Air Conditioning Considerations in Older Indianapolis Homes

By: Joe Dudeck  |  September 4, 2015

Real Estate the Millennial Generation is Buying in Indianapolis

Real estate patterns of the Millennial generation are starting to have a big impact on how development and redevelopment is taking place in Indianapolis.

Our team has been a part of many of the projects in the Midtown, Old Northside, Fountain Square, and other reemerging areas of Indianapolis. And from a heating and cooling perspective, the redevelopment of existing, aged properties presents unique challenges that many homeowners and general contractors are unprepared or under-prepared to face.

What to Consider When Buying an Older Home in Indianapolis

If you’re a do-it yourself remodeler, or even a seasoned general contractor, here are a list of things to be aware of from an HVAC perspective for that remodel project:

1) Home Likely Built before Air Conditioning

It’s hard to imagine now, but whole home air conditioning only became the norm in the 1960s. So, if your home was built before that decade, it was not designed to support it. What that means for your remodel is that ductwork will likely have to be reworked to give proper airflow to second floors. One of our remodelers in the Fountain Square areas makes it mandatory that all second floors have return air ducts added.

2) Backwards Ductwork

New homes are built with supply air on the outside walls and return air on the inside walls to provide a more even level of comfort. (The least insulated part of new home is near the windows, so that’s where conditioned air starts.) Your older house, however, likely has supply air near the interior of the home. This doesn’t necessarily have to be reworked, but it should be known going into a renovation project, so as to account for this comfort challenge.

3) Existing Equipment Useless in Prescribing Size

We always recommend a load calculation when replacing equipment, but it needs to be a non-negotiable if you are working in an older home. Insulation requirements in attics, walls, and basements have drastically improved, as well as the r value of new windows. Your new equipment needs to be sized appropriately to account for these improvements.

 

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