HVAC Installation – What To Expect

Although the overwhelming array of options, resources and prices can make it seem tempting to install your new air conditioner yourself, that’s probably not a good idea unless you are an expert. If you try to install your AC system and you don’t know what you are doing, it can actually be dangerous, and can also make your system less efficient.

It’s always best to trust the installation of your central AC system to an experienced and licensed technician. However, you’ll want to have some understanding of the installation process and know what to expect in the way of prices.

Types of Central AC Units

The split system, which has components indoors and outdoors, is the most widely used type of central AC in the US. Refrigerant lines connect the exterior metal box that houses the compressor and condenser coil to the interior unit, which contains the evaporator coil and blower.

Also common is the heat pump, which also has an exterior component and an indoor unit. A heat pump basically works by either depositing heat into the earth or extracting heat from the earth, to cool or heat your home as needed.

If you have what’s known as a packaged air conditioner, it’s probably located just outside your office or home, or perhaps on the roof. These AC units combine a heat pump with electric air conditioning, and their benefits include a small footprint, which is important for anyone concerned about the environment, along with flexibility when it comes to installation.

If your home or workplace doesn’t have ducting, a ductless system may be the answer. They work by connecting an outdoor heat pump or air conditioner to air handling units that are in a room or rooms. The advantages of a ductless mini-split system include more control over your temperature and energy use, as each room in your home receives cool air independently of the other rooms.

Other Factors To Consider

It costs money to install ductwork in your home or office if you don’t already have it in place, and it also takes up space. So if you don’t already have ductwork in place, a ductless AC unit is often the answer.

However, even if you do have ductwork in place, the ducts may need to be altered or repaired to accommodate any new air conditioner you plan to install. Duct sealing may be needed to safely support the new central AC unit, or you may need to install extra duct runs alongside those already in place.

Indoor Air Quality

You may find that your indoor environment or the climate you live in calls for more dehumidification than that which is provided by your current air conditioner. If the quality of the air is an important factor for you, a whole home dehumidifier may be the answer. And you may want to consider adding on a whole-home air purifier too if your home has a problem with indoor contaminated air.

Working With An HVAC Contractor

A reliable and legitimate air conditioning company will help to guide you through the entire process of installing a new unit and answer any questions you have. Your budget, level of comfort preferred and size of the home will all play a part in helping to choose the ideal central AC system, and a reputable HVAC technician will take any other factors into consideration too. Contact a few companies for an estimate, once you have a few names that you feel will get the job done.

Choosing the Right Installer

To get an accurate idea of your costs, ask for a quote for the work that includes all the equipment; any good HVAC company will supply this when asked. Both the labor and equipment costs should be covered under warranty.

It’s always recommended to meet with the technician you chose for your AC work, or at least with a representative. It’s a good opportunity to get a timeline for the work, schedule a date and make sure that any equipment has been ordered.

Chicago HVAC Solutions

In Chicago, it’s imperative to find a company that understands the different type of climate our city has from many southern climates.  Chicago can face extreme cold to extreme heat and then extreme humidity. You need a local HVAC company that understands what this can do to your HVAC system and knows how best to install your units and the best methods of preventative maintenance.

The Installation Process

Although this can vary between contractors, expect your installation day to look something like this:

Most contractors will obtain any permits that might be required from your local government; you typically won’t have to do that yourself.

Any duct repairs will be carried out, or new ducts installed if necessary. Your existing air conditioner will be dismantled and removed.

Rooftop supports for a packaged system or an exterior concrete pad outside your home may be needed, and preparing the site for installation is an important part of the process.

You don’t necessarily have to have the indoor air handler replaced if you have your exterior unit replaced, although many homeowners consider it makes sense to have them both replaced at the same time. Regardless, part of the responsibilities of your HVAC contractor is to make sure the indoor and outdoor units are connected correctly and safely.
This means taking care of electrical lines, drain piping and refrigerant lines.

You may choose to install a new thermostat or have the existing one connected to the central AC unit.

Your technician will also make sure the new AC unit is filled with refrigerant and will remove any contaminants from the refrigerant lines.

And of course, you want to be sure everything is working as it should; your technician will make sure the system is working as it should and carry out an installation inspection.

Finding An Air Conditioning Technician

As you want to make sure you choose the right AC unit for your needs, it’s important to find a skilled and experienced HVAC contractor who can help you select the right unit for your needs. Efficiency levels, types of system and size are all things to consider, and any good technician should take the time to answer your questions during the process.

The easy to use contractor directory at HVAC.com can help you find the right locally based AC contractor for your next job. You’ll be connected with a reliable and recommended air conditioning technician, once you complete the contact form.

An Ultimate AC Maintenance Guide

 

Air conditionerThere are many options for home heating and cooling. Most buildings use a single unit with ductwork to providing heating, cooling, and ventilation, often described with the acronym HVAC. This single device is normally the most energy-intensive appliance in a house since it heats and cools the entire house throughout the year. The refrigerator and the stove do not come close.

