Want to make your home a more comfortable place? Review this air conditioning installation guide for information about what it takes, including costs and how to select the absolute best model for you.
Air conditioning is no longer just a luxury item for the rich but rather an essential part of your home. During the scorching summers, many homeowners replace their old window units replace them with new whole-house central cooling systems.
These products offer much more than before. Not only can you customize them to your needs, but they are very quiet. In addition, they have Wi-Fi!
When it comes to your home’s heating and cooling system, you need a plan for the long haul. Forced-air heating and cooling provide reliable heating during cold months and cool air during hot summer days.
How Much Does It Cost to Install Central Air?
The central air unit is an excellent addition to the forced-air heating system. Technicians can install them in two days with little or no change needed for your ductwork, and it costs just around $3,500-$4,000!
There are many other ways to work with ducts without the need for tearing down walls. One way is cleverly hiding them behind a wall, in closets and up in attics so that there are minimal cuts into floors or ceilings and very little mess.
How To Select The Best Central Air Unit
Why should you spend so much time on just the first order of business? Air conditioning equipment is one of the most critical decisions in your home.
We want to help make this process easy for you, and we start by making sure that selecting the right air conditioner will be a piece of cake. When it comes down to what’s best for your house, our experts are always ready when needed!
Air conditioning contractors can use a Manual J load calculation to figure out the size of your home’s cooling system. The calculations are straightforward and will reveal what you need to be cooled efficiently, without wasting energy or costing too much money on heating bills. If a contractor guesses the size of your air conditioner by experience alone, find someone else who does this right – they might not know enough about homes like yours!
If you want to choose the size of your unit, many factors can affect it. Factors include where in this world you live; the amount and type of insulation on your walls or ceiling, how well-insulated windows and doors allow heat into/out of your home, and whether or not solar heating affects a room’s temperature. These calculations may also help assess if upgrading building materials is worth it for energy efficiency! By making your home more energy-efficient, you may be able to control the temperature of different rooms in a cost-effective way.
What Size of Central Air Unit?
When determining how big a central air unit you need is your home’s size, one of the first things to consider. Here are some guidelines for figuring out what size system will be right:
Sizing The Unit
The air conditioner size you choose is essential in maintaining your home’s temperature. One ton equals 12,000 Btu per hour, and it’s vital to get a unit that can handle all of the requirements for cooling your house based on its square footage, interior insulation level etc., so as not to be wasteful or inefficient with energy use.
Have you ever wondered why your air conditioner appears to be fighting a losing battle on the hottest days? It could have something to do with size. An undersized unit won’t be able to cool rooms down completely, which will leave you stuck in an uncomfortable situation and cost more than it should because of how long that tiny compressor needs to run. The bigger problem is an oversized compressor that takes too much energy from time to time and leaves you paying way more per month without getting anything out of return other than sweating! Do yourself a favour by finding the perfect sized AC unit, so this doesn’t happen again next summer.
As a homeowner, you should be aware of SEER ratings to choose the most energy-efficient air conditioner for your home. A higher rating means it will take less electricity and have lower operating costs; this is especially important considering how much power consumption by appliances can fluctuate with time because of inflation or economic recession.
The installation of a new air conditioning unit is one of the best ways to improve your quality and comfort in hot weather. Federal law requires that all units have at least 13 SEER, but it’s even better if you can afford an 18- or 24-SEER unit; these can cut down on power usage by 15% – 20%. Less power usage means more money saved for other household expenses!
There are two air conditioning systems: the “package system” and the fan-and-coil system. The package is a large wall unit with ducts attached directly to it, but they’re rarer than their counterparts in this list – you’ll most likely be going with one of those!
With a “split system,” the condenser is outside, and both the fan-and-coil systems are inside. They connect to one other through refrigerant pipes. If you have a forced-air furnace, the technician will fit your cooling coil system into it instead of installing an external unit.
