A Guide to Air Conditioning Installation, Repair and Best Practices
Have you noticed that your air conditioner doesn’t seem to be cooling as well as it once did? Are you wondering if you need a new one or if the current one just needs to be repaired? Typically, your air conditioner can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years. However, issues can arise at any time, leaving you feeling hot and sticky in your own home. When this happens, you need to determine if the unit only needs repairs or if you need new air conditioning installation.
Keep reading for answers to your questions and other information that will ensure you stay cool and comfortable all summer long.
Air Conditioning Installation Process
If you know you need a new air conditioner or you’ve never had one in your home, then you may be wondering what the installation process involves. Here are the steps that are typically taken when installing air conditioning:
1. Find an Air Conditioner Installer
The first step in the process of AC installation is to find a professional who can do the job. While you always have the option of doing this on your own, it’s not recommended. Working with a professional technician will ensure that the job gets done right and as soon as possible. Don’t spend another day sweating in your living room. Look for a professional that has the skills and ability to install your AC correctly.
Here are some of the things you’ll want to look for:
The technicians you hire for AC installation should have at least two years of experience doing this job. This ensures that they’ll install the unit correctly so that your home will be cool. Should any problems arise during the process, they’ll have the skills and knowledge to overcome them.
The Right Tools
If you’re like most homeowners, you probably have a variety of tools sitting around your home to help you complete odd jobs. You may think that these are all you need to install an air conditioner, but this probably isn’t the case.
A professional will not only have the right tools for the job, but they’ll also know how to use them. Investing your money in a professional installer is a better option than buying tools that you’ll only use once.
Easy to Work With
You’re inviting these technicians into your home, so you’ll want to make sure that you are comfortable with them and that they have good communication skills.
It can take anywhere from 8 to 14 hours to install a new air conditioner in your home. During that time, you and your family will be exposed to the technician. They should be able to explain in easy-to-understand terms exactly what they are doing and not scare anyone. Finding someone with these skills and ethics will make the home AC installation process less stressful and frustrating.
2. Choose the Best Air Conditioner for Your Home
After you have found the best technician for the A/C installation, you’ll then work together to find the best unit for your home. There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to installing a new air conditioner. Some of the things you’ll need to think about including the following:
Size of Your Home
Air conditioners come in a wide range of sizes and capabilities. How big your house is will have an impact on what size of air conditioner you’ll need. If you get one that’s too small, it won’t keep your home as cool as you would like. Should you get one that’s too big, it will keep your house cool, but you may be paying more than necessary to run it.
Working with an HVAC professional will ensure you get the unit that will keep your house comfortable but also remain affordable.
Your Cooling Needs
Determining your cooling needs will also play a role in what type of air conditioner you should install in your home. Should you be planning on cooling your entire house all day, then getting central air conditioning might be in your best interest.
If you are hoping to only cool a few rooms at a time, then adding individual units or window air conditioners to each room might be in your best interest. Again, speaking with a professional will ensure you get the AC that will work for all of your cooling wants and needs.
The Features You Want to Include
It may seem like all air conditioners are essentially the same, but they aren’t. While they all will cool your house, they can come equipped with a wide variety of features that can make them more efficient and cost-effective.
Some of the features that you might consider include:
- Smart thermostats – If you’re hoping to save some money while running your air conditioner, then you’ll want to consider adding this feature. It will pay attention to your cooling habits and only run while you are home or automatically set itself to your ideal temperature. You can even control the thermostat from your smartphone.
- Auto delay switches – In older air conditioners, if there was any cold air left in the unit when you turned it off, that air would just dissipate. Now, it’s possible to get new models that will push out this cold air after you turn the system off. This ensures that no cold air is wasted, and it can save you money on your utility bills.
A technician will be able to let you know about all of the different AC features and find the unit that will work best for your home.
3. Get Ready for the New Unit
Once you have decided which air conditioner is going to work best for your home, you’ll then need to prepare your home for the installation. When looking for the best location for the outdoor housing, you want to look for an area that is protected from the sun. The case will be weatherproof, but the sun can be incredibly damaging. Too much exposure could result in the system not running optimally.
