500,000 Older Homes Can’t Be Wrong: Get the Lowdown on High-Velocity HVAC

Increasing numbers of owners of older homes are experiencing modern-day comfort now that they've chosen high-velocity air. Are you tempted? Check out these three compelling reasons to make the switch, and you'll realize there's no reason to delay.

Gone are the days when those fortunate enough to live in a meticulously preserved historic home have to jam window air-conditioning units into carefully restored sashes or add space heaters just to keep comfortable in extreme temperatures. Today’s homeowners have better options, specifically a cutting-edge heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system that has gained traction around the world over the past 30 years: high-velocity air. Industry leader The Unico System has helped upgrade more than half a million homes—from President Lincoln’s Cottage in Washington, D.C., to a 200-year-old residence in Upstate New York—to better and less obtrusive comfort.

While this highly efficient heating and cooling system can benefit homes of all styles, sizes, and ages, it’s especially great for navigating the most common challenges in older, architecturally sensitive homes where traditional systems fall short. Chief among the system’s appeals are its noninvasive installation process, near invisibility, and energy efficiency. So, whether you’ve just moved into a fixer-upper with lots of charm that you’re hoping to preserve, or you’re finally decided to outfit your historic home with modern convenience, read on for three key reasons high-velocity HVAC wins out as the best option for comfort.

Unlike conventional means of achieving whole-house comfort, high-velocity HVAC can be installed without tearing apart the existing architecture, thanks to the unique design of the system. You see, high-velocity HVAC concentrates and pushes treated air quickly wherever it’s needed via a distribution network of slim tubing. In fact, mini ducts from the Unico System measure a mere two or two and a half inches in diameter, which is just a fraction of the size of ordinary ductwork. The narrow size and flexible design allow them to fit just about anywhere, including many places that would not be able to accept bulky ductwork without renovation. Where homeowners were once forced to deconstruct and rebuild walls, ceilings, and soffits—and even give up floor space—flexible supply tubing can now zip through the existing joists, beams, and cavities with ease.

The Unico System’s determination to think smaller applies to its air handlers as well. The company’s advanced technology delivers the same level of heating and cooling as a conventional system, but uses a unit that’s a third the size. These highly efficient compact units require little more than an opening that’s a few feet tall or wide in order to slide into closets, attics, ceilings, crawl spaces, or basements—and these smaller parts translate into smaller installation needs. While the owner of any type of home can appreciate the fact that less renovation means fewer headaches, those who are intent on preserving the original architecture of an older abode stand to benefit most of all.

The Unico System prides itself on supply outlets that, just like its mini ducts and air handlers, won’t disrupt an older home’s aesthetic. The outlets, which emit streams of high-velocity air, can be placed in the least noticeable areas of a room and are available in two distinct styles: five-inch-diameter round openings or half-inch-by-eight-inch slotted rectangles. Both styles come in a multitude of materials and colors, including wood, chrome, brass, and black and white plastic, and they can even be painted or stained to custom-match any wall or floor. For homeowners who have worked this hard to find a system that won’t compromise the character of their house’s architecture, these details count.

Whether outlets are placed on the ceiling above eye level, along baseboards, or right on the floor, the whisper-quiet operation of high-velocity air will help ensure that they remain discreet. Also helping to maintain the peace, Unico’s supply tubing is designed with a nylon inner core and extra insulation to absorb sound, while closed-cell, sound-deadening insulation around the air handlers mutes noise at the source of the action. Combined, these hardworking elements create an invisible, almost silent comfort that’s especially valuable in homes where preservation of period ambience is key.

When serious, disruptive renovations are off the table—as they are for most homeowners who are striving to preserve a building’s original character—that leaves few options for coping with the stifling heat or frigid cold of an older home. Positioning window air-conditioning units and space heaters throughout the home can offer some reprieve, but often at the cost of significant energy consumption, obstructed views, and compromised interior design. Plus, their efforts may not reach occupants seated in the corner farthest from the units! Fortunately, high-velocity HVAC from The Unico System can deliver more comfort all year long with superior efficiency than can be achieved by temporary solutions—better even than systems that would require invasive installation.

The same mini-duct design that allows the system to go anywhere and operate practically under the radar also offers enhanced energy efficiency. For starters, Unico’s insulated mini ducts minimize the air loss that occurs between the air handler and the room—a journey that can experience up to 25 percent air loss with conventional ductwork. The Unico System’s insulation limits loss of heating or cooling energy to less than 5 percent. Beyond that, Unico’s mini ducts have one-third less surface area than conventional ductwork, so they also lose much less heat through their walls. Moreover, Unico System’s air handler pulls its energy-efficiency weight too: Its impressive cooling coils remove up to 30 percent more humidity than conventional systems, which translates into a more comfortable environment, even at a higher thermostat setting. When they opt for Unico System and its energy-sparing design, owners of historic homes can rest assured that the best pick for their old home is also the best for their wallets. 

Source: https://www.bobvila.com/articles/high-velocity-hvac-and-older-homes/