Can I Add a Heat Pump To My Older Home?

old home

When you purchase a home that predates central heating and air conditioning, it can be challenging to find appropriate heating and cooling solutions. You want modern conveniences without sacrificing the character and charm of the home you love. A heat pump may be the solution to your dilemma. 

The first order of business is to speak with a heating and cooling professional. They will be able to assist you with any questions you may have regarding adding heating and cooling to your home. Some older homes can be retrofitted with ductwork for adding central heating and air. Others may need to use a ductless heat pump—provided a heat pump is the right choice for the space.

Climate in your location

One of the first considerations when deciding whether to purchase a heat pump for an older home is your location. To be more precise, the climate in your location. If you live in a moderate climate without great extremes in temperature a heat pump might work. However, if you have extreme temperatures in either direction, hot or cold, it might not be the right solution. 

The history of your home is another big consideration when choosing a new heating system. Are there architectural details inside or out that simply cannot be disturbed? Is your home truly a historic landmark or is it simply old? For an older home with architectural characteristics that should be preserved, a ductless heating system could be beneficial. 

The number of levels on your home can provide added concern when updating your heating or cooling system. If you have multiple stories to heat and cool, it could be more difficult to add new systems. Having consistent heat throughout multiple levels is difficult in the best circumstances, but an older home presents the added challenge of old ductwork or no ductwork. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible to upgrade, but you do need to consult with a heating contractor for recommendations. 

Is there already ductwork in the home? Some older systems required ductwork, so your older home may already have some ductwork in place. However, the condition of the ductwork, as well as the location of it, plays a part in whether you can upgrade to a heat pump that uses ductwork. If ductwork needs to be installed, there are ways that contractors can hide it to preserve the character of the home. 

Consider a mini-split system. While these still require some cutting (about three inches), the installation process is less invasive than with a ducted system. 

Consult with an HVAC pro for best solution

Owning an older home presents unique challenges to updating the heating and cooling systems. Modern heat pump systems are comfortable, energy-efficient, and require minimal disturbance to the home for installation. In addition, there are currently Mass Save rebates being offered up to $10,000. Consult with one of our mini-split specialists to learn more.