I was standing in line at the supermarket a few weeks ago and struck up a conversation with the lady behind me about how great it felt to finally get some warm, sunny weather. She told me that her name was Iris, and agreed that the weather was a relief from a cold, wet spring. But she also mentioned that she likes to shop during the heat of the day because the AC feels so good in the store. Curious, I asked if her AC was broken—after all, in 2016, doesn’t everybody have air conditioning?
“Oh no,” she said, “I’ve never had it, and my house gets sweltering hot.” So I asked Iris why she didn’t have AC. She explained that she lives in an old stone farmhouse and was told by several HVAC companies when she remodeled the Doylestown house about a decade ago that there was nothing that could be done to retrofit AC throughout her home.
Well, my creative juices started to flow. You know me—always up for a challenge, and where there’s a will, there’s a way! I had a feeling I was going to change this lady’s life for the better. At the very least, no way was I going to let her suffer through another unbearably hot summer without trying to do something about it.
I explained to Iris that air conditioning has come a long way since she looked into getting it for her home. I gave her my card and told her to call Cooper Mechanical. We would be happy to have a consultant come to her home and recommend a solution that would cool her off in no time.
Sure enough, Iris called the office an hour later, we had a consultant meet with her that afternoon, and within a short time, her house was retrofitted with a central air conditioning system.
Iris’ issue was pretty typical of many old homes in our area. She had a charming two-story, four-bedroom farmhouse, built in the late 1700s, with an addition that was built in the 1980s. It included a small attic and a tiny basement where Iris had a washer/dryer and her boiler, which supplied heat to her radiators in the original section of the house. The walls of her home were thick plaster and the 1980s addition, which was comprised of a family room on the main living area and a master bedroom above it, were heated using electric baseboard heat.
The solution: Cooper Mechanical designed and installed a high-velocity heating and cooling system throughout the original house. We outfitted the attic with a network of compact, six-inch ductwork, strategically tucked away to maximize the remaining space for storage. The high-velocity system is able to push more air through a smaller duct at an even temperature, meaning that an old home like Iris’ could finally cool off through a central system without the need for extensive, costly remodeling.
The ductwork went through the flooring, and registers were installed into the ceilings of the three original bedrooms underneath the attic. Additional ductwork was strategically placed in the corners of the three bedroom closets, extending down through the flooring and ending at the registers in the ceiling of the main floor area, cooling the house beautifully. Special dampers were installed in the ductwork to ensure the system remains quiet and inconspicuous. Because the house now had ductwork, Iris chose to install a high efficiency heat pump and eliminate her clunky radiators.
Because there was essentially no attic above the addition, ductless mini-splits were installed in the “new” family room and master bedroom. They now share an outdoor condensing unit that supplies heating and cooling to these rooms, eliminating the need for electric baseboard heat.
We were able to give Iris the central air conditioning system she had craved for years. Not only is she cool as a cucumber, but she will also save money on her electric bill, and she no longer has to deal with unsightly radiators and baseboard units. Iris was delighted with the completed job and so was I. You never know where a friendly chat in the grocery store will lead you.
What about you? Do you have a similar issue or some other obstacle keeping you from enjoying an air conditioned home? Whether you’d like extra AC units in Flemington, NJ or geothermal heating and cooling in Newtown, PA, you can finally enjoy a cool home throughout the summer. Call Cooper Mechanical and we’ll come up with a solution for you, too.