Proper installation is key to ensuring optimal performance, energy efficiency, and longevity of an air conditioning system. Whether you’re considering installing a new air conditioning system or upgrading an existing one, the installation process is crucial in ensuring the overall effectiveness and efficiency of your cooling system. It’s a complex task that requires careful planning, and expertise, not to mention adherence to industry standards.
In this article, we will discuss the various factors you need to consider before the installation of your air conditioning system starts. We will then dive into a detailed, step-by-step process of the actual installation of your air conditioner. Additionally, things to bear in mind post the installation of your AC system will also be discussed. Our guide will also touch base on how you can go about choosing the right air conditioning installer.
Many homeowners in the US prefer doing the job themselves. No doubt, DIY projects have their own merits and demerits. This article will explain the pros and cons of DIY vs. a professional installation of your AC. This will help you make an informed decision regarding whether you are well equipped to handle the installation on your own or require professional help.
By exploring the ins and outs of air conditioning installation, this article aims to empower you with the knowledge and understanding necessary to make informed decisions, select reputable professionals, and ensure a smooth and successful installation process.
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Air conditioning is a costly investment and it is important that the installation is carried out correctly which will ensure your system’s efficiency. There are a few factors that you should keep in mind before you have your AC system installed. Below we have discussed these factors to give you a handle on the pre-installation period:
It is crucial to have the size and capacity of the AC you are considering determined according to the space in your home. One is that the unit should physically fit in the space in your home, and second the size or capacity of the AC should be enough to cool your entire home. If you are opting for a window or a portable air conditioner, the capacity of the unit should be determined based on the size of the room you’re going to install the AC in. A certified HVAC
installer can help you in determining the correct physical size and capacity of your air conditioning system. This will ensure optimal performance of the system and proper cooling of your home.
The energy efficiency of an air conditioning system determines your long-term cost savings. It is advisable to check the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) ratings of the system you are considering installing in your home. Higher SEER ratings, between 10 and 20, mean the system is sufficiently energy efficient. Air conditioners with a higher SEER rating may have high upfront costs, but help save on energy bills in the long run.
Another important factor to consider before having your air conditioning system installed is to check the existing infrastructure like the ductwork. An old ductwork may need replacement, especially if you’re installing or replacing your central AC system. However, you may not need to replace or install new ductwork in case of ductless mini-split systems or a portable air conditioning system.
Proper insulation is key to your AC running efficiently. Hence, insulation is another important factor to consider before you start the installation of your AC. You should ensure that your home is adequately insulated, especially in areas and spaces where cool air can escape from. Proper insulation not only ensures enhanced efficiency of your air conditioner but also reduces energy waste, in turn helping with your energy bills.
Cost is a factor that is important to take into consideration before deciding which air conditioner you want to install. High-end air conditioning systems usually have a high upfront cost but may lead to lower energy bills in the long run. On the other end, AC systems with low upfront costs may not help you save that much on energy bills in the long run. Moreover, you should also consider the maintenance and service requirements of the air conditioning system you are thinking of installing. Considering all this, you should set a budget and see what fits best for you.
Often homeowners take on DIY (Do-It-Yourself) projects when it comes to home renovations. You may want to go ahead with the installation of your air conditioning system as a DIY project too. However, professional installation of the system is also a lure hard to let go of. Let us take a look at the pros and cons of both, DIY and professional installation and you can then decide which suits best for you.
DIY Air Conditioning Installation
One of the major advantages of DIY installation is that you’ll save on the labor costs that are associated with professional installation. Not only you’ll have a learning experience, but DIY installation of your AC system will also give you the freedom of customizing and setting up the system according to your preferences. Moreover, you will have the flexibility and control of working on the installation process at your own pace, making adjustments as and when needed.
On the other hand, professional installation ensures the necessary technical expertise which you may lack. In that case, you may end up making mistakes that could cause the system to work inefficiently, poor performance or damage. Moreover, it also poses safety risks for both you and the system in case of improper handling of refrigerant or electrical wiring.
All systems come with a manufacturer’s warranty. DIY installation of your AC system may void the warranty or any insurance coverage you may have on the system. Installation of an air conditioning system is also a lengthy and physically demanding process in order to ensure proper setup and performance. As a result, you may end up taking longer to complete the installation, especially if you meet with unexpected challenges.
Professional Air Conditioning Installation
Professional installers are imparted with the necessary technical skills, training and knowledge required for correct installation and ensuring your system’s optimal performance and efficiency. They bear the necessary knowledge regarding local building codes, safety regulations, and proper installation techniques, ensuring your system is set up safely that meets the industry standards.
Manufacturers often expect professional installation for the manufacturer’s warranty and any insurance coverage to remain valid. Professionals, being well-trained in the process, can finish the installation process efficiently and in a timely manner, with minimum disruption to your daily routine.
Costs, such as labor costs, are of course a major disadvantage of hiring a professional installer for your AC system. It can end up shooting up your expenses and may end up exceeding your budget. Hiring a professional installer can also limit your customization as they tend to follow the standard installation procedures. Although they may be able to complete the installation process in a timely manner, you would be required to be flexible and adjust according to their availability and schedules.
