RE/MAX On the River, Inc.

Posted by North Shore Real Estate Home Team on 5/19/2020

Image by Africa Studio from Shutterstock

Many people look forward to the long summer months, but when it gets unbearably hot, it is time to look for a way to cool down. If your home doesn’t have a central cooling system, installing a mini-split air conditioner is your best bet for fighting the intense heat. 

What is a split air conditioner?

A split air conditioner system has an outdoor unit and an indoor unit. The outdoor unit, installed on or near an exterior wall of the home, contains the compressor, condenser coil, and either capillary tubing or an expansion coil. In a central system, the indoor unit has ducts, louvers, and controls to set the temperature and direct the cool air. If the system is a heat pump arrangement, it sends heated air outside and pulls cooler air from underground pipes to make cooling more efficient.

Installing a central split system requires a complete retrofit of your home which might not fit every budget. Instead, consider installing one or more mini-split systems in your home.

How does a mini system work?

In the same way that a central HVAC system has an indoor and an outdoor unit, the mini system has both units as well. The outdoor unit is a compressor/condenser and the indoor unit handles evaporation, temperature controls, and louvers for directing the cooled air. The two units are connected through a small conduit opening in the wall through which pass power wiring, copper tubing, communication lines, and the condensation drain line.

What makes it efficient?

Mini-split systems do not require ducts, so retrofitting an older home is simply a matter of locating one or more units to cool the most used areas of the home. Because the cooled air does not travel through ductwork, it requires half or less of the energy that a central system requires to cool the same space. Up to 30 percent of energy consumption in a central system is lost through ductwork in attics and crawlspaces. Further, because you only need to cool the rooms you are using, you can better control your energy bills.

Some mini-split systems may be fitted with a localized duct system to push cooled air into more than one room, allowing for multi-room cooling. These systems use one outdoor unit with two or more indoor units so that each room or zone can be individually adjusted for comfort.

Why should you install one?

If you own or wish to purchase an older home that does not have a central HVAC, utilizing a mini-split air conditioning system can save your money initially, on your purchase, and in the long term on your energy bills.

Consider viewing older homes without a central AC system that might otherwise be the perfect choice for you and your budget.

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Posted by North Shore Real Estate Home Team on 6/14/2016

If you have driven around any American neighborhood lately, you may have noticed a big addition to many houses, particularly if you look up. Solar panels have been soaring in popularity the past few years. As of 2015, 784,000 U.S. homes and businesses have gone solar, according to Solar Industry Data. So what is driving all of these home and business owners to go solar? For one, the world’s recent consciousness of the environment, and the upswing of renewable energy sources has certainly had a big impact and can be seen more in mainstream media and advertising (i.e. the hybrid car). But solar companies and the government are making solar panels even more appealing with incentives, and with the promise of savings. Homeowners who utilize solar energy save thousands on their energy bill every year. There are many incentives that could also aid in saving money. As of 2015, the government offers a 30% Federal Tax Credit for homeowners who add solar panels to their homes. Many states have their own programs that reward anyone for going green. For example, Massachusetts has a program called the RPS Solar Carve-Out II, which is an incentive to support residential, commercial, public, and nonprofit entities in developing new solar installations across the state. Massachusetts and New Hampshire offer Energy Certificate programs which allow homeowners to sell their solar energy, generating many dollars in tax-free income. Because of these incentives, and also the quick payback, solar panels can be a sound investment. Most homeowners can be revived from their investments within 10 years. You can compare that to any other utility upgrade, such as an air conditioner, which costs money to install, and then more money to run. For anyone thinking about moving soon, solar panels will actually increase the value of a home. According to a study done by National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), homes sell 20% faster when solar panels are installed. Since solar energy seems to be an upward trend, it could be appealing to the housing market. Solar panels are also a guaranteed performance. Because solar panels create energy from the sun’s rays, it will never run out. Compare that assurance to the unreliability and fluctuation of other non-renewable utility companies. As for maintenance, solar energy requires little to no upkeep for the homeowner. Once it is installed, there is nothing to do but soak up the sun! Aside from being a trendy look for homes, there are many benefits to adding solar panels to your home. All else aside, decreasing your carbon footprint can be a sunny incentive for all of us.