A new AC installation is a step forward to greater energy efficiency, lower costs and—perhaps best of all—enhanced indoor comfort. The installation process is critical to getting all those benefits you deserve. If installation doesn’t meet standards, the system may not maintain consistent comfort, operating costs may be higher and excessive wear and tear may occur. To help ensure that a new system lives up to manufacturer’s specs as well as your own expectations, here are three things you can do to prepare for a new A/C installation.
- Make sure the unit is correctly sized. Every new installation should be preceded by a load calculation performed by a qualified HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) contractor. The process—known as “sizing”— consists of a room-by-room survey to quantify the unique thermal characteristics of the house. After this data is entered into industry-standard software called Manual J, the program calculates the BTU (British thermal unit) capacity required to cool the home more effectively and efficiently. This enables the contractor to match a new unit with the correct specs to do the job. It’s critical to get sizing right because both oversized and undersized HVAC units under-perform, cost more to operate, and often have shorter service life.
- Get the ductwork inspected. Connecting a new air conditioner to aging, leaky ductwork produces disappointing results. Residential ductwork typically leaks over 25% of the conditioned air it’s supposed to convey to all rooms throughout the house. This makes living spaces less comfortable and causes the A/C to run longer cycles, boosting operating costs. A qualified HVAC contractor can test the system for leakage and offer sealing options if required.
- Is there sufficient space? Installation of the outdoor component of a central A/C requires certain area to the rear or on one side of the house. Ensure shrubbery is cut away and any large objects relocated so the unit will have at least three feet of open area on all sides to ensure proper air circulation.
For more advice about the benefits of a professional AC installation, contact the experts at Apollo Heating, Cooling Electrical and Plumbing.