Having an air-conditioner in your home can drastically change the way you live and increase the quality of life for you and your family living together with you. Although air-conditioning isn’t much of an important issue during the winter when the temperatures are cooler, the summertime is when the benefits of air-conditioning start to show. If you live in a place with unbearably hot summers, this becomes significantly more important to your health and safety as well.
So are you thinking of having an air-conditioner installed in your home? Wondering what the entire process is like, and how long it’s going to take? Read on below to find out more about this potentially life-changing upgrade to your home!
What happens during an air-conditioner installation
The process of installing an air-conditioner unit typically involves the contractor and his crew assessing the job site once they arrive at your property. This is for them to ascertain what would be the best and most efficient way to carry out the installation works without causing major disruption to any other areas of your home like plumbing or structural foundations.
After the initial assessment, the crew will protect all the flooring areas in their work areas with drop cloths and protective paper. After that, any furniture surrounding the work site is moved out of the way to a safe location. Any other heavy furniture around the work site is then covered with plastic sheets to protect it from the dust that is likely to occur during the installation work.
Once work starts, the crew begins to carry out the necessary ducting work and if required, there will be a hole cut out in your wall (if your air-conditioning is a through the wall unit with the condenser unit outside of your home). This is an irreversible process, and the contractor will always ask you to confirm where the hole is going to be before they commence with the cutting. Once that’s done, the crew can then effectively install both units inside and outside of your home and secure them with the necessary ducting and framing.
What if you’re upgrading an older HVAC system in your home?
If you already have existing air-conditioning in your home, the process is slightly more complicated, depending on the complexity of the HVAC system that is installed. Essentially, the crew has to first remove all of the old equipment before installing the new air-conditioning unit. This includes any condensers, ducting or frames that are securing the old unit, and are usually found in attic areas or basements of your home. They will need access to these areas in such cases, so plan ahead to ensure a speedy installation process for the benefit of both the crew and for yourself.
In some projects, duct repair or replacement works may be involved in the installation process. For smaller scale works that don’t require too much complicated assembly, you can expect a crew of 2 or 3 members, with a lead installer assembling the equipment onsite. However, if major ductwork is required with the HVAC project, there will be more manpower present and more specialized tools as the crew navigate their way around crawl spaces to carry out the necessary modifications for the new ductwork.
Other considerations when installing an air-conditioner unit in your home
Air conditioners require electricity in order to work, so all of this new equipment has to be powered by your property’s electrical grid. While most contractors are trained to upgrade the wiring and set the circuit breakers during a typical air-conditioning installation, more major, significant changes to the property’s electrical system and circuits will require a callout for the services of a licensed electrician in your local area.
Possible unforeseen circumstances when installing an air-conditioner unit in your home
Installing an air-conditioner unit in your home is a significant project in itself. Although it may not be as major as say, roofing works or renovating the kitchen, there are several issues that may come to light during the installation project. These include things like rotten wall studs, electrical upgrading, ductwork overhaul, or drywall repairs. More likely than not, these issues may not have been originally included in your estimate – which means you’ll end up forking out more for issues you never knew existed before.
Most air-conditioning contractors will always try their best to cover everything in their initial assessment and estimate, but as it goes, the final price will only be certain once the project starts and all of the considerations have been assessed with transparency. Because of this, contractors should always discuss all aspects of the project details with you and any updates in costing before continuing with the extra work.
So, how long does an air-conditioner install take?
All things considered, an air-conditioner install will typically take about six hours to a full day. This is assuming that the weather conditions are favorable (no heavy rains, thunderstorms, or other weather anomalies), and that there are no major alterations that have to be made to the areas around your home that will house the air-conditioning unit and the associated ductwork.
Larger homes that require multi-split air-conditioning across all areas of the home will require a longer time to complete, as the ducting or refrigerant lines that link to the outdoor compressor and condenser system have to be laid out around all of the rooms in the home, and the units installed as close to the ceilings as possible, or nearer to the ground, depending on the owner’s preference.
Preparing your home for the installation
There are several things you can do prior to the arrival of the crew, and that includes clearing the area around the work site as much as you can before they arrive, in order to make the process quicker. Keep your pets away from the area if they are easily spooked by strangers, and keep your driveway clear so that the crew can access their equipment, gear, and vehicles quickly and efficiently. This makes the process smooth and helps the crew complete their job faster, while you get to enjoy your new air-conditioned home in a much quicker time.