Older homes have tons of character. Wood floors, crown moulding, stained glass windows, and brick exteriors are all gorgeous staples. If you own an older house, you likely take great pride in its uniqueness and rich history.
Unfortunately, older houses typically mean more work. It can feel like the repairs are constant, and the upkeep can become overwhelming. Dated windows, asbestos, and old bones mean you can find yourself constantly at the hardware store or on the phone with your maintenance technician.
An old home’s HVAC system can be especially challenging. While modern homes come equipped with new ductwork and powerful furnaces, many old houses were built long before central heating and cooling were even a concept! This can mean smaller, tighter ductwork that leads to less effective circulation, making it harder to regulate the temperature in your home.
This becomes especially evident during the hot summer months when bricks trap heat, and the air in your house seems to stand still. After last year’s hottest summer on record, you likely swore to yourself you would do something about the blistering indoor temperatures.
It’s almost spring, and time to find a solution to your old home’s cooling problem before it’s too late. But what are the options?
Install modern central air
If you own an older home built before the central air era, you have likely considered installing modern air ducts and furnaces on multiple occasions. Installing central air in an old home is possible, but it is a big commitment.
Central air will give you all the efficiency and control modern homes have over their climate. It’ll also add value to your home. And as the be-all and end-all solution, it guarantees you won’t be trying every hack just to land back here in the end.
However, installing central air is expensive and time-consuming. Installation will require construction and a lot of noise in your home. Because this kind of reno can be costly and require expertise, it’s crucial to find trustworthy and reliable HVAC specialists who will be honest about their recommendations. If you’ve been struggling with summer heat for a while, it may finally be time to book a consultation to talk with your HVAC team about your options for installing central air.
Get a heat pump
What is a heat pump? Basically, a heat pump takes heat from an external source and brings it into your home. Why would you want this if your goal is to cool your home down?
A heat pump can also work in reverse. It can take the hot air from your home and expel it outside. Heat pumps are an excellent option for an old house because they work in tandem with your existing furnace and don’t require the same invasive treatment as upgrading to central air. Not only can a heat pump help keep your house cool during the summer, but it can also reduce winter heating costs. If you’re considering investing in a heat pump, read our blog about their many great advantages.
Install multiple AC units
If you’re looking for a quick solution to your heat woes, you may be tempted to install window-mounted air conditioners in the rooms where you spend the most time. This can be a good way to fix your stuffy rooms ASAP. AC units are easy to install and can be purchased at almost any home repair store.
While AC units are an okay short-term fix, they aren’t well suited to old homes and could cause damage in the long run. Old houses don’t have open concept floor plans, which means a window AC unit will only be able to cool down the room it’s in. They can scratch woodwork and could leak onto delicate floors. Old houses also don’t always have reliable electrical capabilities. Multiple window units run the risk of creating a short circuit or running up a massive electric bill.
Get your ducts cleaned
If your house is always overheated in the summer, the culprit could be a lack of airflow. Old homes are filled with dust and other debris that accumulates in your vents, restricting air flow. This can contribute to making your home hot and the air stagnant.
Not only does this make your home uncomfortable, but it can also reduce air quality. Poor circulation could put you and your family at risk of respiratory problems and allergic symptoms. Having your ducts cleaned can improve the airflow and circulation in your home and save you from needing a more costly cooling option. If you’re in the Winnipeg area, you can find out more about Whyte Ridge’ powerful duct cleaning services here.
Keeping your old home cool in the summer months is definitely more of a challenge than it is in newer homes outfitted with central air conditioning. Each year it seems to be getting hotter, and if you are already dreading summer, it’s time to have something done.
Whyte Ridge’s team of honest and reliable HVAC specialists will be able to help you find a solution. Don’t wait until it’s too late: take steps now to prevent a hot and sticky summer indoors, and enjoy year-round home comfort.