Most Americans started to afford having heat sources inside the home around the nineteenth century. The system commonly used was one that directed the heated air upwards through ducts. Steam heat replaced these coal fired systems. Steam systems were highly superior when thinking about technology available at the time, but the big problem is there was a large iron mass that was present in every single room (a radiator).
Not much changed for a long time, so numerous old houses still use that heating system. If you want to retrofit it with the use of contemporary HVAC, the big problem is usually design related. You can so easily contact professional HVAC services Philadelphia providers to deal with the technical side of things, but what do you do with home décor? Most people want to have a more contemporary look in their homes.
Nowadays, we have much smaller systems that can accommodate the same areas. Some do not use water heaters, and it is not at all difficult to install them. The challenge was usually how to convey the climate controlled air through the building because of metal ductwork size. Ducts were often placed in some large cavities or between the floor joists. A modern system uses round ducts that are much smaller. You can snake them through areas that are constricted, similarly to how you add electrical lines and plumbing lines.
Removing The Old, Large Furnaces
One of the important parts of changing the old system is removing the large furnaces as they are asbestos shrouded and basically way too huge. The high efficiency furnaces of modern times will exhaust everything through plastic pipes, going through foundation wall, thus even eliminating brick chimney need. Obviously, this does not mean you necessarily need to remove the chimney, which is a large task. You can, however, repurpose it and simply see it as a décor element.
If new HVAC systems are difficult to install, a new AC unit can be seen as a great alternative. This is perfect especially when there is no ductwork present in the home. Using wall units is an interesting option as you can select air conditioned rooms. This avoids having central AC. Devices will be visible from the street but they are really efficient and small. Modern models no longer block your windows; so should be taken into account.
Carefully Choosing Location
Retrofitting HVAC in older houses is nowadays much simpler as you can easily use the old ducts, replace them or just add new, modern systems that do not use ducts. The only thing that is really important is to basically analyze all the options that are available. Renovation is something that is going to take a lot of time so you do want to plan ahead. You want to think about various things like placing large furnishings, what HVAC units to use, whether or not you are looking for symmetry and how older systems impact modern design. Fortunately, all of these are normally connected with location. Moving items around normally solves all problems.