Many homes, mainly older homes, do not have the ductwork capable of supporting central AC. There are several advantages and disadvantages of choosing alternative ACs and you might want to use a combination of them, depending on your home.
A ductless mini-split is probably the most extensive AC you can have for a home without ductwork. Similar to central AC, a mini-split has an indoor and outdoor unit. You only need a small hole in the wall to connect the indoor and outdoor units. Depending on the specific unit, several indoor units can be connected to a single outdoor unit. The mini-split tends to have a higher upfront cost than central air, but it is fairly efficient because of the lack of ductwork. Unlike most central AC, the mini-split allows for easy zoning of your AC since each indoor unit can be operated independently of the others. Although the indoor unit is attached to the wall, making it obvious, it is much smaller and less obstructive than other options like a window unit.
Window AC is among the most common sources of cooling in older homes because they are easy to install. You can purchase different window units based on the size of the room you are trying to cool. One challenge you may face is cooling large rooms, like living rooms, or when the living room, dining room, and kitchen are just one big space. Depending on the layout of your home, there may be rooms that are difficult to cool because they do not have a window, such as a kitchen and a bathroom. Another consideration will be safety. It can be off-putting to install a window unit in first-floor windows because it makes it easier for people to access your home. Additionally, the window can no longer be used as a point of escape in an emergency. You'll likely want at least one window on each floor that can be used as an escape route.
Portable ACs are another option to cool rooms in your home and they don't require installation. You can simply move the AC around to different rooms, as needed. This is an ideal option to use in addition to window units for rooms where a window unit cannot be installed. However, you will still need access to a window to vent the heat from a portable AC. Therefore, where you can use the portable AC will be dependent on the length of the vent hose relative to a nearby window. If you are not especially heat-intolerant or live in a climate where the summers are not especially harsh, you might find having a portable AC is enough for your needs.
Fortunately, not having ductwork does not preclude you from having AC, but it can make finding the right system more challenging. You might find using a combination of ACs works best for your needs and home.
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28 March 2023
Can furnace repairs be made by the average DIYer? If you know a little about what you are doing, is it possible to avoid the expense of having a professional come out to take care of any problems that you are having? My blog is all about furnace safety and repair. You will learn a few things that you can do on your own and advice for when to call in the professional repair technician to assist with the repairs. By the time you reach the end, you will have a better understanding of what you can and should not do on your own.