Many beautiful older homes were constructed before the days of forced air heating and air conditioning systems. If you live in one of these homes, you might be heating with hot water radiators, an oil furnace with one central vent, or even wood stoves and kerosene heaters.
Unfortunately, these older systems aren’t nearly as efficient as today’s modern HVAC equipment and in some cases may not be distributing heat evenly throughout your entire home. If you’ve been delaying an upgrade to modern equipment because you don’t want to take a chance of damaging your classic house, adding ductwork and a modern furnace might be easier than you think.
Older Homes without Ductwork
Modern heating equipment is much smaller than its older counterparts and may be able to fit into your home’s crawl space, attic, or a back corner of your basement. All you need is a power source, access for service, and some space for the supply and return ducts to be installed. In many cases the entire first floor of your home can be supplied with heat from ductwork installed in a basement or crawl space with a minimum of repair work.
The same principle applies to the second floor of a home when the heating unit is placed in the attic and vents are installed in the second floor ceiling. Getting main duct lines from the basement to the attic or visa versa is often just a matter of using part of a closet or an out of the way corner that can be boxed in.
Older Homes with Existing Ductwork
Homeowners with an older house that has ductwork already in place are often ahead of the game when upgrading to modern equipment. An HVAC contractor may be able to install a new heating unit by just making a swap with the outdated furnace, doing a few minor adjustments to the existing ductwork, and hooking up a new fuel source if needed.
If you’re perfectly happy with your old furnace, but could use a little bit of air-conditioning on hot summer days – relief can be as easy as adding a split system unit with an exterior condenser and compressor. The units are placed in a metal container sitting outside your home and connected to a small unit adjacent to your existing furnace.
HVAC System Upgrading Considerations
Anytime you’re considering upgrading the HVAC system of an older home a qualified technician should be involved. While many projects are able to be completed without a hitch, an experienced HVAC contractor has the training to overcome most potential problems and ensure your upgrade to modern equipment takes place safely. An HVAC contractor can determine which new system might work best with your home’s design, ensure your electrical service is adequate for the upgrade, and prevent any possible structural damage to your classic house. Hvac supply house near me