulation.
- Older windows and wide door jambs allow outside air to enter the house.
- Are there a lot of windows in your home?
Who Needs Ducts?
Living in an older home means you probably don't have any ductwork. If this is the case, you will have to hire a licensed contractor to install the needed ducts in your home, which can set you back thousands of dollars in addition to the central air conditioning installation itself.
Keep in mind that this will require tearing open walls, even lowering your ceiling to allow room for the ductwork. This is something you may not be on board to do if you truly enjoy the original beauty of your older home.
Your other option is to install a mini-duct HVAC system instead. This will update your older home without sacrificing its historic structure. These air conditioners push cool air through small ducts, about 3" diameter.
The smaller ducts can be snaked through walls and ceilings without the need to cut holes in walls or lower of the ceiling. Mini-duct systems send cool air through small coils, smaller than on standard central air conditioners.
What Will it Cost?
Many different factors will dictate the price you will pay for your new AC system, including your climate, insulation, equipment, and labor.
You’ll end up paying about $2,000 to $5,000 per ton, depending on the size and complexity of the job, and the installation usually takes 2 to 5 days.
A central air conditioner that is professionally installed will improve the comfort level inside your older home and also the value of your property.
Still can’t decide? Contact the central air conditioner experts at Mid Florida A/C in Melbourne, FL for honest advice and recommendations.