A central air installation is one of the most fundamental factors in creating a comfortable and modern home today — although it might surprise you to learn how many homes across the United States still lack any form of central heat or air. Adding a new system to a home where there has never been one before is a challenging task, but just as difficult for any homeowner is the process of selecting a new system to install. When the summer heats up, and the temperature indoors climbs, few people want to rely only on fans and open windows to stay comfortable.
So, what do you need to know about central AC installation? First, let’s look at when you might need one, then explore everything else you should understand about this process. By the end, you should be ready to take the first steps.
When Do You Need a New Central Air Installation?
Buying a new air conditioner is a big investment, so it isn’t a purchase to make likely. If your property does not have one at all, overseeing the installation of one could be an excellent way to add value to the home and make it more attractive in any future sale opportunities. What if you already have a central air unit, though, and you need to know when to think about replacing it? Consider a few of the factors that say the time is right:
- Your electric bills are too high, and you want to invest in a more efficient unit.
- Your current unit is 10 to 15 years old and no longer performs as well as it once did.
- You’ve encountered frequent mechanical problems that require expensive repairs.
Once you’ve recognized it’s a good time to explore a new AC installation, you can think about choosing a unit.
Choosing the Right Unit for Your Home
The most important factor in any AC installation is the “size” of the unit. This term does not refer to the physical size of the unit but rather its cooling capabilities. A unit that is too small will not be able to cool your whole home adequately, while one that is too large will waste energy. Calculating the appropriate size for an AC unit requires considering square footage, available ductwork, annual temperature variations, and more. Luckily, homeowners can leave this task to the pros instead of breaking out the old slide rule.
What is Involved in a Central AC Install?
The actual installation process is straightforward once all the preparations have been made. The average AC install job takes only about one day to complete, with the new unit’s positioning and the connection of piping taking a few hours. For brand new installations in homes with no previous central air usage, the process may take more than one day due to the necessity of installing additional hardware. Once everything is in place, the HVAC technician will turn the system on, check pressures and refrigerant levels, and provide you with any important information about maintaining the unit, such as monthly filter changes. That’s all it takes!
Common Problems You Might Encounter in This Process
Although a good service provider will make the process of adding a new central air installation to your home as simple as possible, there are some potential problems you might encounter along the way. If you consider these issues ahead of time, you can make an appropriate plan for them — although sometimes unforeseen events occur. Common issues with new installations include:
- Difficulty in locating a suitable interior space for the air handler unit.
- The need to pour a new concrete pad to site the outdoor portion of the unit.
- Unsuitable or dirty ductwork, or ducting that has been damaged by animal intrusions.
Each issue has a solution, although the exact answer will depend on your home.
Finding a Trusted Contractor for AC Installation
All the preceding information is important, but there is one more defining factor in the type of experience you have with a central AC installation: the service provider you select. The right professional makes a key difference in the experience you have, both from a customer service point of view and in terms of receiving quality results. When selecting a contractor, you should look for several attributes, such as:
- Years of experience.
- Licenses and insurance.
- A local reputation for reliability and fairness.
- Support for units created by leading manufacturers.
- A willingness to work with you to provide the most convenient service.
By carefully evaluating your options within your locale, you can arrive at a service provider fully equipped to provide you with a central air installation that is quick, simple, and remains reliable for many years to come. Don’t worry about the heat next summer — be ready to reach for the thermostat to enjoy cool air on demand.