HVAC Hacks: Tips for Novices and New Homeowners

No Ducts, No Problem: AC Options For Your Home

If you are tired of sweating through the summer months, a home AC system probably seems like a great idea. Unfortunately, you may think this solution is out of reach because your home doesn't have existing ducts. While a central air conditioner may not be the best choice, there are other cooling options that can work with minimal changes to your home.

Window and Room Units

The simplest solution is the standard window unit or a free-standing room unit. A single window unit is designed to cool one room or, in some cases, two attached rooms (such as an open plan living and dining area). As long as you choose a unit that is the appropriate size for the room, these units can work exceedingly well. The key is to measure the square footage of your room before shopping since the AC specifications will detail the size range it is designed to cool.

The main drawback of a window unit is that it will block the view through one window in the room. Window units can also be loud compared to a central system, although they have gotten quieter in recent years. Many units also come with built-in thermostats so that they don't have to constantly run. Room units, on the other hand, only obstruct a window partially where the air intake is placed, but they do take up square footage in the room.

Mini-Split Units

A mini-split AC works more like a central air conditioning system, but you don't need ducts installed.

Most mini-split systems are designed to cool up to two rooms, as long as the rooms share a wall. This means you may only need two or three units for your entire home. Each system consists of a condenser, which is installed outside of the home, and the vent system, which is installed near the ceiling in the room(s) serviced by the unit. A hose is run through the ceiling to connect the vent(s) to the condenser outside.

There are few drawbacks to a mini-split system, other than the need for professional installation and the drilling of the hole for the hose and wiring. The benefits make the more involved installation well worth it. Mini-split systems provide you with all of the benefits of a central AC system, take up minimal space, and don't obstruct the view. They also provide zone cooling options so you can manage the temperature individually in each room.

Contact an AC installation service for more help.