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There’s nothing like a Colorado summer with hot days, warm nights, and a beautiful view of the front range. That is, unless your older home is uncomfortably hot all summer long because you don’t have air conditioning. Most newer homes in Colorado are equipped with air conditioning, but that is not always true of the older homes. And with temperature averages in the 80s during the hot season in Longmont, CO, adding central air can not only make your home more comfortable but also greatly increase its value.

Longmont summer temperatures graph

Source: NOAA

Adding central air to an older home can be a more complicated process than simply installing it during the original construction. Here are five things to consider when adding central air to an older home.

1. Costs

The average cost of installing central air in a 2,000 square foot home is $3,500-$4,000, which includes the price of the unit and the labor involved. This cost is for homes with existing forced-air heating systems that have ductwork in place that can be used for both heating and cooling. If the house needs ductwork to be installed or if the central air system requires that the ductwork be changed, updated, or repaired, it can add to the cost. The average cost to install new ductwork is $10 to $20 per linear foot, and the cost to repair ductwork averages $12 per linear foot. A 2,000 square foot home most likely requires around 250 linear feet of ductwork, but the number can change based on the layout, age, and size of the home. While the cost of installation may seem high, in many cases the increased home value and decreased utility bills help level things out.

2. Benefits

There are numerous benefits to adding central air to an older home. The most obvious benefit is the ability to better control the temperature and keep the house cool during hot weather. With central air, you don’t have to open windows or use fans to keep the house cooler. You can set the thermostat to a temperature and have the house automatically stay at that level. Central air can keep the house much more comfortable in the summer and also create a safer environment for people and pets. Central air also cools the entire house at the same time and to the same level instead of isolating cooling solutions to individual rooms, like fans or window air conditioners do. Central air can also improve the air quality of a home by removing pollutants and allergens from the air, which makes it easier to breathe.

Other benefits of central air include improving the home’s property value. When you go to sell the house, potential buyers will want a home with a well-maintained air conditioning unit. Central air can increase the sale price of a home. An energy-efficient central air system can also lower your monthly energy bills while also helping the environment.

3. Process

Installing central air starts by choosing the best unit for your home. An HVAC professional can recommend the right central air system for your house based on the age, size, and energy efficiency. It’s important to install the right central air system for the size of the home so that it cools effectively without being overworked. A technician can also evaluate if the home needs any extra insulation or ductwork to accommodate the new system. From there, the new central air system is installed, as well as any other updates to the ductwork. In some cases, the electrical system may also need upgrades to handle the increased workload. A new thermostat should also be installed to work with the central air system. A programmable thermostat helps regulate temperature and lower energy costs, while a smart thermostat can make automatic adjustments based on who is in the house, the weather, and other factors.

installing central air in older homes

4. Time

In most cases, central air can be installed in an older home over two to three days by a team of two HVAC technicians.

5. Potential Issues

Updating older homes always comes with some potential for issues to arise. When adding central air, there is a chance of finding other issues that need to be fixed, such as leaky insulation or electrical issues. Installing central air to an older home also runs the risk of losing some of the home’s original character or not having enough space for the central air unit. In that case, the HVAC technician may have to find a creative location for the system.

Central air can create a comfortable environment to enjoy those beautiful, warm Colorado days and nights. With the installation of an efficient central air unit, your older home can stay cool all summer long. 


Interested in getting a quote to install a central air system for your home in or near Longmont? Give Stone Heating and Air a call today.