Installing a new heating system in an older home can pose some unique challenges. If you own an older home — especially one without existing ductwork in place — then your options may feel a bit limited. The good news is that with the right HVAC professional, you can choose a heating solution that best suits your needs, budget, and space. By being aware of a few common heating options for older homes and how they work, you and your heating specialist can make an informed decision regarding which solution is right for you.
Radiant Floor Heating
For older homes that do not have ductwork in place, a radiant floor heating system can be a great option. This type of heating does not require any ventilation or ductwork retrofitting inside the home, although it does require access to the slab or subfloor underneath the home's flooring. Radiant floor heating typically works through the installation of hydronic panel systems, which carry warm water and allow heat to radiate directly through the floors themselves.
Since flooring needs to be removed in order to install radiant floor heating, this option tends to be best for homeowners who are already undergoing renovations. In some cases, existing flooring may be re-installed, but this will largely depend on the type of floor.
Installing ductwork in an old home isn't impossible, but it is a labor-intensive project. Still, a traditional forced-air furnace may be worth the expense and labor if you're looking to modernize your older home. Forced-air furnaces are available in both gas and electric configurations and are the most conventional option on the market. Plus, once the proper ductwork is installed, you'll also have the ability to easily add a central air conditioning system without the need for additional retrofitting.
When adding ductwork simply isn't an option, split-ductless heating systems are a great choice. These individual ductless units can be installed in each room of your home where you want heat; they also run on electricity, providing precise temperature control and energy savings. Many of these systems are also able to cool your home during the summer, making them a great option for older homes where extensive retrofitting isn't ideal.
These are just a few heating installation options that may be worth considering for your older home. No matter which heating system you decide on, be sure to trust the work to an experienced and reputable heating contractor.
For more information on heating installation options, reach out to an HVAC contractor in your area.