Our house has no air conditioning, should we get central air?

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Our house was built in 1967 and as no air conditioning, should we consider air and heat pump or wall mounted ductless unit or units? Please tell me the differences. Thank you.
  10 answers
  • Funnygirl Funnygirl on Jul 09, 2015
    We lost our ac unit after a hurricane in our enclosed sun porch.I love them.I asked hubby about the price difference,he was not able to tell me.Since I am not always in the rooms all day,I set it at 75 then turn it to 68 it only takes minutes.did wish the contractor spent more time explaining the finer points but I have been very pleased with the heat and air conditioner results.
  • Tonia Tonia on Jul 09, 2015
    If you have existing duct work for heating you can tie the a/c into it without much extra labour cost. A ductless or mini split is a great option for houses that don't have existing ductwork. With the mini split you will have wall or ceiling mounted units in every room you want to cool. The line sets (copper tubing) for each room will run along the outside of your house to the outside compressor unit. You may need more than one unit depending upon how many rooms you want to cool.
    • Barbara Hall Barbara Hall on Jul 09, 2015
      @Tonia Thank you Tonia. You explained it very well. Until recently, I had never heard of ductless so have to get my head around it.
  • Kathie taylor Kathie taylor on Jul 09, 2015
    If that is your forever home, I'd go with central heat and air. Whatever the initial outlay is...you will recoupe....may qualify for a "home improvement loan" My daughter is in Highlands in a rental with neither...she's looking to move to one with.... a/c is great for taking out humidity as well. Get estimates for both. Also check out: www.HomeAdvisor.com
  • Sue Klinedinst Sue Klinedinst on Jul 10, 2015
    I would go with a window unit for now and see if it works for you. I have a 10,000 which cools the downstairs and an 8,000 in the master bedroom. I just cool the areas I am in.
  • Karen Karen on Jul 10, 2015
    The ductless system described by Tonia can get very expensive. For a moderately sized house, say 1800 or more SF, I'd go CAC. We had installed with new ductwork in an older house and loved it -- gave up a bit of closet space for ducts to run between floors and from air handler (the equipment that is inside). Efficient, quiet, clean; our heat was baseboard and used fuel oil -- yuck. Window units are very loud and make a room feel very closed off even when not used. I've experienced all 3 types and pick a central system any time.
  • Jay Merrett Jay Merrett on Jul 10, 2015
    You will never re-coop the cost of putting in a central system. When you sell the house, you will get some back, but never all of it. If you have the budget to put in a central system, they are much more convenient. Just set it and leave it alone. It will heat and cool the whole house all of the time. Window units are MUCH cheaper to install and are very efficient these days. They're noisier though and have to be managed a bit more. I suppose you could leave them on all of the time but most people turn them on and off in areas that they are in at the time. Expect to spend $200-$400 ea for window units depending on the size of area they will need to cool. A central unit will cost between $8,000-$10,000 if you're starting from scratch. You just have to figure out how much you want to spend and what your priorities are.
  • Dorothy Dorothy on Jul 10, 2015
    For resale, a central unit is a must and if you alraedy have the duct work you are half way there. We still do the old East/West method of cooling the house and after 2 weeks straight of 100 degrees we still have an in house daytime temp of 75 or lower. Low E windows are a great help too.
  • Derenda Derenda on Jul 11, 2015
    My hvac has gone out and I have been using window units. They run constantly here in texas, take up window space, are ugly and fairly noisy. Plus, they are not economical! It will cost $5,000 to replace my unit, but I guarantee it will be so worth it!
  • Barbara Hall Barbara Hall on Jul 11, 2015
    Thanks to all of you that gave advise on central air as opposed to ductless units. We got estimates and decided on central air. One main reason is that we do not have much wall space in rooms for individual air handlers.
  • Keith Widgington Keith Widgington on Jul 12, 2015
    Central air is probabably the best if you want the house cooled more evenly. Buy depending on the size of your house and if there is duct work already installed in could get very expensive and very messy to install the ducts. I have a 2200 sq/ft condo on 2 floors windows on 3 sides se we get lots of sun. Due to the design of the condo we have 2 units installed one upstairs and the other downstairs. The units need to be placed on an outer wall where the air can be blown outwards & be able to reach the rest of your liiving space. If you have an open space concept it's perfect.