Climate control systems are often taken for granted until your system shuts down or needs replacing. But for some homes, a typical HVAC unit may not be practical to install.

This is particularly true for older homes built before the availability of modern climate control systems. In these homes, it can often be too difficult to add the ductwork needed without completely tearing up the inside of a home. It also can be too expensive in some cases to install an HVAC system.

But there are solutions available if it is not practical to install an HVAC system.

Traditional HVAC systems are not always practical

For many homes built before the mid 20th century, it may not be practical to install an HVAC system.

While these homes often feature some form of central heating from a boiler and radiator system, they typically don’t have ductwork to distribute the air throughout the house. These homes often don’t have the space to install a modern duct system.

Traditional ducts can range between 6” to 12” wide, which could be complicated if not impossible in some homes. It would require tearing walls and ceilings apart, creating extra space for soffits to use for the ducts and generally changing the design of the home. This can be messy and expensive.

Another common problem is where to put the equipment, which is large with specific placement requirements. Many older homes not built with this in mind may not have the space needed for installation.

Solutions for homes when HVAC is not practical

In some cases, owners may install window AC units throughout a house to help keep it cool if an HVAC system is not practical. But this can be noisy and inefficient.

There are two main solutions to consider in such cases.

Ductless mini splits

A ductless mini split system, also known as split type air conditioners, ductless systems and ductless air condition, operates using two primary components: an outdoor compressor and condenser, and an indoor air handler. These ductless mini split systems are smaller units that don’t require ducts to distribute conditioned air. They can be easily mounted in any room in the home and operated separately in each room.

The ductless mini split systems can be used to heat and cool a home. They are ideal for older homes that are not equipped for a traditional HVAC system. They also are good for room additions and renovations. They also are more cost effective than window AC units and do not take up much space.

Some key advantages of a ductless mini split system:

  • Modular system for individual rooms 40% more efficient
  • Costs are about $4,500 a room, with the opportunity to spread costs out one room at a time.
  • Powered by indoor unit that requires a large interior space for installation
  • Lifespan of 15 years

High-Velocity air conditioning system

A high velocity air conditioning system is similar to a conventional HVAC system in that it uses ducts to deliver conditioned air throughout the house. But a high-velocity air conditioning system uses smaller, 2″ flexible ducts that are manufactured and designed to adjust to your available space. The system also runs with a compact air handler that is specially designed to easily fit in basements, attics, crawl spaces, closets or any other area that can host this component in a small area.

The high-velocity air conditioning system is popular for homes that cannot practically take a conventional HVAC system. The use of the high-velocity system helps to preserve a home’s architectural design, limit installation hassles and reduce any major renovations required.

Some key advantages of a high velocity air conditioning system:

  • Can be used for cooling but can also provide heating when combined with a heat pump
  • Interior temperature control managed with one central setting for the entire house
  • Quiet operation and small space requirements make them attractive additions to any home
  • Lifespan of 20 years

Discuss your options with a trusted HVAC expert

Make sure to discuss what works best for your home with an expert who understands conditioned air. Comfort Systems USA is a national leader in providing services for mechanical, electrical and plumbing building systems. You can rely on the depth of knowledge and experience of Comfort Systems’ experts across the United States. With more than 45 operating companies in over 170 locations, you can find a Comfort Systems provider near you.

Comfort Systems uses its extensive network of professionals and its experience in the industry to tackle the toughest projects. They can help you solve your home’s conditioned air problems.