Typically, you will find a fan-and-coil system in the attic where it can deliver cold air throughout the ducts. The twenty to thirty-foot-long pipes that carry the refrigerant look like a downspout. They can be installed right into an existing plenum or fabricated separately if space limitations exist. When forced air is unavailable, they’re located upstairs for better ventilation of cooler conditioned indoor temperatures.
Almost every condenser will make some form of noise, so consider working with your contractor to find a location that is not near any bedrooms or home-office windows. Make sure it isn’t placed under an overhanging deck and enclose as little of its space as possible because this will exhaust warm air out on top. It should be easy enough for airflow around it, but you can hide in landscaping – just don’t let anything block the way!
No Ducts? No Problem!
Most air conditioners are split systems: the condenser is outside, and the fan-and-coil system is inside, connected to the condenser by pipes that run up your home’s exterior. You can cover these pipes as part of a gutter or downspout system with little difficulty! Ductwork will be able to service second-floor rooms by passing through ceiling registers while more ducts run right through closets on their way to first-floor rooms.
Delivering the Air
There is a double-duty use for furnace ducts in the winter: they will provide heated air when it’s cold outside and cool surroundings during scorching temperatures.
Does Your Home Have Ducts?
Duct systems are complex and often go unnoticed until something goes wrong. It would be best to regularly inspect air-conditioning ducts because the air produced by central AC is much greater than an older window unit or ceiling fan. Older units work well with retrofits, but they also tend to make less airflow as time passes due to their larger size for increased efficiency in years past when newer technology wasn’t available.
Ever think that your air ducts could use a little sprucing up? We know how difficult it can be to decide which of the many modifications we should perform, so below are just some options.
Avoid Coils Freezing Up
Do you want to avoid having your furnace’s coils freeze? If so, you should upsize the blower on it. Without a large enough one, cool air won’t be able to flow through and keep things at an optimal temperature.
Sealing ducts is something that needs to be done by a professional. When you seal the vents, it can lead to hazardous conditions during the colder season or pockets of warm air when the cooling season comes around again.
The right kind of register can improve airflow up to 25%. The problem is, many older registers have slits just 1/4 inch wide. The smaller slits may be too restrictive for some airflows and impede the flow by 15%! Swap out your old grilles with new ones that offer a wider opening, so you don’t miss any opportunity to regulate the temperature in your space better.
If You Need to Install Ducts
With fan-and-coil units generally found in the attic of many retrofit air conditioning systems, getting supply and return ducts to the ceiling registers on first or second-floor rooms is not an easy task.
Ducts that feed second-floor rooms will generally run across the attic floor and head down between the joists. Through this manner, they will connect to ceiling registers. Ducts can be tricky when feeding first or second floors because there is very little space in an average house for ductwork on these levels of a home’s structure. It is necessary to make sure any new construction incorporates enough room so that other fixtures like furniture or walls do not restrict airflow.
The HVAC contractor will start by drawing a floor plan of the second story and laying it over one for the first. The closets on this level can give you access to ceiling vents located in other parts of your home, perfect if they’re too hard to reach or find any other way!
Consider Installing Ducts in Closets
Ducts running in closets take up less space than you might think. The average size of a duct is 12×6 inches or possibly 10×8 inches. Their small size makes it easy to fit into even the tiniest closet spaces. However, some HVAC contractors may recommend using a “flexible” (a small and inexpensive) hose instead of rigid square ducting. Square ducting does not stand up well against wear-and-tear. However, recognize that flex hoses are easier to puncture by sharp objects like nails sticking out from furniture on either side when installing inside an active closet.
What Type of Mess?
What kind of mess can you expect if you have to install ducts? In most cases, wall and ceiling surfaces are mainly left untouched. You will have to cut holes in first- and second-floor ceilings for registers, but these holes are relatively small and easy to clean up.
Air Conditioning Installation Guide – Summary
If you want your house to be comfortable in the summer months, consider adding an air conditioning system. There are often hidden costs that could surprise you later down the road, and making this decision while it’s still reasonable for installation can save time and money. If ductwork is not available, contact contractors who will review all of your options, such as window air conditioners.
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