cool an old home

Older homes can often feel uncomfortably warm as the temperatures and humidity rise in Pittsburgh. This happens because of insufficient cooling systems and outdated features. Cooling an older home effectively requires a tailored approach that considers the unique challenges of your home.

Many older homes don’t have the ductwork necessary to install a central AC unit, while others have insufficient windows and insulation.

While options like central air conditioning may not be feasible or cost-effective, homeowners can try several alternative strategies to keep their older homes cool and comfortable.

Let’s explore some of the best options for cooling your older Pittsburgh home.


Fans can be an effective and affordable way to cool your older home. Ceiling fans can help circulate air throughout a space, creating a gentle breeze that makes the room feel cooler without significantly increasing energy consumption. In the summer, ceiling fans should be set to rotate counterclockwise to push cool air down towards you.

In rooms where installing a ceiling fan is not possible, portable fans or oscillating fans can provide targeted cooling in specific areas of the home. Placing fans near windows or doorways can help draw in fresh, cooler air from outside in the evenings and on cooler days.

Light-Blocking Blinds

Another simple yet effective way to keep an older home cool is by installing light-blocking blinds or shades on windows. Sunlight streaming through windows can quickly heat a room. Light-blocking blinds, also known as blackout blinds, are designed to block out sunlight and prevent heat gain, helping to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature.

Limit Electronics

Electronics such as computers, televisions, and appliances generate heat when in use, contributing to the overall temperature of a room. To help keep an older home cool, you should limit the use of electronics during the hottest parts of the day.

Investing in energy-efficient appliances can help reduce the heat generated while lowering energy costs. LED light bulbs, for example, produce less heat than traditional incandescent bulbs and can help keep rooms cooler during the summer months.

Add a Dehumidifier

High humidity levels can make a home feel warmer than it is, leading to discomfort and potential health issues. Adding a dehumidifier to an older home can help remove excess moisture from the air. This helps make the room feel cooler and more comfortable.

Dehumidifiers draw in humid air, pass it over coils that condense the moisture, and then release dry air back into the room.

Mitsubishi Mini Split Systems

Mitsubishi Mini Split AC units have transformed the way homeowners cool their spaces. This is even more true in older homes where traditional central air conditioning may not be practical. 

The ductless design of Mitsubishi Mini Split systems makes them ideal for older homes.

The Mitsubishi Mini Split allows for easy installation without the need for extensive renovations. Unlike traditional central air conditioning systems, which rely on ductwork to distribute cool air throughout the home, mini-split systems operate without requiring ducts.

One of the critical advantages of Mitsubishi Mini Split air conditioning is its energy efficiency. Central air conditioning systems can suffer from energy losses due to leaky ducts in older homes, and mini-splits deliver cool air directly to the rooms they serve. This results in lower energy consumption and reduced utility bills. Mitsubishi Mini Split systems offer precise temperature control for every room.

When Your Existing Central AC is Not Cooling Your Home

You may have central air in your older home that is not functioning at its capacity. There are a few things you can check before calling for service.

First, ensure that your thermostat is set to cool and the temperature is set according to your preference. Ensure that the furnace filter is changed monthly to prevent blockage and keep your outside unit clean and free of debris. If you still have issues, contact Schultheis Brothers for your yearly AC maintenance check.

Schultheis Brothers is Here to Assist You

Cooling an older home presents unique challenges. If you are looking for a cost-effective cooling option for your older Pittsburgh home, Schultheis Brothers can help. We are a Mitsubishi Cooling and Heating Diamond Dealer receiving the highest accreditations from Mitsubishi Electric. Contact us today to learn more about the Mitsubishi Mini-Split System.