Saving money on air conditioning means understanding how HVAC units work as well as the advantages of repair over installing a new unit. Understand why larger units might be better or might be a waste of electricity. The total costs include both annual electricity, maintenance, and sometimes gas as a third expense. It is possible to supplement heating and to limit cooling. For the most part, saving money boils down to the unit and how it is used.

The System Parts of HVAC Units

Central HVAC systems are described as being split because other systems are entirely inside or entirely outside. Older heating systems include water radiators, while modern ones simply circulate air that is warmed either by electricity or a gas flame. As for cooling, the unit is outside to dump heat into the environment so that cool air can be moved inside the house.

Part of the system can be interior. This mostly applies to the ducting, which is generally hidden in the roof, beneath the floor, and sometimes in the walls. The unit itself usually has thermal transfer fins that sit outside the home, and a condenser that is either inside the house or else home air circulates over to create cool air. For an all-electric system, the system is reversed to dump cold into the outside environment and warm the inside air.

Air conditioners and heat pumps act similarly to refrigerators in that heat are dispensed outside of an environment, and the interior is chilled. In the case of a refrigerator, heat is transferred to the house while in the case of a heat pump, hot and cold are transferred to the subsoil. An all-electric HVAC unit that sits outside is technically a heat pump, although exploiting the thermal mass of subsoil is generally more cost-efficient. Extra heat units are almost entirely indoors because gas fuel does not create smoke.

There are alternatives that are sometimes called packaged systems. Actually, in some areas, this is the norm, but in other areas, it is preferable to have more components inside the house for safety and efficiency reasons. A box HVAC unit is entirely outside and communicates with the house through ductwork. This means that all the high voltage and fire potential are on the outside, but the cost might be greater inefficiency in very hot or cold weather.

HVAC stands for “Heating-Ventilation-Air-Conditioning.” Ventilation is a key part of this system in houses that are airtight. IN places with older homes, such as the United Kingdom, a lot of ventilation comes from tiny gaps and cracks as not all surfaces are perfectly sealed. A house with little seepage needs air to be artificially circulated in order to prevent the indoor air from becoming stale.

Airtight houses are potentially more efficient and keep insects at bay. That said, there is less ventilation for installed gas heaters. A house that does not circulate air with the outside passively might trap moisture and be more prone to mildew and stale air. There is less opportunity for a fireplace, and the hazard might be higher when the electricity goes out.

The Possibilities For Heating

Heat pumps are not always used because of the cost of electricity in some parts of the country is fairly high. In comparison, the cost of natural gas is often inexpensive compared to electricity. It can work outside the ventilation system and can run from a gas main or else from an outside tank. It can even be used for cooking and some types of refrigerators.

Other options include oil furnaces and some type of pelletized system. Modern alternatives to the fireplace are very efficient and burn with a minimum of soot or ash. Oil is generally more expensive than natural gas but might be the preferred option according to local availability. Pellet burners are common in Europe and are growing in availability in the United States because they do not depend on a gas main.

The advantage is the reduced demand for electricity, which might be ideal for a household for a variety of reasons. The combustion occurs inside a controlled chamber, and the heat is then transferred to a vent or to hot water. Since many houses use gas at least for heating their shower water, using it for other purposes might seem logical otherwise, the hot water works as apart of a radiator system.

Ventilation systems are becoming more common over radiators again because modern buildings tend to be sealed. Some new variants of water radiators are floor or water radiative heating that creates an enveloping warmth that is also silent and steady. The obvious problem with burning anything is the potential to create ash and carbon monoxide. With gas, only carbon monoxide is a potential problem, but only if the oxygen level gets seriously depleted.

Furnaces can be very efficient either because they are small enough to use the air in a room and only heat a single room or else pull air from the outside that is then heated with the addition of water vapor that is a byproduct of combustion. Since furnaces with outside air intakes do not burn indoor air, there is no need for air to seep in from outside to replace the air that goes up a chimney. Thus, furnaces that circulate all their air in a localized area are more efficient than most older systems.

Cooling Options

There are many ways to warm a home, including solar trapping, but there are fewer ways to efficiently cool a house. One way is to tap into the cool of the subsoil while another is just to use an electric air conditioner. Other means aim to reduce discomfort by stripping the air of unnecessary water vapor that makes people warmer by preventing sweat from evaporating. For the average person, seeking out AC Maintenance might be the best solution.

Welcome To EnerSave HVAC

EnerSave is a family owned and operated heating and cooling business with a broad range of skills and services that meet all homeowners and construction needs. We serve the Denver Metro and Boulder County areas and pride ourselves with superior customer service by highly trained technicians. We focus on maintaining a high level of quality service with integrity. Our strongest recommendation is our previous and existing customers. We are proud to have the highest BBB rating.