All in all, DIY installation may hold a lure considering advantages such as cost savings and customizations. But there
are also possible safety hazards and technical expertise that need to be considered. In that case, a professional installation would be the best choice to opt for. In the end, the decision truly lies with you, depending on your level of comfort with the technical aspects and complexity of the installation.
Should you choose to hire a professional installer, the next step comes with finding a reputable and trustworthy HVAC installer. This entails calling installers one after the other, explaining your requirements, and requesting quotes. You then sit for hours, going through each quote trying to find the one that best fits your requirements, and importantly your budget.
GreenMatch can make this process much simpler for you. Click on the button below and fill out the form detailing your requirements. We will match up to 3 certified installers and get their quotes for you to compare. Our service is free with no obligation.
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Whether you’re installing your AC system yourself or hiring a professional to carry out the process, there are certain steps that need to be followed. Our installation guide below gives you a step-by-step of the installation process.
Any installation starts with the site inspection and evaluation of your cooling needs. If you’re installing a central air conditioner, your home will be inspected for pre-existing AC system, ductwork, and any materials that you might need for replacement or completely new. In the case of other types of air conditioners, the site of mounting the AC unit, electrical wiring, the place where the outdoor unit will be installed, etc. will all be determined prior to the installation.
The next step is choosing the right air conditioner, based on your cooling needs. The choice you make also depends on whether you’re looking to cool your entire home or just a particular area of your home. It also depends on the energy efficiency and ease of maintenance of your air conditioning system.
As a homeowner, it is important that you make sure children and pets are safe and away from the installation site. Anything important or valuable near or at the installation should be removed in order to make the process smooth.
Technicians will place safety measures, protective equipment, and the required equipment at the site for quick and easy installation.
The next step is the actual installation of the AC system. This will start with the hired professional/s switching all your electrical supply or gas valves for safety. Then they will remove your existing system (in case of a replacement). If you’ve opted to install a central system then any replacements or fittings in the ductwork will be carried out. The site for the installation of the outdoor unit will be prepared. When removing the old system which will have refrigerant, they need to use a proper removal machine and follow the safety protocols for releasing the refrigerant can cause safety hazards.
Then follows the actual installation of your new system. All the necessary equipment, electrical wiring will be carried out. The indoor unit will be installed and then the outdoor unit follows. The two units will then be connected via proper ductwork (in case of split AC). In case of window AC systems, they will be fitted in your window frame.
Once the installation is complete, the installers will turn the system on and check if everything is working correctly. Once they give the system a ‘Go’, they will start the cleaning process. All the protective and safety equipment will be collected back. They will gather all their tools and equipment and leave the place neat and clean. Your electricity and gas supply will be turned back on before they turn the system on.
So this is the installation process in a nutshell. Knowing the system installation process might also help you in coming to a decision about whether you want to install the AC yourself or hire a professional.
All said and done, you’ve decided to hire a certified installer to install your air conditioning system, you need to ensure you’re hiring the right installer. Question is, how do you know and choose the right installer? Below we’ve discussed the points you need to keep in mind when hiring a professional HVAC installer.
Researching and gathering information is usually the best way to go about it. Today, most HVAC installation service providers have websites with customer reviews and testimonials for you to go through. These reviews and testimonials can help you understand and gauge the level of service the installers provide and how satisfied the past customers were. This helps you to quickly eliminate the ones that have unsatisfactory reviews and testimonials from previous customers.
Another way to find potential installers is to ask around and gather recommendations from friends, family, or neighbours who have had their AC systems installed. They can offer you reliable reviews on the installers they hired.
Once you’ve narrowed down a few potential installers, you want to check for their experience in the field. Going for an installer with enough experience in installing the type of AC system you’re thinking of installing will ensure proper installation and efficiency of your system. They will bring with them the knowledge of specific challenges and requirements that are required for installing your type of air conditioner.
You should also check if they are certified and have the required licences to carry out the work involved in the installation. For example, technicians who handle refrigerants require specific certification, which you should check for. This will ensure safe and competent installation of your air conditioning system.
Every installer will have something different to offer. Check for responsiveness, willingness to answer all your questions, and how they communicate with you. You do not want an installer who is unresponsive to you or your questions.
The services and warranties offered will also be different from installer to installer. You should check and confirm what services they offer, and any or all warranties and guarantees they offer. You should also check if they are offering any sort of insurance coverage. Liability insurance will protect you from potential liability in case of an accident or damage during the installation.
Also thoroughly check the terms of your contract before finalizing. The contract should include important and relevant details such as the system specifications, installation time, payment terms, etc.
More importantly, request quotes from each installer you contact. Your quotes will have the information you require to make an informed decision regarding selecting an installer for your air conditioner.
Following these guidelines will definitely help you find the right installer. However, you have a choice of going the hard way or the easy way of finding the right installer to install your air conditioning system. GreenMatch can help you find the right installer with one, simple click.
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