Schedule Service Today!

(510) 876-9725

Options for Adding Air Conditioning to an Older Home


Because of Berkeley’s mild climate, many older homes don’t feature central air conditioning. Still, the temperature often rises into the 80s or higher every summer. If you’re tired of using unsightly window AC units, which block the view and prevent opening the window when the weather is nice, you may be ready to look into other air conditioning options. You’ll be pleased to learn that you have a few choices, even if your home doesn’t have existing ductwork.

Selecting & Installing a Central Air Conditioner

If your home has forced-air heating, it already has the ductwork required for central cooling. All you need is a knowledgeable HVAC contractor in Berkeley to assist with your high-efficiency AC installation. Here’s what this entails:

  • Inspecting the ductwork: The ducts should be sealed and insulated to ensure you get the most from your new air conditioner. An inspection and any necessary improvements should lower your utility costs and may qualify you for a smaller AC unit.
  • Sizing the air conditioner: A qualified contractor will conduct a load calculation to determine the ideal size for your new air conditioner.
  • Selecting a brand: Expect reliable performance and extended warranty coverage from today’s top AC manufacturers. Your contractor will help you make a wise choice.
  • Considering efficiency ratings: As of 2015, all new central air conditioners must have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 14 or higher. However, investing in an even more efficient system can lower your operating costs for years to come.

Options for Homes without Ductwork

If your home is heated with radiators instead of a furnace, it probably lacks ductwork. You can always install air ducts if you’re keen on central air conditioning, but a more affordable, equally effective option exists called a ductless mini-split.

Similar to a heat pump, a ductless mini-split uses electricity to move heat, meaning it can keep your Berkeley home comfortable in every season. No ductwork is required because individual air handlers are installed in each room you want to heat and cool. A single outdoor condensing unit can pair with up to five wall-mounted air handlers, providing you with built-in zoning for maximum comfort and energy efficiency.

Ductless mini-splits are the right option for many older homes. They allow you to skip the expense of installing ductwork. Plus, they save you money on operating costs by performing efficiently and avoiding the energy losses associated with leaky, uninsulated ductwork.

Install Air Conditioning in Your Older Home

Whether you decide central air conditioning or a ductless mini-split is right for your Berkeley home, Albert Nahman Plumbing & Heating can help. We are licensed and insured to install residential HVAC systems in California. We also offer a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee for your peace of mind. Thanks to our upfront pricing and dedication to customer service, you can feel free to set your expectations high!

To learn more about the air conditioning options for older homes, please contact us at (510) 876-9725 .

Skip to content