How To Heat And Cool Older Homes In South Florida

Old homes are unique due to their structural differences. Some of these homes have been standing since before air conditioners, or HVAC systems were even invented. As such, they don’t have any provision for ductwork. Nevertheless, it does not mean that people living in these old houses have to bear the brunt of heat and cold. There are several options they can explore to heat and cool their residences. Today, we dedicate our article to vintage homes of South Florida and the options one has to heat and cool them.

Heating And Cooling Older Homes In South Florida

When it comes to the heating and cooling of older homes, one just needs to be a bit open-minded. Most of us tend to assume there is just one way to control the indoor temperature, and that is installing a ducted system. Fortunately, that is not the case, and thankfully, with a bit of work in some homes, one can still install proper ductwork.

Option 1 – Install New Ductwork

If your heart is set on installing a ducted system, it would be worthwhile to get your home inspected. There is a chance with some alterations; complete ductwork can be installed. Although, this would be expensive. So it would be best to first book an inspection of the home by a professional HVAC technician. If they feel new ductwork can be set up and you have the necessary finance to bear the expense, you can easily enjoy the benefits of a central HVAC system. In case that’s not a possibility, do not lose heart, for you have other options.

Option 2 – Mini-Split System

The wonders of modern technology never cease to amaze us. The next contender for a heating and cooling unit is the mini-split system. The best part is that these systems do not require any ductwork. So you need not even think of making any modification in your vintage home if you don’t wish to.

A mini-split system consists of two units. One is the compressor installed outside the house, and the other is the air handler installed indoors. You can install multiple air handlers with the same compressor to heat and cool the complete dwelling. The good thing about air handlers is they can be installed high on the walls, so they are not a hindrance of any kind or an eye-sore.

A few advantages of installing a mini-split system are:

  • Each air handler is remote-controlled. Occupants of each room can set the temperature to their liking without disturbing others elsewhere in the house.
  • You need not switch on the air handler of the unoccupied rooms. It ensures there is no wastage of energy, keeping the power bills low.
  • Mini-split systems have high energy efficiency. Hence, one need not worry that they will run the energy bills unnecessarily high.

The only disadvantage we foresee is that installing a mini-split system may take time depending on the number of air handlers to be positioned. Nevertheless, it is still an easy job at the end of which you will no longer have to feel uncomfortable when indoors.

Option 3 – Window AC

A cheaper option than a mini-split system is a window AC. Although called window AC, the modern ones provide heating as well. To install a window AC, the only requirement is that the rooms where you are planning to install these should have a window opening outdoors. If there isn’t a window, then at least a wall whose one face is outside the house.

Typically, a window AC is a single unit. It is sufficient to heat and cool a mid-size room. It’s only disadvantage is that the window where you install the AC will be blocked, and you will no longer be able to open or close it. In hindsight, that is a small price to pay for the comfort you get in return.

Option 4 – Portable AC And Electric Heater

If you don’t wish to block the window, your only option is a portable air conditioner and electric heater combination. The good thing about portable air conditioners is that you don’t have to buy one for each room because you can move it around to whichever room is occupied. Nevertheless, if you are not the sole resident of the house, it would be better to buy more depending on how many rooms are occupied at a given time.

Portable ACs have wheels at the base, and the complete unit is inside a single casing. The unit has a long hose that is to be taken out through a window to the outside whenever the AC is running. This hose is the exhaust vent through which heat is expelled outdoors.

Which Option Should You Choose For Your Vintage Home

As mentioned above, each heating and cooling system has its own peculiar requirements. Moreover, their price range is also different. What you need to do is figure out what you need and the budget you have for it. It’s vital to make provision for the installation cost as well while budgeting. This will keep unnecessary surprises at bay. All the systems are sound and made to ensure that your indoor space is comfortable throughout the year. These systems are durable, and with regular, timely maintenance, they will last for years to come.


Old homes are a thing of beauty and respect. Yes, they were not made with HVAC systems in mind, but you can still work around that roadblock by installing one of the many ductless options available at your disposal. In fact, more and more people are opting for ductless systems these days as they consider the maintenance of the ductwork in addition to that of the HVAC system very cumbersome. Needless to say, even with a ductless system, you can now enjoy the same comforts as provided by a ducted system. Just choose wisely, even if it means going a little over budget because whatever equipment you buy is going to serve you for several years.

By Anurag Rathod

Anurag Rathod is an Editor of, who is passionate for app-based startup solutions and on-demand business ideas. He believes in spreading tech trends. He is an avid reader and loves thinking out of the box to promote new technologies.