As the name suggests, a high velocity AC unit cools rooms more quickly than a conventional AC unit and requires smaller duct work. These features, along with an extra air handler, are virtually the only differences from a standard AC system. High velocity AC systems have a reputation for being expensive. This has kept their popularity low, but competition and more efficient technology are changing that. Now more affordable than ever, the question worth asking is: “are high velocity AC units worth it?”
To answer that, let’s lay out the advantages and disadvantages.
- High velocity AC units are much easier to install in older homes with no current ductwork. The smaller more flexible tubing is less intrusive to add within walls. This benefit can make the cost of the install less expensive. It is sometimes so much less that it can even offset the higher product cost!
- They remove more humidity in the air. This can be especially beneficial in warmer, muggier climates.
- Air moves faster through the home, meaning spaces cools more quickly and more evenly.
- Bulky ductwork can be avoided altogether in homes where forced air heat isn’t necessary (such as those with radiant heat or radiators, for example).
- Cost, as previously mentioned, is a major deterrent. While affordability has gotten better, high velocity AC units are still notably more expensive than standard AC units.
- The faster moving air is typically noisier and sometimes more noticeable as it moves through the house. A poorly placed vent that rushes air through prime living spaces can be uncomfortable and annoying.
A high velocity AC unit is the perfect solution in the right situation — most often an older home with no current ductwork. However, high velocity AC systems are becoming increasingly more practical and are at least worth being considered by anyone looking to add AC to their home.