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The A/C Guy of Tampa Bay Inc. Blog

How You Can Add Central AC to Your Older Home


Are you sick of using window air conditioners to provide cooling to your house? We don’t blame you. Although a window air conditioner can cool down a medium-sized room, it can struggle with larger areas—unless you add extra window units. Window ACs also block up light entering your house, look ugly on the outside of the house, create too much noise, and have poor energy efficiency.

But if you’ve never had central air conditioning in your home, how can you have a new AC system installed in Tampa, FL that will provide cooling throughout the rooms? Are window ACs the only affordable choice?

The answer is no. You may be surprised at how easy and affordable making the conversion to central cooling is.

Does Your Home Have a Central Furnace?

We’ll start with the simplest situation. If you have a central furnace to provide heat for your house, then your house has the ductwork available to make a transition to central air conditioning. It isn’t as simple as plugging in a new air conditioner—you must have professionals on the job—but much of the more difficult work is already taken care of. Air conditioning technicians can outfit the house for a split system air conditioner. This is the type of central air conditioner you are most familiar with: an outdoor condenser cabinet, and an indoor evaporator and air handler. The technicians will install the outdoor unit, then find the best way to integrate the indoor evaporator into the space with the furnace so it can use the pre-existing air handler.

You may need work done on the ducts when adding an AC. We often recommend having duct sealing and repairs done when an AC is added to an existing ventilation system.

Adding Ductwork

Many older homes in Florida don’t have any type of ductwork in them. This doesn’t mean a central AC is out of the question. Installers can put in a split system air conditioning unit (or a heat pump if you want both heating and cooling) and then add ducts in places such as the attic or through spaces such as closets. The ducts going through closets won’t take up as much room as you think, either.

Ductless Mini Splits

We’ve saved the best for last, which is using a ductless mini split system for central cooling. These systems use single outdoor condenser cabinets like split systems, but they connect to multiple air handler/evaporator units placed throughout the house. These small units are attached to the walls, often over windows or doors, and send cooled air directly into the rooms. Each outdoor condenser can handle from four to eight indoor units. Not only do you have cooling all around the house, you can shut off individual units for rooms that are unoccupied.

Most ductless mini splits are heat pumps, so this installation is a complete cooling-and-heating solution. We strongly recommend considering a ductless mini split if you have a home without any ducts. We’re glad to consult with you about your options.

Call us for help with AC installation. The A/C Guy of Tampa Bay Inc. is family-owned and operated and serves our Tampa Bay family with integrity and honor.

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