What Can I Expect During Air Conditioning Installation?
As the mercury starts to rise, and those familiar droplets of sweat start to form, the brain automatically thinks about that great invention of man, one that can defy the hottest of summers – air conditioning.
A properly installed HVAC (short for Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) system is a properly functioning one, and there can be no half measures or clumsy DIYs when it comes to installing it. An improperly installed system can end up being more expensive, unsafe, and drastically reduce the lifespan of your system.
In case you already have an existing system, but the HVAC is not cooling properly, you might need a servicing conducted as well. For existing systems, it is recommended that you maintain a regular service schedule in any case.
A reliable professional HVAC service provider is your best bet when it comes to maintaining and installing a headache-free system. Once you have taken that step, it is time for the home visit, the first stage of the HVAC installation.
Here are a few things you can expect before and during the installation of an air-conditioning system.
Home Performance Test
The best service providers are HVAC performance experts, with the capability to utilize the latest building science and tests. This assessment ensures a highly effective cooling system, as well as increased comfort within your home. Preferably, BPI certified building science experts, such as those provided by Entek, should perform this assessment.
The first recommended step is the Blower Door Test. This is conducted by using a powerful fan to blow air in and out of the home, and into small cracks and crevices. The purpose of this test is to reveal areas through which leakage is possible, including doors, floors, windows, walls, and ceilings. This prevents expensive air loss and helps in easy sealing.
Next, the Duct Pressure Test measures small leaks within your home’s existing HVAC system using a small fan and pressure gauge. A detailed computerized test can help seal those common and costly leaks that result in problems, such as your HVAC not cooling properly.
Third, an Infrared Camera is used to test temperature differentiation throughout your home. This helps to identify air leaks within walls and improve your home’s overall insulation.
Lastly, an Air Test and Balance is conducted with your system in full flow, to measure the total amount of air that comes out of the heating or cooling system vents. The test helps determine overall system performance to improve efficiency and airflow.
While not all of these test are always necessary, they will help to determine if you really need a new air conditioning system, or if there are other, less expensive measures that will greatly improve the system you already have.
HVAC Testing – Solutions
Once your home performance tests have been conducted, the course of action suggested could be to optimize your current HVAC system from its current performance level or to install a new system entirely. A few common solutions are:
- Sealing leaks and adding insulation. This improves the system’s efficiency and increases comfort in all seasons.
- Repairing ductwork. The ductwork has a direct correlation with efficiency and therefore comfort. It is important to seal leaks, insulate, and ensure proper connections. This can help save up to 40% on utility bills.
- Improving or upgrading your existing HVAC system. In certain cases, old systems could be adding as much as 25% to your utility bills, and hence would need to be upgraded to the latest AC units with the ENERGY STAR registered label.
New HVAC Installation – Preparation
Once the professionals have the data, they will put forth suggestions with regard to the best and most efficient new system possible for your home. Every home has a unique set of issues and opportunities and it is important to proceed using the scientific data gathered during the tests.
If the recommended solution is to install a whole new HVAC system, the first step involves the removal of the old system. The technician will visit your home to remove the system by component, which would involve removal of the compressor, the evaporator, and the air ducts. Once the old system has been entirely removed, installation of the new one can commence.
New HVAC Installation – Steps
The team of technicians that have conducted the tests on your old system would also have assessed additional details about your home, like the layout and the total floor space. This information helps in determining the best possible location and size for your new AC, which might be different from your previous setup.
Often, the HVAC technician will correctly place the outdoor unit and secure it to the ground. The indoor components are next, including the electrical wiring and the refrigerant tubing. The final components are the new air ducts and indoor components, like your air conditioning vents, if this is new to your home.
Testing your HVAC
Once your installation has been completed and all components checked, your system is good to go for an initial test. The HVAC system is plugged in and the power is switched on.
The first test is to make sure all the indoor and outdoor components are functioning properly without any anomalies. The second test involves checking the air temperature in the rooms against the temperature reading on the thermostat, which should be equal.
Once the testing is complete and your system is found to be fully functional, it is important to get a good understanding of how the system works. It is essential for an owner to obtain knowledge on recognizing common problems, so you can minimize future issues. The service contractor will also brief you on the servicing schedules recommended for your system.
It is important to stay updated and alert when it comes to your HVAC unit and to trust the professionals to complete a job that will help save a lot of time and money in the long run. But, the first step is for you to locate a properly certified and recommended HVAC company. If this initial step is taken with care, your air conditioning will be installed in no time and you won’t have to worry about your HVAC not cooling any longer.