Creating a Better Environment

Air Conditioning Older Properties.​

June 2018

Renovating an older building for modern times can present challenges when considering air conditioning but today’s technology can provide the answer.

Older buildings often don’t have the space to install the ductwork needed for traditional cooling systems. Electrical systems may not be sufficient to handle the load required by modern equipment. While upgrading an entire wiring system can be expensive, finding the space for air conditioning equipment is more of a problem.

In such structures, the heating system typically consisted of a boiler and radiators and there may well be a lack of ductwork or space for its installation. That’s why consultants need to consider alternative air conditioning systems for renovating older buildings. Building in the ductwork for a traditional air conditioning system can be done, but it may require creating holes in the fabric of the building, and even lowering ceiling heights to make room for the ductwork. In an historic space, architects and consultants are likely to want to preserve the original finishes.

VRF systems are one of the best modern air conditioning options for older properties. Like traditional central air conditioning systems used for residential, hospitality and light commercial spaces, VRF systems have an outdoor condenser unit connected to indoor air handling units which do not require ductwork. Instead, refrigerant pipework connects multiple smaller indoor fan coil units installed throughout the space.

This advanced VRF system technology can provide heating and cooling, and even both simultaneously to different areas within the space. The use of multiple indoor units provides the ability to create zones that can be individually controlled to aid efficiency – no need to heat or cool a room that is unoccupied. What’s more, these VRF systems are very quiet and energy-efficient because the variable-speed compressor runs only at the capacity needed for the current conditions.