Five Signs Your Old Home Can Be Retrofitted With Ducts for Air Conditioning

With hot temperatures rising so incredibly in Australia, air conditioning feels like it's no longer a luxury but a necessity. If you live in an old home, you may be wondering if you can retrofit it with a ducted air system connected to an air conditioning unit. Here are five signs your old home is right for ducts:

1. Your walls are thick enough to support ductwork.

Whether you want to install a ducted air conditioner or a set of air ducts that connects to a heating and cooling unit, you need somewhere to host the ducts. As they have to run to and from the HVAC unit, you need a reasonable amount of space, and for many people that's in the walls. If your walls aren't wide enough to accommodate ductwork, a retrofit may not work for you.

2. You like the idea of high-velocity ductwork.

However, in some cases, you may be able to use a high-velocity system if your walls aren't that thick. These systems have relatively, small flexible ducts that can be snaked through relatively thin walls. However, they won't work with solid walls such as solid brick or solid earth rammed walls.

3. You have open space in the attic or basement.

In lieu of putting ducts for a ducted air system in the walls, the installer can run them through your attic or basement. If you have ample space in one or both of these areas, your home is likely a good candidate for retrofitting with ducts.

Note, however, if you have a home with a ground floor and a first floor, and you only have spare space in the basement for duct work, you may not be able to cool the first floor unless you can run the ductwork through the space between the ceiling of the ground floor and the floor of the first floor.

4. You want a dropped ceiling.

If you don't have space to add ductwork in walls or other areas, you may be able to fit ductwork inside a dropped ceiling. Dropped ceilings come in a range of styles, and they are a great way to add extra ductwork, electrical wires or other utilities in your old home.

5. You have spots for grilles.

In addition to finding spots for the ductwork, you also have to think about where the ductwork is going to end. In most cases, the cool air needs to blow out of a grille. Are there spots on your walls, ceilings or floors where a grille would work? If you want to match the style of your home, you can easily find antique metal grills rather than contemporary designs.