Several variables will determine if adding air conditioning to your home’s central heating system is practical. These consist of whether:
- Your home has sufficient ducting.
- The insulation in your home is adequate.
- You want to incur the cost.
If your home has forced air heating, the ductwork used to transport hot air may also be used to circulate cold air. The ductwork must be in good condition without leaks or breaks, which it should be regardless of whether you opt to add AC, thus the crucial word here is “may.” It may be necessary to seal your leaky ductwork and, in some cases, even clean it.
The size of your current ductwork and furnace blower, which determines whether there is enough circulation to effectively distribute cold air throughout your home, is the other concern.
How can you tell if your HVAC system and ducts are adequate right now? The essential tests to determine whether they are sufficient can be carried out by a qualified HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning) technician.
The Age Of Your Home
Homes older than 20 years were frequently under-insulated. This indicates that circulating air is leaking both in and out through holes and cracks in the walls and ceilings. Additionally, according to current energy efficiency regulations, insulation that is 20 years old or older does not have an adequate R-Value. The cost and energy of air conditioning a house increase without effective insulation.
Since air conditioning is a standard feature in most new builds, if you are reading this, you probably live in an older house. If merely to increase heating efficiency and repair any discovered leaks, you might want to think about increasing insulation, at the very least in the roof.
Is Adding AC Worth The Extra Cost?
You could be hesitant to add AC due to the expense if you need to repair or, worse, replace insulation and/or ducting. Remember that adding AC to your HVAC system will increase its efficiency and lower your utility costs if you plan to live in the home for an extended period of time.
Additionally, new insulation and the installation of air conditioning increase your home’s market value, even if you plan to sell it soon. Therefore, the price is really an investment.
What Other Elements Are Required?
If your insulation and ductwork are enough, you can add two extra parts to your forced-air furnace to give your house central air conditioning:
- Air Handler Inside. Houses the AC’s blower and evaporator coil. mounted in an HVAC closet or the attic. When performing a retrofit, the evaporator coil may be fitted within the furnace itself if the current furnace blower is deemed enough or if an adequate blower is installed in its stead.
- Condenser Unit Outside. Consists of the fan, coil, condenser, and AC compressor. situated to the side or back of the home. The indoor air handler is connected to two insulated lines that move refrigerant.
Your AC System’s Size
To efficiently chill your home, this additional equipment needs to be sized correctly. While an enormous unit repeatedly cycles on and off, causing temperature fluctuations while failing to remove humidity, an undersized unit will have to work too hard to cool the entire house and may struggle to manage the proper temperatures in every room. You waste energy and raise utility rates in both scenarios. Above all, you won’t feel comfortable.
The capacity of the AC unit required to cool the house on an average hot day is calculated using a load calculation by a licensed HVAC professional. British Thermal Units, or BTUS, are used in this computation (the heat energy extracted from a house every hour). To add AC to your home effectively, choosing the proper unit size is crucial.
How Much Does Running An Air Conditioner Cost?
How much it will actually cost to run the air conditioning is the last component of your cost calculation. The SEER of an AC unit determines its energy efficiency (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating). This ratio shows how much electricity is needed to dispel each BTU of heat.
You should generally consider the minimum SEER rating for your home to be 14, as it is required in some areas, like California. Energy-efficiency increases with increasing SEER. Higher SEER units cost more, as you might anticipate. The benefit is decreased utility costs because more energy-efficient models use less energy.
Consult HVAC Professionals
In order to deliver the maximum levels of efficiency and comfort, look for a contractor who can design AC add-on systems utilizing a diagnostics method. The technician needs to be qualified to install forced air and air conditioning systems in all residential makes and models. A comprehensive examination of your duct system is part of ensuring the effectiveness of your complete HVAC system.
HVAC must reinstate the letter “V.” The health of your family and the effectiveness of your home’s heating and cooling system both depend on proper ventilation.