When it comes to cooling your house, an air conditioning unit is the ultimate solution. In fact, according to EIA (US Energy Information Administration), 87% of US homes use some form of AC equipment.
A central air conditioner unit is among the most common and effective types of home cooling systems. This is because they can cool your entire home with just a single tap of a button.
But how easy is it to install a central AC unit? Is it possible to do it yourself, or will you require a professional?
Well, the answer to the question is a resounding yes; it’s possible to install the unit by yourself. However, it’s always advisable to seek the help of a professional who knows how to install air conditioning systems.
So how does a DIY project work?
How to Install Central Air Unit by Yourself
The following are the best tips on how to install a central air unit to keep your home cool and fresh.
1. Choose the Best Unit for Your Home
The first step to installing a central AC unit is identifying the one that best fits your home. This will mostly be influenced by your home’s cooling needs.
For instance, how many BTUs must the unit have to maintain the desired temperature levels in your house? Understanding this will help you pick a central AC unit that offers optimal results.
Several factors will affect the amount of cooling power needed for your house. These might include things like your home’s design, location, size and number of windows, attic insulation, or even how your doors are placed.
You can use online BTU calculators to easily determine how much power your central air conditioning system should have to cater to your home’s cooling demands.
One mistake that you should never make is picking an oversized or undersized AC unit for your home. First, an undersized one will not cool your home effectively and will always be overworking. On the other hand, an oversized AC unit will, in most cases, lead to increased indoor humidity levels, as well as higher energy costs.
2. Understand the SEER Ratings
SEER ratings help you to determine how energy efficient a specific AC unit is. It’s no secret that no one wants an AC unit that significantly adds to their energy costs. Therefore, in your endeavor to learn how to install a central air unit, ensure that energy efficiency is considered.
SEER simply stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio and measures exactly how many BTUs an AC unit produces for each unit of energy (watt) it consumes. AC units with higher SEER ratings mean that they consume less energy when cooling your house, and the opposite is also true.
Note: As per federal laws, any air conditioner unit should have a SEER rating of at least 13.
3. Determine the Type of Unit you Need
Generally, you have two options to choose from: packaged or split system AC units. Here, the type of unit you choose will mainly depend on your preference since the two offer the same results.
The main difference between the two is that the packaged unit has its components (compressor, condenser, evaporator) in a single outdoor unit. The system connects to your home’s interior through ductwork, which delivers the desired cool air indoors and removes the warm one.
On the other hand, a split system contains an indoor and an outdoor unit. The compressor and the condenser are located in the outdoor unit, while the indoor unit houses the system’s evaporator. The split-system is the most popular version, although as noted, it’s all about preference and needs.
4. Know your Home’s Electrical Capacity
Before installing a central AC system in your home, determining your home’s electrical needs is vital. You don’t want to install a unit that exerts too much pressure on your home’s electrical system.
For instance, does your circuit breaker panel have the right amperage to handle your new system? Or, is your thermostat compatible with the new AC unit? These are questions that you should discuss with a qualified HVAC technician to ensure you have correct information and facts.
For older homes, you might find it necessary to replace that circuit breaker or even the thermostat.
5. Inspect the Ductwork
Your home’s ductwork is crucial in ensuring that your home gets the desired cool air. And, if the ductwork is leaking or clogged, the efficiency of your AC unit will be negatively affected.
For this reason, proper inspection of the ductwork is necessary. This will ensure that no air leaks are present, and if they are, you can seal or patch them before the new AC installation.
This is one of the top tips to remember when learning how to install a central air unit, as it can significantly affect your AC’s efficiency if not checked.
Install Central Air Unit with Professional Help
Sometimes, knowing how to install a central air unit isn’t enough. In some cases, having a professional do the work for you is the best thing.
Some of the main benefits of letting an expert install the AC unit for you include:
No Physical Work
A DIY project requires a lot of work and intensive manual labor. This might include laying a concrete foundation, lifting heavy equipment, etc. However, a professional HVAC technician makes everything easy, and you don’t even have to lift a finger.
Even better, hiring an expert guarantees you’ll get the best results.
If you thought the manual work was hard, wait until you start applying for those permits from necessary local authorities. It can be tedious work.
However, when you hire a professional, they will do all the necessary paperwork for you, including all the applications for the installation. This way, the installation process doesn’t have to take too much of your time and energy.
Get Ongoing Maintenance
Proper maintenance is core to the proper functioning of your central AC unit. When you hire a professional to install the AC for you, you can receive some free maintenance services (based on the contract), which is an added bonus.
At Direct Air, our professional technicians will help you with all your AC needs. All you need to do is contact us, and your HVAC problems will be a thing of the past.