What's Necessary To Retrofit A Modern HVAC System Into An Early 20th-Century Craftsman?

There's no denying that 20th-century Craftsman-style homes are a hot commodity in the housing market. These homes feature beautifully simple architecture combined with an attention to detail that may be lacking in more modern construction. Of course, despite their character and beauty, any home of this vintage will lack many amenities, such as a modern HVAC system.

Retrofitting a central air conditioning unit or modern forced-air furnace into one of these homes can be an excellent way to modernize it and make it more comfortable. Still, it's not always a straightforward process. If you're about to undertake this worthwhile project for your home, it's important to understand some of the challenges you and your installer may face.

What Makes Craftsman-Style Homes Challenging?

The largest challenge in retrofitting an older home with a modern HVAC system is designing and installing a ductwork system. Regardless of the home's architectural style, it will always be necessary to locate good locations for ductwork and, in most cases, conduct minor demolition to run ducting through walls, ceilings, or floors.

Since Craftsman-style homes often feature large and open floorplans, this process can sometimes be even more challenging. Large and open rooms can be comfortable and inviting, but they leave little space for installing ductwork. If your home has a basement or crawlspace, floor ducts and basement routing are options. If not, it may be necessary to use decorative elements to cover the ductwork.

Open floorplans can also pose some issues, particularly with performing load calculations. Open spaces with high ceilings may require a higher capacity unit to heat or cool, and it may be necessary to use ceiling fans or other additions to help distribute conditioned air and improve airflow. Fortunately, a professional HVAC installer can evaluate your home and help develop solutions to these issues.

Is It Worth Retrofitting Modern HVAC Into Your Home?

While adding a modern air conditioning or heating system into an older home poses numerous challenges, it's an upgrade that can drastically improve the comfort and efficiency of your home. Not only will you enjoy more consistent temperatures all year round, but modern HVAC systems are almost universally more efficient than their older counterparts.

The good news is that although older homes can pose challenges, they're nothing that a professional installer cannot overcome. By working with an experienced HVAC installer, you can get a modern system to keep your home cozy without ruining your classically-designed house's charm and beauty.

Speak to an HVAC contractor to learn more.