Many old homes don’t have a convenient space to install ductwork for the traditional central air-conditioning systems found in newer homes.
Today there are air-conditioning systems that don’t need the bulky ductwork. Mini-split systems use individual cooling units placed room by room requiring only a thin refrigerant and power line connecting them to an outdoor air-conditioning compressor and fan. They offer an economical compromise: You can install cooling units in just 1 or 2 rooms, creating an oasis to retreat to during the dog days of summer. But make sure your installer chooses a compressor that will allow you to expand at a later date.
Another alternative is high-velocity systems which use 2” tubing to deliver chilled air that can be snaked through existing walls and ceilings in an old home to deliver cool air where needed. The registers are unobtrusive discs placed around the perimeter of the ceiling, or high on the walls.
A properly sized air-conditioning system is the most important factor for a comfortable home. A professional installer is crucial to comfort; ask to see the sizing calculations for your house.