You’d be hard-pressed to find a New Mexican complaining about the plethora of bright sunny days and our relatively mild climate. But, even though Santa Fe stays 10 -15 degrees cooler than Albuquerque, we still get our fair share of hot months that leave our homes sweltering. If you live in one of our beautiful historic homes, installing air conditioning may not have felt like a possibility. Let’s talk options.
Due to their design and age, many Santa Fe residences have no ductwork. But for those of us who do have ductwork installed for heating, having refrigerated air conditioning installed or a swamp cooler added is easier than you may think.
Refrigerated Air Conditioning
Central air conditioning can turn your heating unit into dual-mode heating and cooling. By replacing a heater only unit with a dual one, you get the benefit of forced air refrigeration during New Mexico’s hot months. You also have the added benefit of being able to switch between heating and cooling as needed. When its cool in the mornings you can run your furnace and hot in the afternoon you can switch to ac and vice versa. Air conditioning units are an investment, but the ease and comfort for your family make it all worth it. As an added bonus central air conditioning will greatly increase the value of your home if you decide to sell. New air conditioning units typically have a manufacturer warranty for multiple years, varying on the brand and air conditioner.
Swamp Coolers (Evaporative Cooling)
If you keep hearing about swamp coolers but honestly don’t understand what they are, here goes: A swamp cooler evaporates water and pushes the cooler air through your home. It normally brings the temperature down about 10 to 15 degrees in a dry area like Santa Fe. Swamp coolers don’t work as well in humid areas because of the psychics of evaporation. In humid areas, when the water evaporates, the air surrounding it stays the same temperature. You would be in effect pushing warm “wet” air through the system. Plus, the increase in humidity can cause faster rusting and deterioration. In dry air though, water evaporates and as it does, it cools the surrounding air. That cooler air is then forced through the system, cooling other areas of the home. So, swamp coolers are a good option for us high desert dwellers, not so much in other parts of the country. Because of its flexibility in price and effectiveness, they are very popular in New Mexico.
TLC Plumbing installs standard coolers and coolers like mastercool units that can offer a greater cooling capacity. We also offer a new energy efficient cooler that has the highest cooling range on the market. Check out the Breezair Cooler to see if it is a good option for your home.
Window/Mini-Split Ductless Systems
No ductwork? No worries. You have options.
Window units range in price and size and can be fit to just about any window. They are a cost effective option for many. The drawbacks? They can be loud, they can block the view and use of the window. They also consume a considerable amount of electricity and only cool the immediate area.
At a higher price point, mini split units can provide the same type of full house air conditioning that a traditional ductwork system provides. Think of them as window units that don’t need a window. They are normally installed on walls in the home and give the owner the ability to control the temperature within the room that they are placed in. While these ductless air conditioning systems have higher installation costs than other options, they are extremely energy efficient and sometimes the only permanent air conditioning option for homes without any ductwork.
With summer right around the corner now is the time to take a look at the best options for your New Mexican home. Whether you want centralized or zoned air, you have plenty of options to keep your home comfortable year round. Let the professionals at TLC help you customize a solution for your cooling needs.