Having an air conditioner put in is a surprisingly involved process. Far from being a simple, do-it-yourself project, these efforts require careful calculations, skilled labor to ensure that a building’s electrical wiring and ductwork accommodate new equipment and more. Whether you’re having your very first air conditioner installed or you’re replacing an existing cooling system, knowing exactly what to expect can make everything far less daunting.
Having Your Old Air Conditioner Swapped Out
The average life span of an air conditioner is about 12 to 15 years. In some homes, existing cooling equipment is much older than this. Although AC equipment tends to become progressively less efficient after the 10-year mark, many homeowners are content to leave their aging systems in place so long as they continue working. This means that there are often dramatic differences in the size of existing cooling equipment and any air conditioner that’s brand-new. AC manufacturers are designing and producing cooling units with far larger cooling coils. These upgrades make modern air conditioners both more efficient and far more effective. They also make new air conditioners much bigger overall. Because of this, replacing an outdated air conditioner isn’t as simple as pulling the old unit out and popping the new one in. Many of the features that support this equipment will have to be adapted to accommodate recent innovations. Everything from the ductwork throughout the home to the existing wiring will likely need modification.
Just as cooling equipment evolves, the local building codes pertaining to this equipment may have changed as well. Indoor compressors and outside condensers might have new requirements for clearances that require building or landscaping adjustments. Thus, even though you already have air conditioning, expect your HVAC installer to devise a multi-pronged plan for your air conditioner installation. Moreover, expect this plan to be significantly more involved than simply removing and replacing what you already have.
What If a Home Has Never Had Air Conditioning Before?
For homes that have never had air conditioning, the options for putting an air conditioner in may be a bit more limited. This is certainly the case for buildings that don’t have existing ductwork. Installing HVAC ductwork post-construction can be a costly endeavor. It can also cut significantly into the amount of livable area that people have in their homes, and it can definitely be a bit of an eyesore. The good news is that lacking ductwork doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with inefficient window AC units, fans or swamp coolers. If you’re located in or near Hanover, bring your project to Beltway Air Conditioning & Heating. We provide custom ductwork for buildings that lack ducting, and our post-construction projects are affordable, aesthetically pleasing and designed for maximum space conservation.
There’s also the option of having a multi-split air conditioner installed. Multi-split air conditioning systems can efficiently deliver cooling all throughout the home. Best of all, these systems offer zone-by-zone cooling so that building residents can create their preferred temperatures all throughout the property.
Ductless mini-split air conditioners are also a great choice for homes that already have central air conditioning but also have areas or rooms that aren’t being serviced by this equipment. For instance, if you’ve recently finished and renovated your basement or attic or if you’ve added an in-law unit, you can use ductless air conditioning to service these spaces and to add to the value and appeal of your house. Ductless mini-splits are also great for cooling down garages, workshops and other separate buildings on the property.
What It’s Like to Have a Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioner Put In?
Installing a ductless mini-split in any home that lacks ductwork is often a fairly swift and seamless process. When needed, these systems can also include ductless heat pumps so that homeowners have the benefit of household-wide heating as well. Ductless mini-split air conditioners have two primary components. These are an outside condenser or compressor and an indoor air handler. Depending upon how many zones or rooms must be serviced, you may need multiple air handlers. With an individual air handler in each zone or room, the temperature in each area can be customized according to individual resident needs. These installations also include a drain line, suction and refrigerant tubing and a condensate drain. More often than not, HVAC technicians won’t need to make any significant modifications to the actual building apart from cutting a single, small-sized hole in the exterior wall. Moreover, the air handlers that are used for air distribution are flat and relatively inconspicuous. They can even be installed on the ceiling or upper wall so that room aesthetics aren’t greatly impacted.
The Installation and Calibration of Your New Thermostat
With new central cooling equipment, you’ll need to have a new thermostat put in. Central HVAC systems can be zoned to provide the same customized cooling that ductless multi-splits can. With this arrangement, a separate thermostat will be installed in each heating and cooling zone. A new thermostat will give you the opportunity to upgrade to a programmable, smart design for improved energy management and the ability to control the HVAC system remotely. If your thermostat was in a less-than-ideal location before, such as by an oven or clothes dryer or in an area that gets lots of natural light, a new and better location will be chosen.
Every newly installed thermostat will be calibrated and tested. After this final task is complete, your provider will clean up all of the resulting project debris. This includes the removal and disposal of old cooling equipment and any waste created by modifications to the electrical system, ductwork or exterior walls.
Learning How to Use Your New Air Conditioner and Thermostat
Reputable HVAC companies don’t just recommend the most needs-specific and budget-friendly models for their clients and put the system in. They also show consumers how to operate their new equipment. After paying for an air conditioner that’s far more efficient than your last one and gaining access to a variety of innovative AC functions and features, you’ll definitely want to know how to use them. Your technician will take the time to walk you through all of the different phases and types of AC operation. You’ll learn how to:
- Turn the air conditioner off and on.
- Toggle between fan and cooling modes.
- Program your thermostat.
- Connect your thermostat to the mobile devices of your choosing.
- Leverage the zoning capabilities of your new system, if applicable.
- Reset the circuit breaker to turn your AC on after a power outage.
- Perform filter changes and other basic maintenance.
By the time your HVAC technician leaves, you should feel completely confident in using your air conditioner and in performing all recommended forms of preventative maintenance. You’ll also have your owner’s manuals for all of your newly installed equipment, and you can always call your installer with any equipment-related questions.
At Beltway Air Conditioning & Heating, we’ve been proudly serving residents of the Greater Hanover area for quite some time. We offer custom ductwork and top-rated indoor air quality services. We also provide a comprehensive range of residential and commercial HVAC services, including installation, maintenance and repair. If you need to have a new air conditioner installed, call us today for a quote.