Installing new air conditioning or upgrading an existing one can be a little tricky in older homes and buildings. Older Bay Area constructions usually do not have the space required for duct work that traditional air conditioning systems need.
Even the electrical system of the building may not be adequate to be able to take the load of new ACs. Trying to meddle with the electrical system or install traditional air conditioning can often lead to damage of floors, walls, and plastering. You may also have to lower ceilings in order to make room for AC equipment.
All these are bound to cause great inconvenience and also spoil the interiors and charm of your spaces. Tearing holes in the walls or ceiling to make space for duct work or installing noisy, cumbersome window units is definitely something residents would want to avoid.
Hence, it is necessary to look for alternate AC options that will fit into older homes and still provide an efficient and comfortable HVAC experience.
1. VRF Systems
Equipped with an outdoor condenser unit and indoor air handlers, connected without ducts, Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF systems) are one of the best modern air conditioning options for older homes.VRF systems provide cooling and heating as required; even simultaneously in different rooms if need be. VRF systems allow the creation of zones around the house, making cooling more efficient and cost effective. These systems are silent and energy efficient as the variable speed compressor can run at a capacity needed for current conditions, instead of running on high speed all the time.
Variable refrigerant flow means that the system varies the flow of AC refrigerant to indoor units based on demand. This results in prudent use of the refrigerant and energy.
These systems are convenient to use, can be managed from a remote device and give you uniform conditioning around the house. Less wear and tear of parts means that these have fewer breakdowns and last longer.
But they are intricate and must be handled by experts. Make sure that your HVAC installers are well-versed with VRF systems, otherwise you will receive an incorrect installation and spend more money for the problems resulting from this.
2. High Velocity Systems
These systems are great for smaller homes that do not have enough space for large ducts. High velocity systems come with two small flexible ducts that can be installed inside walls and around pipes and wiring without having to create any holes in the ceiling or walls. These small ducts are insulated and thus, reduce noise. The systems have a blower and coil in one single unit.
3. Ductless Mini Split Systems
As the name suggests, these systems require no ducts and are split into two main components- the indoor unit that consists of the air handler and the evaporator coil, and an outdoor unit that consists of the compressor and the condenser coil. These are connected to each other by a small tube that holds the refrigerant and electrical lines.