The Challenges Of Cooling Historic Homes

image of a historic home without central air conditioning

Historic homes usually aren’t structurally made to handle most modern designs of air conditioners. Many older homes are maintained well. However, their existing design layout usually makes it difficult to determine the air conditioner size and type to install in the house. Most historic homes also aren’t fitted with ducts. They would require adding ductwork which can affect the home’s aesthetic value because this is a major reconstruction project. Historic homes may also have insulation reliability issues. 

Therefore, ductless air conditioning systems are the most viable option out of the HVAC systems available. This system allows you to preserve historic homes while letting you enjoy comfort and energy efficiency. This article discusses ductless air conditioning historic home.

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What Are Ductless Mini-Split Systems?

Ductless mini-split systems provide both heating and cooling. They also allow you to control the temperature in various zones or rooms in your home. A mini-split system comprises two major components: the indoor air conditioning/evaporator and the outdoor compressor/condenser. A conduit runs between these two units. Depending on the home’s size and the occupants’ needs, a home may have one or more indoor air handling units to handle the various zones or areas.

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Advantages Of Ductless Air Conditioners

Ductless mini-split systems are the go-to cooling solutions for a historic home. Several of the benefits you get from them include:

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Energy Efficiency

image of efficiency rating depicting energy-efficient ductless air conditioner for historic home

The ductwork causes a 25% energy loss, which can be prevented when you use a ductless system. Moreover, window air conditioners are likely inefficient and have high operating rates. On the other hand, ductless mini-splits are equipped with inverter compressors that can speed up or slow down per the needs of the room or zone. Standard HVAC compressors usually have to turn off and on again to keep the system running. Remember that compressor start up consumes more energy, so you have more energy savings when you use ductless air conditioners.

You can also switch off a ductless unit when you go out of the room. This means you don’t have to pay to cool an empty room. This excellent feature cannot be found in a central unit. 

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Indoor Air Quality

Ductless mini-splits offer enhanced indoor air quality thanks to their improved multi-stage air filtration and lack of ductwork. Particles such as pollen, dust, and dander tend to build up in the ducts. The HVAC unit can circulate these indoor air pollutants throughout your home via the vents. A window AC can also be a breeding ground for mildew, mold, and bacteria and affect your IAQ. You wouldn’t have these problems when you have a ductless system. 

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HVAC Zoning

image of a family at home enjoying ductless air conditioning comfort

You can create zones when you have a ductless mini-split. Zones are rooms or areas you can group together per your desired temperature. This means that each zone can be set at varying temperatures. For instance, the kitchen and pantry can have a lower temperature setting while the bedrooms have a higher one. Zones are independent spaces, so occupants can enjoy their indoor conditions optimally without sacrificing personal comfort.

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Whisper-quiet Operation

Ductless mini-splits are perfect for individuals who like a quiet home, thanks to their low-noise and whisper-quiet operation. Indoor air handlers have tiny tubes through which conditioned air is distributed. Systems with ducts need large duct systems that are very noisy. Window cooling units are also known to create high noise levels because all of their parts are in one unit. The absence of insulation further exacerbates the problem.

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Ease Of Installation

Mini-splits are one of the easiest HVAC systems to install. They don’t need intensive work and only require very minimal drilling. This aspect vastly differs from installing a central air conditioner because it requires major construction in a home, as you must install a duct system. 

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Environmentally Friendly

Ductless air conditioners don’t consume as much energy as traditional or window air conditioning systems. The refrigerant that air conditioners use is also environmentally friendly. Therefore, using a ductless cooling system for your home means bringing comfort to your household while not contributing to environmental pollution.

Reduced Home Heating And Cooling Costs

Energy efficiency means reduced costs. The operating cost varies per the unit’s size and model. However, ductless systems only cool occupied rooms and not the whole house, so you pay less regarding the energy used. Ductless systems also have high SEER ratings, boasting some of the highest out of all the air conditioners on the market. 

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How Will Ductless Air Conditioning Affect The Structure Of A Historic Home?

image of a homeowner using a ductless air conditioning system in a historic home

A great feature ductless air conditioners have is that they don’t need ducts to operate. Remember that installing a network of ducts requires extensive and expensive construction work, including tearing and rebuilding walls and ceilings. On the other hand, ductless systems only need a small hole that’s three inches in diameter. An HVAC technician will drill this through the wall so a conduit can pass through and link the indoor and outdoor units together. This small hole is the only damage that will be done to the historic home. Ductless air conditioners are compact and don’t need much installation space.

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Are Window ACs A Good Alternative To Ductless ACs?

image of a window air conditioner

Window air conditioners may look like close alternatives to ductless air conditioners. However, window air conditioners are notorious for several reasons. First, they need a giant hole through the wall or a space on a window. Occupying a wall or window means your historic home becomes vulnerable to pests and burglars who can get inside your home easily via the hole or window space. Window air conditioners also block natural light from streaming inside your home. They also need to be removed and stored when winter arrives. Window ACs can generate high noise levels as well. They also encourage mold and mildew to grow.

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A historic home should be preserved and maintained so that its beauty and value are retained. Cooling a historic home can be challenging, but that doesn’t mean it cannot be done. Ductless air conditioning systems are an effective and capable way to maintain the aesthetics and value of a home with a long history. Talk to a reputable HVAC company today to learn more about how ductless mini-split systems can cool your home.

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Call R.F. Ohl To Learn More About Ductless HVAC Systems

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The expert technicians on our team are equipped to handle any HVAC repair or maintenance. Contact us to hear about our various services. We can assist by answering your questions and concerns. For more information about our efficient HVAC services or oil deliveries, call R.F. Ohl today!

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