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Adding A/C in 1900 condo building w/o existing A/C

Dear Professor,
I am a renovation coach helping clients manage their home renovation projects. I have a client that is considering buying a 2nd fl, 3 BR, 1700 sqft condo, in a circa 1915, 3 or 4 level building with no A/C. The heating system is hot water baseboard. The client would like A/C in her unit.
Can you offer an efficient, reliable and affordable option to installing A/C in this unit? I welcome your insight and thanks! Martha
FYI Wonderful Ellen Rohr at highly recommended I contact the experts at "The Wall"!


  • Empire_2
    Empire_2 Member Posts: 2,343
    Hello, Martha?:

    Just reading your post, and I was thinking about the "Affordable" Inquire.... Well I guess there are a wide vairiety of possibilities availiable , but the only thing you will run into is the equipment and labor cost which I can almost predict would not make you comfortable.

    Mitsubishi sell's the "City Multi", which is a mini-split systen with only a capacity of aprox, 2.5 tons A/C. You could utalize duct work, but depenging on the lay out/ accesibility and what is esthicalling pleasing to the owners eye.

    Bare in mind this dwelling is probably very beautiful and I'm sure they would like to keep the older nestalgic vibe, but cost can play a critical kink in design, especially if they want the best, or just make it work type of mentality........

    If you can, try to get a local contractor and see what happens. I personally think in the long run you would be suprised.

    One more CRITICAL info topic...... Heat gain and loss must be done to figure out what the structure or Envelope need's to maintain a happy customer. That is our Job #1 and this is where we try to educate the customer on what need's to be done.......I hope this helped and not discurraged you in any way....

    Mike T.
  • Eugene Silberstein
    Eugene Silberstein Member Posts: 1,380
    Condo AC


    There are a number of things to consider when putting air conditioning into any existing apartment/condo that is on a "central floor" of the building. One of the main issues is the "boxing in" of ductwork if a traditional central type air conditioning system is to be installed. Given that older buildings have a lot of "character" built into them, this is often the deal breaker when laying out a job like this.

    As already mentioned, ductless split system are more then likley the way to go. In a nutshell, a ductless split system is comprised of two sections. One section hangs on the wall inside the occupied space and the other is located outside the building. The two sections are connected by two refrigerant lines. In order to connect the sections, a 3 inch hole (give or take) has to be made in the wall behind the wall-mounted air handler.

    The benefit of the ductless split system is that there is no need to install and hide ductwork. The downside is that you will likely need a separate air handler for each room that you wish to cool.

    As always, it pays to have a professional come out to look at the particular job...

    Please keep us posted with the progress!
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