How Much is HVAC Cost of Installation in an Older Home?

Old homes, rich in history and full of character, can be wonderful places for homeowners to live. However, they often require significant renovation—especially when it comes to insulation and ventilation. One notable upgrade is the addition of an air conditioning (AC) system. Many old homes come with their own distinct challenges, such as plaster walls, which can complicate the installation process.

Some also run off water heat instead of forced air – a significant point to consider, bearing in mind the absence of existing ducts that could be repurposed for an air conditioning system. This complexity often requires expert evaluation to determine the right course of action—an order that entails a thorough understanding of the home’s structure, a review of available footage and a keen eye for optimal air conditioning system placement.

However, it is important to keep in mind that the lack of existing ducts does not make the installation of central air conditioning impossible. With a detailed cost estimate and professional review of the situation, a range of solutions, like an upgraded thermostat or a new air conditioner and furnace, could be implemented. These upgradation tips, coupled with diligent review of the existing ducts’ health and the required amount of work, can influence the process.

For those in Las Vegas who need answers about residential HVAC installation, The Cooling Company is the go-to resource. Dial (702) 567-0707 to schedule an appointment. Specializing in energy-efficient systems, we focus on delivering significant savings for our customers over time, helping them to cut down on their energy bills, and improve their quality of life.

Can You Put Central Air in Any House?

Installing an HVAC system in an older home comes with a few considerations. One of the first questions depends on whether the home has existing ducts or not, followed by the homeowner’s preference – do they want ducts or not?

The presence of pre-existing heating ducts simplifies things as they can be easily converted to function as air conditioning ducts, reducing the installation costs and efforts. If no ductworks exist, homeowners need to decide if they want to undertake duct installation or opt for a zone-based ductless cooling system, providing individual air conditioning for each zone.

Related: What Is the Cost to Install HVAC System With Ductwork?

Adding Ducts to Your Home

Adding ducts to an old home can be a complicated affair. Plaster walls or elaborate woodwork can obstruct and complicate the installation process, potentially affecting the home’s aesthetic. The usual solution to this conundrum is to install the vents in closets or ceilings and run ducts accordingly, but every home comes with its unique set of challenges.

For homes with unique challenges, ductless cooling systems are an available option. Although typically more expensive to install than traditional ducted systems, they offer improved efficiency as each cooled zone operates independently through separate cooling units. However, aesthetics may pose a drawback as these individual zone units are installed on exterior-facing walls, and might not always blend well visually.

After investing a considerable amount of money and effort into the installation, homeowners often need to decide according to their budget and priorities. Cooling systems are undeniably a necessary investment, which, despite the hurdles faced, could significantly enhance the living experience.

How Much Does It Cost to Install Central Air in an Older Home?

The HVAC installation process’s general price range could vary from $3,000 to $15,000, depending on various factors like the season in which you want the work completed, the region you live in, and the complexity of the installation.

The lower end of the cost range typically involves a straightforward addition to a forced hot air heating system during winter months reusing existing ducts. On the other hand, a summer installation for a house that requires complex ductwork or opts for a ductless system can skyrocket the costs to the higher end. Some of the most significant factors affecting installation costs may  include.

Factors That Will Drive Up Central Air Installation or Replacement Cost

Despite potential challenges, central air conditioning remains a great addition to any home. Besides the obvious comfort benefits, these systems also contribute to increasing property value, making them a smart home improvement choice – one that is worth every cent. It ensures that homeowners enjoy the right to a cool, pleasant environment during warmer months.

  • Time/season of installation. As with many seasonally based activities, air conditioning installations are more common in the summer months when everyone wants to be cool and dry. Seeking an installation in the winter can result in cheaper costs by as much as 20%.
  • Size of the cooling unit. The larger your space, the larger the cooling unit you’ll need, and thus, the more expensive the cost. However, the size of your space is not the only thing that can affect the cooling unit you’ll need. Every cooling contractor you consult should offer you a heat-gain calculation, which takes into consideration not just the size of your space, but also factors such as the size, age, and number of your windows, how your home sits in relation to the sun’s rise and fall, and how well insulated your home is. All of these will have an effect on the cooling unit your home requires.
  • How much work needs done. Labor and material costs make up a sizable percentage of the cost of an air conditioning installation, and the fewer man-hours and materials you need, the cheaper your installation will be. This covers whether you’re reusing pre-existing ductwork or if your installation is particularly challenging due to a unique home layout or problems encountered along the way.