The Attic Cooler
The horizontal attic cooler is good for existing houses where space is at a premium. Actually the unit not only can go in the attic but can also be suspended from a closet or basement ceiling. If a house has heating ducts the unit can be tied into them for distributing cool air. If a house has hot water heat, the unit can be centered in the house and only short supply ducts need be installed to get air to all rooms. Cooling is then independent of the heating.
The Small Duct System
This system gives the advantage in many old houses of using small 3 1/2 inch or four-inch round ducts that can be easily inserted within existing partitions. This eliminates much of the cutting and patching in houses where conventional ductwork would normally mean expensive alterations. Thus the small duct system can be a natural in a house without any heating ducts to start.
The basic cooling equipment used is similar in size and cost to conventional equipment except that the air blower may be somewhat larger to deliver air at higher than normal velocities. This is because the smaller ducts require faster air speeds to handle the same overall cooling load handled by bigger ducts with relatively low air velocities. But the slightly increased fan horsepower used makes very little difference on overall operating costs.
Chilled-Water Air Conditioning
This system is combined with an existing hot water heating system and no ducts are needed. But in an existing house it is essential that all pipes be insulated before chilled water is pumped through.
Otherwise condensation drip from the pipes’and cause havoc to paint and plaster. Because it is a tough job to reach all hidden pipes in an old house and then insulate them, the chilled-water system may be an expensive proposition. On the other hand, ductwork may be out of the question in some old houses and chilled water can then be a blessing.
Room Air Conditioners
Room coolers are the easiest way to add air conditioning, especially in doing it piecemeal. But when a whole house is tobe air conditioned the total cost can be much higher than the cost of installing a complete central system at one crack. Furthermore, the operating costs of a battery of room coolers be higher than fora central system because a number of little compressors arunning at one time are less efficient than one large compressor. And an odd array of room coolers sticking out of windows will add little to the appearance of any house.
On the plus side, room coolers can save you money if you only want toair condition part of a house and not all rooms. Some of the new models can be recessed into a wall like a TV set or built into shelves to lick the problem of unsightliness. Most engineers, however, still recommend a central system to air condition the whole house.