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Choosing An Air Conditioning Unit for Older Homes

Living in an older home has its charms, but the lack of accommodations for modern HVAC ducts is not one of them. That means that adding modern conveniences can be a challenge.

Older homes that have not been updated often lack the space to install the ductwork needed for traditional systems. In addition, electrical systems may not be adequate to accommodate them anyway. Of course, there are a number of air conditioning unit choices that can provide the desired level of comfort without the need for major construction expense.

It’s easy to get misinformation from builders and even some HVAC firms about your options as they may say that window units are your only other option. That may be the last thing that you want due to the noise, potential for condensation and the way they might impact the look of your older home. Tearing into walls even if you have the cavity space for duct systems may not be what you want or can afford, so here are two of the best options for an air conditioner unit that will meet your needs.


We’ve talked about split systems in this blog in the past, but if you’re exploring HVAC contractors in NJ and your options for your older home, here is a basic explanation of what they are and how they work:

Split systems have two basic components that include the compressor and condenser unit that is installed outside and the evaporator coil and air handling unit that resides inside. A small conduit connects the indoor and outdoor units in a split system and this holds the refrigerant and electrical lines.

While the outdoor unit is often installed under a window or some other inconspicuous place that provides a short run to the indoor unit, it can be mounted in a mechanical room is one exists. The indoor unit can be wall mounted, or can be installed in the ceiling if there is adequate clearance (and cutting a small hole in the ceiling is not prohibitive).

As the name implies, mini splits are small systems and are most often used to add cooling to one or two rooms. These systems can be both quiet and efficient systems for many indoor spaces in older home.


If you aren’t averse to smaller holes being cut into walls and ceilings, a high velocity system may be an ideal air conditioning unit alternative. The main feature of the high velocity system is its small flexible ducts that are no larger than two inches in diameter. These can be easily fed through small holes in walls and ceilings while the blower and coil unit, which comes in a single enclosure, can easily fit into small spaces.

In order to make the right choice for your older home, you should choose a highly experienced and reputable HVAC company like Joe Hurley that can do an onsite assessment and help you to make informed choices on the right equipment for your space and your budget. This includes ensuring that your load calculation is done properly so your new system has the correct capacity for the usage requirements.

For more information on an air conditioner unit for an older home if you live in Ocean, Monmouth or Mercer County, call Joe Hurley today at 732.660.1600.