July 3, 2018

Whether your current air conditioner has finally failed or you simply want to improve the comfort of your home during summertime temperature extremes, central air can provide reliable and consistent cooling for most homes.

The nature of central air conditioning systems means that their installation is more involved than that of evaporative coolers, wall or window units, and other ductless or localized systems. Even when you know that central air is the best choice for your home, you may feel some trepidation about the upcoming installation.

In this blog, we introduce you to the general process of central air installation. Use this step-by-step guide to help you approach air conditioner installation day feeling confident and calm about the service.

Assessment and Estimate

While homeowners and contractors alike refer to air conditioning systems like the one you want as central air, this category actually includes a wide range of unit sizes, capability, and design. The first step in any installation is to determine the best unit and placement options for your home.

Your HVAC contractor may provide a remote estimate, such as an online or phone quote, but you should expect a walk-through before you choose a unit and receive a concrete final estimate.

This onsite visit allows your contractor to factor any unique characteristics about your home that may affect unit performance. For example, the number of stories and distance between wings may dictate the need for a more or less powerful unit.

Your contractor will then present you with your system options and explain the costs associated with the purchase and installation of each. Once you make your decision, you can schedule your installation day.

Unit Removal and Disposal

The first step on your installation day is the removal and disposal of your current air conditioner or another cooling system. In many cases, these services are included as part of the installation, but disposal may incur an additional fee, especially if you have an older unit with hazardous components that require specialized disposal.

Your HVAC contractor may bring a heavy-duty truck or a dumpster to facilitate the removal. Clarify the specifics of the disposal process ahead of time to minimize surprises and surprises.

Ductwork Configuration

Most central air systems use ductwork to deliver throughout the property. HVAC contractors put this ductwork into place before hooking up the unit itself. If you have ductwork in place, your contractor will assess the placement, condition, and airproof quality of these ducts to determine if these can be integrated into your new system.

If your older ducts are not in good condition, they will be removed along with your existing unit. Once the area is prepped, your contractor will put the ductwork in place in a configuration designed to minimize cooling loss as air travels through the ducts.

Your HVAC contractor may place ductwork in the ceiling, walls, or floor depending on the architecture of your home. In most cases, contractors try to focus on ceiling installation since ducts placed in overhead crawl spaces and attics require no restorative construction after installation.

Wiring and Unit Installation

Once the ducts are in place and sealed to be airproof, your HVAC contractor will integrate the unit into your home’s electrical system and put the physical components into place. Most central air systems consist of an outdoor unit and an indoor thermostat.

Your contractor may ask you to consult on the placement of the thermostat to ensure that the controls suit your needs.

Unit and Thermostat Testing

After every component goes into place, your HVAC contractor will conduct thorough performance testing. These tests ensure that each part of the system, from the ducts to the wiring, work as they should.

At this point, your HVAC contractor will adjust the unit to the appropriate settings for the season, and you will be able to change your thermostat temperature to begin to make the most of your new unit.

Report and Summary

When the installation is complete, your contractor will provide you with an invoice and summary of the services provided. Many contractors use this opportunity to provide education about the unit itself, including ways to maximize performance and how to maintain the unit appropriately.

If the company provides maintenance plans or schedules routine visits in advance, you can choose to subscribe to a seasonal upkeep package or book your next service during this step.

A new HVAC system is a significant investment, both in the monetary sense and in the future comfort and even health of your family. Understanding the process ensures that you feel peace of mind during and after the installation process.

In addition to this basic guide, bring up any concerns you have with your HVAC contractor as they come up during the installation process.

For HVAC services from an experienced team, including expert central air system upgrade or new installation, come to Smedley Service.

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