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A Very Cool Solution for Homes without AC

Aug 1, 2008
Many homes, especially the older ones, weren't built with central air. Today with global warming having air conditioning is not just a luxury but actually a necessity. Many climates that used to be mild are now experiencing record heat waves on a regular basis.

Homes that didn't put in air conditioning frequently didn't pay much attention to insulation and energy efficiency either resulting in more difficulty in keeping the morning cool air temperatures inside the home as the day wears on. So now, especially since it's summer and things are heating up, many are looking at installing air conditioning and other cooling and insulating options.

Installing central air conditioning can be a major expense. Installing dual and triple zone air conditioning can be even more expensive. My sister and her husband both work from home and they didn't have air conditioning in their home when they bought it so one of the first things they did was to have central air conditioning installed.

Unfortunately they let themselves be talked out of installing dual air conditioning and decided to just have one unit for the entire home. What they found out was the temperature between the first and second floor is about 20 degrees different and they spend all of their time upstairs in their offices so things are kind of miserable.

They have to turn the air on so cold downstairs that you need a jacket just so that the upstairs air temperature will be bearable. And their electricity bill is through the roof in the summer.

So what are their options at this point? Well they could redo the central air conditioning to make it dual zone at considerable expense, they could use the energy efficient window film to help cut down on solar heat at a minimal expense but it probably wouldn't keep things as cool as they would like or they could install a window air conditioner but they can be noisy and block light and also don't really cool that well.

So here's a midrange solution that can work very well for any home: Ductless Air Conditioners.

Ductless air conditioners, also sometimes known as mini split air conditioners because they are similar to a regular ducted central air conditioner, but on a smaller scale, are more expensive and than window air conditioners and do require an HVAC professional to install it but are far less expensive and less complicated than installing central air conditioning.

If you currently do not have air-conditioning, or if you have a central system that does not cool well, adding a ductless air conditioner provides better comfort than a window unit. It is quieter and more efficient and has more cooling capacity.

The compressor unit is located outdoors and a cooling unit is mounted high on a wall or ceiling. You only need a hole in your wall about 3 inches in diameter for the coolant, electricity and drainage lines. Since the compressor is outside the ductless air conditioners are very quiet.

There are a lot of options for air vents and they can be mounted on walls or the ceiling. Normally you will need one air handler per room but if your home has open areas you may be able to get away with using one air handler to cool multiple rooms.

This is a very cool solution that won't break the bank and can be done fairly easily and quickly without a lot of mess or expensive renovating.
About the Author
Rebecca Noel is a licensed real estate agent and real estate investor. Remodeling houses and home improvement diy are her area of interest. Find out insider information that will save you $1000's on materials and help you get your remodeling projects done weeks faster at Remodeling Recon.
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