The Different Types of Air Systems You’ll Find in Old Homes

Air systems are an essential part of our homes. They provide us with the ability to adjust the temperatures of our houses to climates that match our individual preferences. Air conditioning is primarily used to control the temperature, humidity, filtration, and air movement within the house. Another benefit that a central air system brings is its ability to literally save lives by providing a cool environment on excessively hot days. Central air also provides better air quality, can help people to sleep better, and helps to prevent electronic devices from overheating.

About three-quarters of homes in the United States have some form of air systems. Their air conditioners use about 6 percent of all the electricity produced in the US. The annual cost of such usage is $29 billion to homeowners. With such increased and frequent use, it’s best to know what options are available when it comes to different types of air systems. Having a variety of choices to choose from can help to save on cost, and also can help people to personalize the type of air system which they want. Here are a few different types of air systems that you’ll find in older homes.

Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps

Central air conditioning (central A/C) units and heat pumps are some of the more common types of air systems which you’ll find in homes. Central heat air units are systems where the air is cooled within a central location. Once this takes place the air is then dispersed to and from rooms by one or more fans and ductwork. As the air moves throughout the home, the cooled air becomes warmer, and then it moves back to the central A/C unit through return ducts and registers.

A heat pump transfers heat energy from a source of heat to a thermal reservoir. These types of pumps will move the thermal energy opposite the direction of spontaneous heat transfer. This is done by absorbing heat from a cold location and then releasing it to a warmer location. Heat pumps are often used for climates that have moderate heating and cooling requirements, and they offer an energy-efficient choice to furnaces and air conditioners.

Room Air Conditioners


When you live in a high rise apartment complex or have a room in a home where the central cooling doesn’t work as effectively, a room air conditioner unit is one option for an air system. These air conditioning units can be mounted in windows, or in walls. As mentioned before, these are used to cool down just one room in the house, so the range of use for these units is a bit limited. Their costs are less than central systems.

It’s good to have a unit like these, in the case of saying your main A/C unit not working. For example, let’s say you found out that your central AC unit doesn’t work shortly after you’ve moved into the house. Unfortunately that you didn’t look up the property’s history for the new home that you purchased. This would have let you investigate the utility and repair history of the central AC unit of the home, letting you see that the unit hadn’t been serviced in a while. If you’d known that your air conditioner needed some attention, maybe you would have invested in a room air conditioner before moving in.

Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioners

Another type of home air system is the ductless mini-split air conditioner. Also known as a “mini-split” system, this air system is a compact split-system air conditioner or heat pump. It acts like a central AC or heat pump system. The ductless mini-split air conditioner also features both an indoor air handler and an outdoor compressor. Ductless mini-splits can help you to save money upon purchase, but also over the long run of their lifespan. They are becoming popular because the system provides updated and efficient cooling options while offering higher effectiveness at a lower price.


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