3 items you must consider when adding AC to an older building?
What makes Air Conditioning an Old Building or Home so difficult?
OK, So how did the subject of Air Conditioning Old buildings come up? A couple of weeks my little family embarked on the 45 minute drive to Galveston for the Santa Hustle Half Marathon. My wife ran. I sipped coffee and watched with our kiddo. Spectating equated to 10,000 (guessing) runners all dressed up as santa clause. This made for some great pictures but was terrible for trying to pick out someone you know. Felt like I was trapped in a Where's Waldo book.
After watching a sea of red for about an hour I decided to take a walk behind the older buildings along "the strand". What I found was a comical hodge podge of air conditioning systems added over time to the older buildings of Galveston's historic downtown. Since Texas is such a young state this is a fairly rare occurrence. There are very few buildings that were not make with air conditioning... who would have wanted to live here without it? In areas like these or in montrose or the heights we have greater likelihood for finding air conditioning systems finagled into older structures.
What what if you are looking to add a system to your older house? What system related items should you(and your contractor) think about?
Three items to consider when adding Air Conditioning where there was no air conditioning before.
1. Air Flow - Return(into the unit) and supply ducts out. You must have both to operate effectively.
2. Equipment type - Central Air is often times very hard to install on older buildings especially because it requires so much space and can make an older building lose a lot of character. This is why ductless mini-split systems have dominated markets where almost all buildings are too old for central air. America largely an exception where central air dominates. The rest of the world mostly operates on ductless mini-splits they are cheap, easier to install(generally), and extremely efficient.
3. Aesthetics - You almost always have to sacrifice a little space, or look, for the sake of comfort. There are some options that are more discreet. LG currently has an HVAC product that produces cold air but looks like a large picture frame.