For many years Seattle was a mild climate that didn’t require air conditioning. However, as time has passed, the summers are getting hotter, and more and more homeowners wish they could cool down their homes (over the last three years, Seattle has averaged 43 days above 80 degrees). In addition to higher temperatures comes drier conditions, and in the late summer months, the area is more prone to wildfires and smoke. Of the 1.6 million housing units in the Seattle area in 2021, about 844,400 — roughly 53% — had a primary air conditioning source, with about 21% using central air and nearly 30% relying on room air conditioning.
1. Forced Air: Forced air is an excellent option if you already have a forced heating system in the home. Simply adding air conditioning to your existing system is typically the most effective option in terms of cost and maximum cooling. However, this method does require professional installation and may not be the most cost-effective option if you are currently running on a system other than forced heat.
2. Ductless Mini-Splits: Mini-splits are energy efficient and often used in new construction. They work great for “zone cooling” when you only want to add air conditioning in certain rooms or areas of the home. This method will require professional installation.
3. Window Unit or Portable Air Conditioner: This is the DIY home cooling approach. Typically this method looks like window-mounted or floor units plugged into a standard wall outlet. While it’s relatively inexpensive, quick, and easy, it requires seasonal installation, it takes up floor and window space, it won’t cool an entire home, and it’s not very aesthetically pleasing.
Summers will only continue to get hotter. The problem of most Seattle homes not having HVAC systems isn’t going away, and realistically as the demand for AC units increases in the area, the price will likely follow suit. So when asking yourself, “Is AC installation worth it?” ask yourself what your health and quality of life are worth to you?
With an educational background in Marketing and Communications, Marin loves to write and find new ways to connect with our clients and followers.