Install A New A/C System

Everything You Need To Know About Air Conditioning System Installation

It’s very important to follow a specific set of codes and procedures that provide the most comfort and most efficient air conditioning and heating system for your home. The steps required to install a new air conditioner or heater in your home should always be followed to best practices.

We’re going to show you what to look for, so you know you’re working with a trustworthy company. But first, let’s look at some of the problems that can occur when you have an oversized A/C unit installed and a way to prepare for having a heating and cooling job quoted.

Oversized Equipment Costs You More!

Our air conditioner being sized larger then needed for the heat load of your house doesn’t sound like the end of the world, I bet.

More is better right?

When your air conditioner is oversized its more powerful fan will cycle the air faster and cool the air down to your set temperature before it cools the walls of your house or removes humidity from the air. In short, your house will feel humid.

An oversized air conditioner also causes the air conditioner to do what is known as “short cycle”. Sinced the unit uses lots of energy to start up, this hurts your electricity bill. Bigger air conditioners also use more electricity while they are running as well.

Finally, when you replace an air conditioner with a larger size without up-sizing the ducts the larger fan on a larger unit will try to push too much air and it can create a loud “wind” noise which is really annoying when you’re trying to sleep.

Larger units cost more to install, cost more to run, and cost more to maintain.

All Houses' HVAC Needs are Different

When you calculate the heat load for your air conditioning and heating system consider all the variables that will affect the operation of your air conditioning or furnace unit. There are three major considerations that affect the heat load of a house:

  1. Design/Orientation
  2. Construction
  3. Appliances

First, consider the square footage of your house along with the orientation conditions such as the outside humidity, temperature and when and where the sun hits your home.

Second, you’ll need to note the insulation in your walls and ceiling. Then take into account how many windows your house has, and their orientation compared to the sun.

Thirdly, take into consideration your heat-producing appliances like stoves, ovens, lamps, hot water heaters, etc. and how many people are living in the space.

Heat Load Calculation Test

It’s important to perform a heat load calculation. A heat load calculation accurately measures the amount heat an air conditioner will need to remove or the amount of warm air the furnace will need to introduce to keep your home comfortable. This test eliminates oversizing or under sizing heating and cooling equipment, which tends to happen a lot with companies that don’t run this test.

Contractors are not required to perform a heat load calculation before installing your air conditioner or furnace.

Without a heat load calculation, they are guessing the size of your square footage and the size of your air conditioner based on a rule of thumb that mostly ends up oversizing your air conditioning unit costing you hundreds and thousands of dollars a year. With new insulation and window technology this method also usually oversizes the unit.

But, we always use the Manual J test and we’ll show you exactly how it’s done so you know (even if you don’t use us) if you are working with a competent HVAC contractor and not a company that is looking out for THEIR best interest and not YOURS.

Manual J is not the end to installing a high performing highly efficient air conditioner. It is just a good base to work from.

Our air conditioning and heating design software helps us design a system that will make you comfortable now, using all the ACCA codes and procedures.

  • Manual J – Calculation of heat load in summer and heat loss in winter.
  • Manual S – Sizing of the equipment based on sensible and latent BTUs.
  • Manual T – Select size and locate supply air diffusers, grilles, registers, and return grilles.
  • Manual D – Sizing the ducts to deliver the correct supply of air.

By using sophisticated design software, we are able to engineer a perfectly operating air conditioning system that works as efficiently as possible to keep you comfortable.

All this adds up to a unit that is designed to last, has lower lifetime costs, and provides the ideal environment for your family. A properly designed air conditioning system is not the end of the story.

Rest assured that when we install a unit we don’t cut any corners or leave any stone unturned.

Air Conditioning Installs Need an Air Balance

Does your house have a room that just feels hotter than the rest? I bet it does, they all do!

Even with the best-designed air conditioning systems, the air supply to an individual room can be off causing your system to perform poorly and make you uncomfortable.

When you install a new air conditioning system you need to check each register with a flow hood that measures the amount of air coming out of the register. If there is not enough air coming out of a register that room will not be maintained at a comfortable temperature.

When we install a complete new system, we give all supply ducts volume dampers. Then with a flow hood, we verify the CFM coming out of the registers and balance the duct system with the dampers to achieve the calculated CFM that room would need. This ensures that each room can be maintained at a comfortable temperature.

Another common problem in any air conditioning install, especially replacement air conditioners is air duct loss. And this may be the problem with weak air flow. We’ll cover this in the next section.

Most A/C and Furnace Ducts Leak Air

According to the Department of Energy, the average duct systems losses are between 25% and 40% of its total air. That is money flushed down the drain!

Aging systems or houses built under different codes often have air ducts that leak air into unconditioned spaces reducing the efficiency of your air conditioner or furnace.

When you install a new or replacement air conditioning system you need to have the company check your ducts for leaks and seal them with UL listed duct sealant or replace any damaged ducts, and seal the inside of your new air conditioner to your existing ducts.

In most homes, the majority of the leaks actually come from gaps between the drywall of your ceiling and the supply boot hidden by your register. This gap blows air straight into your attic.

In every install, we go through each register and seal the inside of that boot. It doesn’t matter how efficient your air conditioner or furnace operates when 40% of the air it works on is lost, right?

Problems With A/C Installations

Every year air conditioning manufacturers are coming out with more efficient equipment. They are on the bleeding edge of what a heating and cooling system can achieve in performance and efficiency.

The truth is that with today’s systems if that unit is not installed correctly, it will be less efficient then the older system that it replaced.

If you are installing a new unit, hoping to offset the cost of the old one by reducing your electric bill, and that new air conditioner isn’t sized correctly, or the ducts aren’t sized correctly, or the ducts have too many leaks then that new unit will have a higher operating cost than the old unit.

Your house will have a problem with mold, high humidity, poor air quality, and you just won’t be comfortable.

An air conditioning unit is a big investment in your house and doesn’t it make sense to make sure it is installed correctly?

If you have any questions feel free to call us for a free estimate or just to chat over the phone.

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