Retrofit Air Conditioning: Replacing the AC Unit in an Old Las Vegas House
by The Cooling Company, on Jan 12, 2017 4:08:00 AM
Central air conditioning is one of those creature comforts that simply makes life a little more pleasant. When the scorching days of summer make temperatures skyrocket, it's nice to be able to set the thermostat and trust that your HVAC will take care of the rest. While central A/C is as common as indoor plumbing in brand new builds, older homes often require some extra attention.
If you're considering retrofitting your home's air conditioning, this guide should help you get started.
Things to Consider before Adding a New HVAC System to Your Home
Retrofitting an older home with central air conditioning is probably not a decision you'll arrive at overnight. Each home is unique, and there are some things you should consider before you commit to the project.
1. Type of Heating System in Your House
Older homes in Las Vegas may have any number of heating and air conditioning systems. Some types of HVAC systems lend themselves to easier retrofitting projects than others. For example:
- Forced-air systems already have ducts in place, but the existing system will need to undergo modifications.
- Electric baseboard systems do not utilize ducts, which means the retrofitting process will include the addition of ducts.
2. Your Home's Electrical System
Older homes weren't built to withstand the electrical needs of today's appliances and modern conveniences. Your electrical panel will need to have enough room to add a breaker that supports the A/C to accommodate your new central air conditioning system. If your home is like many older homes, you may need to upgrade your circuit breaker box, as well.
3. Best Type of HVAC System for Your Home
There are two main types of HVAC systems:
- Package systems are the rarer of the two kinds. A fan-and-coil system propels condenser-cooled refrigerant along ductwork that's connected directly to the unit, creating a large wall air conditioner.
- Split systems utilize outdoor condensers with indoor fan-and-cool systems. Refrigerant is piped in from the outside unit and distributed through the home via ducts.
Homes without Central Air Conditioning
If you fell in love with a beautiful Las Vegas home and decided you could overlook the fact that it doesn't have central A/C, it may not have taken you long to lament that decision. Fortunately, retrofitting is usually possible. By understanding retrofitting options and their possible implications, you'll be able to approach your project with a solid knowledge base.
- Size. A unit that's too small won't be able to cool your home when temperatures are at their hottest properly, but it will overwork itself trying, running up your energy bills. Over-sized units will waste more energy than you need for the square footage of your home.
- Energy Efficiency. Because Las Vegas' climate lends itself to many months of running the air conditioner, a good SEER rating is important.
- Cost. Considering upfront costs is important. If your home does not currently have ducts, there will be added costs when ducts are created. Expenses associated with electrical panel upgrades are other costs commonly left out of the budgeting equation.
Who Do I Hire to Retrofit Air Conditioning?
Before you commit to a company for your retrofitting project:
- Always check references
- Review the company's online reputation and reviews
- Make sure the company is licensed, bonded, and insured
- Speak with one or two additional companies
Retrofitting central air conditioning in Las Vegas is not an uncommon practice; however, you don't want to leave the job up to just anybody. It's essential that you hire experienced HVAC pros who understand the intricacies and anomalies that often present themselves in older homes. Seasoned pros will help you determine the size, type of system, and location that's right for your needs. Cleverly disguising new ductwork behind walls and inside closets is something experienced professionals pride themselves in, which means your home will maintain its aesthetic appeal after the project's finished.
For more information on replacing or retrofitting your home A/C unit, contact The Cooling Company today.