Whether it's your first air conditioner or simply time to replace the old worn-out model, knowing what to expect can make the entire process go much smoother. The good news is that there is minimal effort required on your part, as your installation service can handle the majority of the process.
1. Measure and Quote
It all begins with measuring your home and detailing the layout. Air conditioning units are sized to the square footage of your home. Sizing can also be impacted by layout, such as the number of floors and rooms that need cooling. A central unit size will be determined by the measurements. With mini-split systems, size and layout impact how many air handler and condenser units are required.
2. System Choice
Mini-split systems are by far the most common choice when it comes to a new air conditioner, although some homeowners may prefer a central AC system. The advantages of mini-split systems are that they tend to be very energy efficient and some models feature dual heating and cooling. Further, you don't need any existing ductwork to put in a mini-split system. A central system is best if you already have existing ducts or are planning to install them.
3. House Preparation
The amount of installation prep required depends on the type of system and whether it's a first-time install. A mini-split system only requires a small exterior wall area cleared for the condenser unit, and a few holes drilled to put in the hoses for the air handler. A first-time install for a central unit will require putting in ductwork if it's not already present, along with pouring a concrete pad for the exterior unit. Replacement installs of either type of unit rarely require involved preparation.
4. Installation Day
There should be little for you to do on the day of installation. You will need to clear all installation areas of furnishings and other items, including the location of indoor units as well as the installation site for the exterior unit or condenser. This may include cutting back grass or mowing down any weeds around an old AC unit exterior pad. Your installers will let you know if any other preparations are needed.
5. AC Testing
After installation is complete, your installation tech will perform a full system check. This check includes testing the system on various settings and verifying that the thermostat is calibrated properly so that the actual air temp matches the thermostat settings. Your tech may also do a leak test on ductwork if you opted for a central ducted system. Don't skip the air leak test, as leaky ducts can lead to higher energy bills.
Contact a residential air conditioning installation professional for more help.