When it comes to achieving superior indoor comfort during hot weather, finding an HVAC company that knows how to install an air conditioner is just one piece of a very complex puzzle. Without selecting your contractor with care, you could end up with a unit that doesn't sufficiently meet your home cooling needs. Even if it does, it may not operate at maximum efficiency, or it could be installed incorrectly in some way. By being aware of what to expect in terms of proper air conditioning installation, you'll minimize the risk of running into serious trouble.
What to Expect Prior to Installation
Be wary of any HVAC contractor who promises to have your system set up and ready to go in a day or two. While it's technically possible, several things must be done to ensure proper installation. A few of the most important things to look for include:
- Load Calculation - An experienced heating and cooling professional won't simply look at your existing air conditioner to determine which replacement unit to use. After all, your existing unit may not be optimal in the first place. For effective air conditioner installation, a load calculation must be performed. Many things come into play while performing one. The contractor should refer to Manual J, which is published by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers, or ASHRAE. He should also take things like insulation quality, square footage and the location and number of windows and doors into consideration.
- Quality Control - Your HVAC contractor shouldn't recommend an air conditioner without confirming that it has been approved by an independent quality control organization like AHRI first. This is the only way to ensure that the unit will operate as efficiently as it is supposed to, which will save you a lot of frustration later.
- Equipment Data - You're going to spend a lot of money on your new air conditioner or heater, so the contractor should go over all of its performance data with you. You should fully and completely understand why it's the best option for your home.
- Venting System Assessment - If the equipment that's being installed produces combustion gases, it's crucial for the contractor to check your home's venting system. Without doing so, those gases could build up to levels that could endanger your family.
- Ductwork - Even if high-quality equipment is properly installed, it won't work right if the ducts are leaky or improperly sized. Therefore, the contractor should asses your home's ductwork with care and make changes as needed to ensure optimal efficiency and effectiveness.
What to Expect During Installation
While you'll want to give the heating and cooling techs plenty of space during installation, make sure they take the following steps:
- Check Refrigerant Charge - If an air conditioner is being installed, the refrigerant charge should be checked to ensure that it will cool the home effectively. It's easier to adjust the charge now than it is to do so later.
- Assess Airflow - The contractor should check airflow throughout the home. If problems are detected, adjustments can probably be made now to correct them. If the issue lies in the ductwork itself, you may have to have your ducts cleaned, repaired or replaced.
- Check the Thermostat - Does the thermostat do what it's supposed to do? Is it accurate? These questions can quickly be answered by an experienced HVAC technician.
- Electrical Safety - Throughout the installation process, the technician should keep an eye on electrical components to ensure that they are working properly and safely.
What to Expect Following Installation
When installation is complete, the HVAC contractor shouldn't leave immediately. Knowing how to install air conditioners is just one part of the process. Before leaving, the tech should do the following:
- Go Over Routine Maintenance Steps - You should know precisely what to do in terms of maintaining your new heating and cooling equipment. Ideally, you should be left with a checklist to follow.
- Documentation - Make sure you receive all of the necessary documentation, including the owner's manual and warranty paperwork from the manufacturer and the HVAC company.
- Measurements - When repairs and tune-ups are performed in the future, the measurements that are taken and recorded now will come in handy. Make sure you receive them before the tech leaves.
Heating and Cooling Installation in Chicago
The best way to ensure proper furnace or air conditioner installation in the Chicago area is by hiring Comfort24-7. Our highly trained, NATE-certified technicians will take the steps that are needed to ensure that your new equipment operates properly and efficiently from the very start.