So you have just moved in, or are looking at apartments or homes, and you find yourself without central air. It is not too uncommon, older houses are still houses after all, and most didn’t have any ductwork or central air installed. What should I do? Is this a deal breaker? What are my next steps? Well, lucky for you, the experts at General Air of Greenville South Carolina are here to help. Just know, this shouldn’t be a hard no, you should examine and assess your situation before making any rash decisions. After that, you have a few options.
Lets start with having you assess your situation. You might be saying “I don’t have central air, what do I do?” or “How do I get central air installed?”. The truth is, that you have plenty of options depending on your specific situation. First we want to look around the apartment or home and look for any vents. How does heat get circulated through the home? If you see traditional radiators but no vents, that lets you know there probably is not any pre-installed ductwork. This is not a bad thing! Just something to keep track of. If you do see vents, that is a very good sign. Check out what the previous tenant was using – are there leftover window or floor units? Perhaps some thermostats that might let you know something more sophisticated was installed. Take in all of these details, and ask the realtor or property manager what solutions are available.
After this investigation, you should be left with three main options. First, if ductwork has been installed, you should be able to relatively cheaply and easily install central air. Second – individual split HVAC units could be used in place of central air. Similar to this option, your third option could be individual units, which could be installed in the windows or as floor units. Each of these units has a different strength and purpose, as well as cons and downfalls. Deciding on which unit is best for you requires taking all factors into account.
So, your first option may be to just install central air. This would require vents that circulate air throughout the home. Although not unheard of, it is rare to have an apartment with forced heat, but not central air. See why the property owner or previous owners did not invest. Maybe it is just the upfront costs, which can be steep. Or it could be an issue with the ductwork. If it is the former, than it might be best for you to install central air in your home. General Air’s experts can give you a fast quote, and work unobtrusively and quickly to install these in your home. The benefits of a central air unit are lower electricity costs, and a more complete and centralized solution. This is what most houses use, and the technology is very efficient. Now installation will not be cheap, but if this is going to be a home for you for a while, it is very worth it. You will see a big difference on your electricity bill every year from these larger, more efficient central air units. Central air does have some drawbacks though. The need to constantly change filters can bothersome, but it is necessary. Regular maintenance and upkeep can also be a drawback, but with some General Air of Greenville South Carolina experts at your side, it has never been easier.
Next, after you may have cancelled out central air from you possible solutions, you should consider split units. These units can not only function to cool your home, but also force hot air through your home. These are much less efficient heaters than traditional gas heaters, but can help supplement your standard heat. These units can be installed anywhere in your home, and should be good to cool an entire floor. These units are the same systems that you will find in hotel rooms, where the large vent is near the window, allowing for individual control. This is one of the main benefits of these units, allowing individual control of separate floors. Perfect for occupants who disagree on how cool to keep the apartment or home. This alternative to central air is much less efficient than central air, but doesn’t loose any efficiency through the ducts – which can be as much as a 30% reduction in efficiency. This means that although they will use more energy, they will cool much quicker. These units can be conspicuous though, and if not professionally installed, can only be placed on the floor. With a General Air expert though, these units can be suspended and hidden, allowing discreet cooling. These units are also not cheap, and paired with the need for more energy, can be much more expensive than other options in the long run.
Your final option is a much more DIY solution to central air – buying individual window or floor units for rooms. These units benefit from relatively low upfront costs, and a diverse selection of options. Some larger units can cool and dehumidify an entire room and rest on the floor, providing a sleek and discreet cooling system. Other allow smaller more personalized cooling, replacing your central air with individual temperature controls. They even allow smart home activation. Unfortunately, these units are a temporary solution at best. Even though they cool and dehumidify, they do neither as efficiently as a central air unit. They also will not last, and will eventually break down. Individually they can be affordable, but if multiple units are needed, the investment cost, between the units and the electricity bills, can quickly outpace the cost of a split unit or installing a central air unit.
We at General Air of Greenville South Carolina want to help cool your home, whether you have central air or not. If you need a quote, please contact us and we will help find the perfect system for your home.