Ductless Heating And Cooling In A Century-Old Nederland, TX Home
Our homeowners fell in love instantly with their 100-year-old, two-story Dutch Colonial in Nederland, TX. However, the inside needed some work.
Their remodeling plan included updating the HVAC system. But, a new conventional system wouldn’t work. That’s where a new ductless heating and cooling system came in.
When our homeowners bought the house earlier this year, it had an old gas furnace and window ac units. The air conditioners were loud, clunky and didn’t do a great job. And, the gas furnace was on its way out.
Our homeowners had planned to upgrade the HVAC system. But, they ran into a problem.
A contractor would need to install ductwork throughout the house. This would mean tearing into walls and building out new structures to fit those big, ugly metal ducts.
It would be a long, expensive and kind of ugly job. That’s not at all what our homeowners had in mind. Fortunately, the company they hired recommended The Ductless Experts for the job. We had just the solution.
Problem: Our homeowner wanted to upgrade the heating and cooling in his 100-year-old Dutch colonial home in Nederland, TX. But, he couldn’t install a new conventional hvac system and ductwork without drastically altering the interior.
Solution: Installed a Mitsubishi ductless heating and cooling system in the home. This includes an outdoor heat pump for heating and AC with air handlers inside the house.
Ductless cooling and heating in a historic home
Systems like the one we installed in this beautiful Dutch colonial are becoming more and more popular in all types of house. But, there are some specific benefits to ductless cooling and heating, which we also call mini-splits, in a historic home.
The problem before was having to rip the place up to install a conventional system. That’s a big deal in Nederland. It’s a unique place in Southeast Texas. The little town near Beaumont and Port Arthur has many historical buildings, including the La Maison Acadienne and a windmill museum.
With places like these, you don’t want to make any significant changes to how they look. That’s where we come in.
As the name implies, there’s no ductwork involved at all. In fact, the only part of the system you really need to think about is the air handlers.
The air handlers distribute the air inside the house. They’re long, rectangular units that we mount high up on a wall. They don’t take up much room, and the installation is straightforward.
In all, we installed four of these air handlers throughout the house. Since there were a lot of large, open rooms, each one covered a lot of space.
We placed these high wall units near a corner of a room close to the ceiling, so they don’t stick out. And, we lined them up with windows and shelves, so they don’t break the flow of the room.
Now, the home gets some great cooling in the summer. And, our homeowners stay warm all winter. They’re also spending much less on their energy bills than they would have with their old setup. Let’s look at how.
How does a mini-split system work?
A mini-split uses an outdoor heat pump, indoor air handlers, and refrigerant lines to circulate treated air all through the house. We talked a little about the air handlers. So now let’s start outside with the heat pump.
This is the unit that provides the treated air. It’s like a combination heater and central air conditioner condenser. But, it works much differently than both of those.
The pump uses a heat transfer process. In a nutshell, it doesn’t generate heat or ac as much as it moves heat from one place to another. It works based on the fact that heat is attracted to cold.
Inside the system is a cold refrigerant liquid. This attracts whatever heat is outside. Even in the winter, there’s some warmth out there.
The coolant heats up and travels through the pump. The machine amplifies that heat, so it’s enough to keep you warm inside. Then, it sends the heat into the house.
Without any more heat, the coolant freezes again. Then, it attracts more heat. This happens in a cycle.
The opposite happens in the summer. When it’s hot, the coolant draws the heat from inside the house and sends it outside.
As we mentioned, the units inside distribute the warm or cool air inside the house. Refrigerant lines connect them to the heat pump. Size-wise, they’re much closer to a heavy-duty extension cord to ductwork.
This way, we can install them easily. All we have to do is run them through the walls just like electrical wire.
That’s a big advantage, especially in an old, historic house like this. We just run it through the walls as if it were wiring. All you ever see is the handler itself.
Now that we’re all set up let’s look at the next advantage: saving money!
Saving money with a mini-split
A mini-split saves you money on your energy bills in a few ways:
- The heat transfer process costs less than conventional heating and cooling
- You can customize the temperature in different parts of the house
- You can get money back from your energy provider for installing one
We looked at how this setup gets the heat and cooling into the house. But, here’s the trick: It’s not creating that warmth by burning heat or natural gas. And, it doesn’t have freeze up coils for the ac.
Remember, it’s just transferring it from one place to another. All the heat pump needs is just a little bit of electricity to kick off the process.
Inside the house, every air handler has a thermostat. This way, you can set each one independently. That makes you more comfortable. It also helps you use less energy.
For instance, this colonial is pretty big. No one really spends time in the bedrooms during the day. And, at night they’re all upstairs. Now, our homeowners program each air handler differently. In the morning, they heat or cool the upstairs rooms less. Then, they turn up the heat or ac in the bedrooms in the evening and lower the settings downstairs.
That means they’re using less energy all day — and, of course, paying less. And it gets even better.
In general, the mini-split uses less energy than conventional systems. As a result, it’s eligible for a rebate from Entergy Energy. Like many electric providers in the country today, Entergy offers money back when people install energy-efficient appliances in their home.
Between the $1,500 rebate they received, plus the lower energy bills, the new system will eventually pay for itself. And, the house looks great.
Do you want to upgrade the hvac system in your historic home without making major changes? Contact us, and we’ll design a system that’s perfect for you!