Month: May 2023
How Long Does an AC Install Take?
Installing or replacing an AC system takes many steps. Depending on your home’s layout and the type of AC you choose, the installation can take longer than expected.
Be sure to avoid distractions and facilitate access for the technicians during your AC installation. This will allow them to work efficiently and minimize the time it takes to complete the job.
Leveling the Ground
Your outdoor AC condenser should be level for optimum performance. If the ground shifts or tilts, the unit will have to work harder to do its job, and it will wear out sooner.
Keep in mind, too, that direct sunlight can burn the pad beneath your air conditioner. Look for a shady nook that’s out of the sun.
You can also add a base to your AC pad, either by compacting gravel or pouring concrete. This will keep the pad from sinking into the dirt and may prevent unwanted vibration that could knick the tubing connections inside the compressor.
Before the technician arrives, clear away debris, trash cans, BBQ grills, and kids’ toys from the work area. A clutter-free workspace makes it easier for the technician to do his or her job quickly and efficiently.
Installing the Outdoor Unit
An AC install can take longer if you’re doing it alone than it would if you hired a professional team. You also won’t be earning a wage for the hours you spend on the project.
Choosing the wrong location for your outdoor unit is one of the biggest mistakes homeowners make during their AC installation. It can lead to high electric bills and frequent unit failures that break the bank.
Avoid placing your outdoor unit near gas and oil vents, clothes dryers, or heating ducts as they may block airflow. It’s also important to leave enough space around the outdoor unit for proper ventilation.
You should have at least 4 feet of clearance between the outdoor unit and obstructions like fences, trees, or houses. This allows for adequate heat dissipation and prevents overworking your outdoor unit, which leads to premature component damage. Also, make sure the outdoor unit is elevated so that snow doesn’t build up on it.
Installing the Indoor Unit
A new AC unit install involves positioning and connecting all the indoor equipment, whether it’s the air conditioning system itself or a thermostat or upgraded ductwork. Most professional installation teams provide their customers with a written manual and diagrams that note which pieces connect where. Some general HVAC and electrical knowledge is helpful, but most of this work can be done by a trained technician.
Before installing an indoor air conditioner, it’s important to choose a location that’s at least 3.3 feet (1.0 m) away from any antennas and power or connecting lines used for televisions, radios, home security systems, intercoms, or telephones. These can create electrical noise that interferes with your AC’s efficiency and performance.
Before the installers place your indoor unit, they’ll vacuum out your existing system. This is a safety process that removes any refrigerant that remains in the line set that runs from the outdoor condenser to the indoor evaporator coil.
Installing the Ductwork
Depending on the type of air conditioner you’ve chosen and your home’s layout, you may need ductwork to distribute your conditioned air. Ductwork is a network of metal or synthetic tubes that transports conditioned air throughout your house. It has a plenum, which is the entry end of the ducting; and registers, or discharge fixtures, located in the walls or floor of each room.
A well-designed ductwork system is essential to your HVAC equipment working at its best, and it’s an important component of your indoor air quality. Poorly designed ducts can cause your system to work harder, increasing energy bills and shortening the life of your equipment.
During this step of an AC install, your technician will begin laying the actual ducts. They’ll start at the plenum and work outward from there, attaching each duct to a start collar. They’ll also connect the ducts to each vent and return, sealing them to help prevent leaks.