Need AC For Your Older Home? Compare 2 Popular Options

Living in an older house has its advantages, but it may also have some drawbacks too. One of the drawbacks could be that the house does not have central air conditioning. Living without AC is not a pleasant experience, especially during the summer, but there are options. If you are tired of living without AC, you may want to look into getting central air conditioning or a ductless air conditioning system. As you make this decision, here are three things for you to think about.


The summer heat may cause you to feel uncomfortable, but it may also cause problems in your house. When houses are hot, moisture tends to build up, and this can lead to warping, mold, mildew, and many other problems.

Any type of AC system you get will help you feel more comfortable inside your house and will reduce the risks of damage caused by heat and moisture. You could get window AC units to install in your home, but these are not the best option for a permanent solution for this. There are two other options though, and these are:

  • Central air conditioning – this is a system that operates with ductwork and register vents.
  • Mini-split ductless air conditioning – this system does not use ductwork, but it offers a more consistent and efficient way to cool a home when compared to window AC units.

As you think about how comfortable it would be to have air conditioning, you should also think about the way the system will look in your house, and the amount of money each would cost to get.


One of the reasons older homes do not have AC is because they have radiant heating systems. Radiant heat is an efficient type of heat that does not use ductwork to heat a home. Instead, it uses radiators and pipes to transfer heat to the home by sending boiling hot water through the pipes.

If your home does not have ductwork, installing a central AC system would be expensive, and it could also cause problems with the way the house looks. To install the central AC system, the HVAC company would need to install ductwork, and this could involve:

  • Losing closet space – the company usually tries to hide as much of the ductwork as possible, and they often do this by installing the ducts inside closets.
  • Having visible ductwork – if they cannot hide all of the ducts, you may end up with some that are exposed inside your house.
  • Losing other space – you may also lose other space in the home, including space in your basement or utility room because the system will need to be installed somewhere in the house.

The other option you have is to get a ductless AC system. This type of system is often called a mini-split ductless air conditioner, and it offers benefits when it comes to installation. It is not only easier to install than a central AC system, but it also prevents you from losing space in your home.


In a house that does not have ductwork, you can expect to pay:

  • Ductless system – $2,000 to $7,000, depending on the size of the house. You can lower this amount by installing the system only in certain areas of the home.
  • Central AC system – $7,000 to $8,000, or even more. Larger homes can cost a lot more than this, but the price also depends on the furnace you choose.

One of the reasons that ductless systems are cheaper is because of the components they use. A ductless system has an outdoor compressor, just like a central AC system has, but it does not have a large furnace system inside. Instead, it has small devices that are installed on the walls.

The other difference is the way the cool air is transferred. With central air, the cool air is transferred through the ductwork. With a ductless system, the cool air is produced inside the small wall unit. This happens because the outdoor condenser transfers coolant into the indoor unit, and this takes place through tubing that connects the two devices.

One of the benefits offered through ductless systems is efficiency. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, up to 30% of the energy is lost with a central AC system through the ductwork. The other benefit of a ductless system is that it offers more control over the temperature in each of the rooms. Each wall unit will have a control on it, and this offers a zone system for you, which may help you save money on energy costs.

Having AC will make your home more comfortable and more valuable, and you can choose the type of HVAC installation that is right for your needs.