If you’re looking for a whole house cooling system to replace your window air conditioner, high velocity A/C may just be the perfect solution. High velocity A/C distributes cool air throughout your home via two inch, flexible tubes that are designed to be installed in even the tightest spaces in your home. Unlike central air, which requires large ductwork and is difficult or even impossible to install, especially in older homes, high velocity systems can be installed without ripping apart your walls.
Because high velocity systems are not as well-known as other solutions like central air or window units, we often get lots of questions about them. Read on for everything you need to know about high velocity air conditioning.
How do they work?
There are two parts of the system: small tubing through which air is forced at a constant high velocity, creating air currents throughout your home and maintaining a steady temperature. The second part is the air handler (air handler is connected to an outdoor condenser). The handler is typically in an attic or on an upper level. This is because cool air wants to travel downwards, so it’s easier to send the cool air down than to send it up. It’s also smaller than traditional handlers, so it can easily fit into a closet or other nook where you would like it to hide.
What are the benefits of high velocity air conditioning?
The biggest benefit of high velocity systems is the ability to be retrofit into homes without ductwork, particularly older homes. The tubing is specifically designed to be easy to insert into walls and around the existing aspects of your home, without the need to destroy or remodel anything.
Another benefit is how unobtrusive the system is in your home. The vents have a much slimmer profile than traditional vents, and can be installed anywhere you like. Unlike central air, where vent position is determined by the ductwork paths throughout your home, the flexibility of high velocity tubing allows you to install vents wherever you wish.
How loud is it?
In general, high velocity air conditioning is quieter than other systems because it doesn’t have to work as hard to cool your home. The air in a high velocity system is moving four times faster than traditional systems, allowing the system to remove humidity in the home by up to 30%. Operating in a less-humid environment means the system doesn’t have to work as hard to keep the temperature down, meaning more quiet time for you.
How many days will it take to install?
While high velocity systems are much less invasive than central air, and are more “behind the scenes,” so to speak, depending on your home, installing the flexible ductwork can be tricky, especially in older homes. Crawlspaces, kneewalls, and attics tend to be tight spaces where our installers have to lie down and crawl around to install the high velocity lines.
In general, high velocity AC installs take a minimum of 3 days and can take up to 5 days with a 2 person crew to complete.
Are high velocity systems eligible for energy rebates?
Unfortunately no, high velocity systems are not eligible for utility rebates.
Can a high velocity system heat my home as well as cool?
Yes. It’s a fairly rare add-on, but heat pumps can be added to the system to add heating capacity for winter.
Why is it so expensive?
High velocity systems have a high upfront cost compared to other systems. This is largely due to the materials used, and the time needed to properly install the equipment. While it may make you nervous to spend so much upfront, consider it a long term investment in your home that will keep your house cool, keep your energy bills down, and run invisibly in the background.
If you’re interested in learning more about high velocity systems or would like to talk to one of our team members about which solution is best for your specific situation, please give us a call! We’re happy to share everything we know about HVAC and guide you towards the best decision for you and your home.