You’ll also want to pick a spot where the fan can point away from the house. There will also need to be enough room for all the wires. It’s also a good idea to keep the outdoor unit away from vegetation. If that’s not possible, keeping these trimmed down will prevent them from clogging and damaging the internal components.
Finally, you’ll need a place that is level. This ensures that the unit can’t be tipped over during strong winds. In some cases, you might need to pour a concrete pad for the outdoor unit. This will add to the cost, but it will ensure that your system runs the way it should for as long as possible.
If you’re unsure where the outdoor unit should go, don’t be afraid the ask the technician. Since they’ve been doing this for a while, they’ll be able to find the perfect spot to place this essential part of your new AC.
4. Get Rid of the Old Unit
If you are replacing an older unit that no longer works, then you’ll need to determine what you’re going to do with it. You might think that you can place it on the curb and have your trash service pick it up, but you can’t. Air conditioners contain a chemical called refrigerant. This is what cools the air and makes your home comfortable. If it leaks into the environment, it can cause a lot of problems. Therefore, old AC units have to be recycled.
Ask your installation technician if they are able and willing to haul the old one away. This may be part of their service to you. If not, ask if they know or can recommend anyone to help with this task. This ensures that the old unit is disposed of properly to protect you and the planet.
How Can You Tell If Your AC Needs to be Repaired or Replaced?
Installing a new air conditioner into your home isn’t a cheap endeavor. To save yourself some money, you may be wondering if you can repair the unit instead of replacing it. In some cases, you might be able to. However, in others, it will be more cost-effective to get a new unit as opposed to constantly repairing the one you currently have.
Knowing which option is right for you can be confusing. Talking to a professional can help you make this decision. There are also some other signs that will let you know whether to repair or replace your air conditioner. These include the following:
If your AC falls between 10 and 15 years of age and constantly needs repairs, it will be in your best interest to get a new one. The money you spend to add new parts will add up over time. While you will incur a large upfront cost to install in a new AC, it will save you in the long run.
If you notice that your air conditioner is blowing warm air, this could be caused by a variety of different issues—many of which can be repaired easily. The first thing you’ll want to check is the filter. If this is overly dirty, it will be hard for the air to circulate through the system, which means it may not be cooling as effectively.
Changing the filter is quick and easy. It is a task you can do on your own, and you should be doing it every one to three months. Warm air could also be an indicator that your refrigerant level is running low. You’ll need a professional to check and remedy this problem. It’s another task that can be done quickly and doesn’t require getting a whole new unit to keep your house cool.
Not only does your air conditioner cool the air that is circulated through your home, but it also removes excess moisture. That liquid has to go somewhere, so there are hoses and drains within the AC unit. If any of these get clogged, this could cause damage to the system or to your home. Thus, if you notice any leaks, you’ll want to call in a professional to determine where they are coming from. Should they find that there’s a clogged drain or plugged hose, they may be able to repair these and have your unit running the way it’s supposed to.
If the water has caused any damage to the electrical system in the air conditioner, it may be possible to repair these problems, or you may have to get a new unit. The technician will be able to let you know the best course of action to take.
Service and Maintenance
The service and maintenance that has been done on your air conditioner will also determine whether it needs to be repaired or replaced. If you have a technician service your system at least once a year, they’ll be able to catch any issues before they become major problems. This can extend the life of your air conditioner beyond the projected lifespan.
Not keeping up on service and maintenance will lead to more problems that may or may not be easy to resolve. Again, you’ll have to have a professional come out and inspect the system to determine if they can fix the problem or if the entire unit needs to be replaced.
Finding the Best AC Installer
Whether you are looking for air conditioning installation for your first system or you are replacing an old unit that no longer runs properly, you want to work with the best. At United Air Temp, we have the skills and experience to install new air conditioners to meet all of your cooling needs.
We have installed more than 50,000 systems and help more than 60,000 customers yearly. Our technicians have received extensive training and have the experience to deal with any issue that might come their way.
We go out of our way to ensure that your home is as cool and comfortable as you desire. Whether you need a new AC or are looking to have your current one serviced, we can do it all. Contact us today!