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Case Studies

Dec 1, 2023 3:55:31 PM by Lauren Mangano

Providing Modern Comfort to a Colonial-Style Home With Unico High-Velocity

PROBLEM: Our customer's Dutch Colonial-style home lacked air conditioning, but the structure made it difficult to find a whole-home cooling option.

SOLUTION: ECI installed a small-duct, high-velocity heating and air conditioning system to provide efficient cooling without major renovations. We also added a smart thermostat system for greater comfort control, as well as an air purifier to increase indoor air quality.



Unico high velocity installation in Pottstown, PA homeTired of going without central air year after year, Marci decided it was time to find a new way to cool her charming Dutch Colonial-style home. But because of the construction of the 80-year-old house, it was difficult to find a cooling solution that didn't require major renovations. After a free air conditioning consultation with ECI, it was clear that a Unico High-Velocity system was the ideal option for her home.

Check out this 5-star Google review that she left after the installation!

"James and Nick were very professional. They left the worksite neat everyday and communicated the progress every step of the way. James and Nick were also very careful with our 100 year old home amd our pets. Darren was great about planning out our project, providing options, setting up everything (including local permits), and checking in with us. Our high velocity installation was completed on time, and we are thrilled with the outcome. We highly recommend ECI Comfort!"

Dutch Colonial Houses

Colonial Homes with Gambrel RoofsIn the 17th and 18th centuries, Dutch colonists settled in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, creating a distinctly American style by incorporating architectural elements from their homeland. Even after the colonial era, Dutch-style houses remained popular in the Northeast; so much so that in the late 19th century, a colonial revival movement swept the country and these houses were included. The term "Dutch Colonial" was not used until the 1920s. 

The most instantly recognizable feature of newer Dutch colonial houses is the gambrel roof, which gives these homes a barn-like appearance. Also known as “Dutch roofs”, these symmetrical roofs have two slopes on each side with long eaves that extend past the sides of the house. The original Dutch colonial houses were single-room dwellings, so large porches were also built beneath the lengthy eaves to create more living space. 

Choosing a Unico High-Velocity System

A small-duct, high-velocity (SDHV) heating and air conditioning system can fit where other systems cannot, making it a great option for older homes, stone homes, and rowhomes. With its compact components, the high-velocity system offers the perfect solution for homes without existing ductwork. It allows for seamless installation, as the small tubes can be discreetly routed through hidden spaces. That means no bulky ductwork, no soffits or bumpouts, and no major renovations are needed. The small vents can even be altered so that the aesthetics of your home are not compromised.

Because Marci's home was already heated with a boiler and radiator system, there was no existing ductwork that could be used for a traditional air conditioning system. This leaves three options: open up the walls and possibly lose space to add ductwork for a standard air conditioner or heat pump, (2) install a ductless mini-split air conditioning system, or (3) install a SDHV air conditioning system. Comparing Standard, High-Velocity, & Ductless AC

While each has its pros and cons, it was clear that a high-velocity system was the best choice for this older home.

The Installation

Unico high-velocity with inverter heat pump

The high-velocity was installed mainly for cooling, but the heat pump aspect will provide an efficient heating alternative that will save our homeowner money on fuel bills during the shoulder seasons. Although Marci uses radiators as her main heating source, the addition of a heat pump system will be great for those times when it's not yet cold enough to fire up the boiler.

Not only will she benefit from the use of electric heating, but the Inverter technology will provide even higher comfort while saving more money, too. That's because non-inverter systems will automatically power off causing the temperature in the home to fall. Once more warm air is needed, the unit will re-operate to provide heat. On the other hand, inverter systems run continuously but adjust the compressor's speed to meet the demand. This allows for consistent comfort and higher efficiency.

Apart from the benefits of installing a heat pump, the Unico high-velocity system comes with many advantages. As mentioned earlier, the small, flexible ducts made it easier to retrofit the system into Marci's home. On the same token, the small outlets (below) are less obtrusive than larger vents associated with traditional systems, contributing to a cleaner aesthetic. High-velocity systems also boast features such as rapid heating and cooling, even temperature distribution, advanced dehumidification, and improvement of indoor air quality.Unico high velocity installation in Pottstown, PA home

Ecobee thermostat with sensors

Heaters and air conditioners are nothing without their controls, which is why we installed an Ecobee smart thermostat for Marci's home! The ecobee3 lite model has many great features such as an app that lets you control your home's comfort from anywhere. The smart thermostat also gets to know your schedule and learns to adjust settings for you, keeping you comfortable and helping you save on energy costs.

Learn More About the ecobee3 lite

Furthermore, we added SmartSensors throughout the home, which detect which rooms are in use and adjust the temperature accordingly for comfort in those spaces. The sensors even adjust the temperature for energy savings when you leave home and restore your comfort settings when you return.

AprilAire air cleaner

In addition to the heating and air conditioning system, we installed an AprilAire whole-home air purifier. This advanced filter system traps damaging particles to reduce mold, bacteria, pollen, asthma and allergy triggers, pet dander, and viruses. Not only will the air cleaner ensure fresher and purer air, but it will also optimize the performance of Marci's new HVAC system, increasing its efficiency and prolonging its lifespan.

5 star google review from unico high velocity installation

We are happy to see that Marci is happy with her installation, and we can't wait to hear how she enjoys the new system!

ECI Comfort specializes in installing Unico High-Velocity heating and air conditioning. To learn more or schedule your free consultation, click below!Schedule Your Free High Velocity Consultation


This entry was posted in Air Purifiers, Montgomery County, Air Filters, Older Homes, Colonial Style Homes, Unico High Velocity, AprilAire, High-Efficiency, Smart Thermostat