A new central AC system will keep you cool this summer, as long as you take steps to make sure it is installed correctly. The following are a few mistakes to avoid during the process.
Mistake 1: Choosing a Wrong-Size Unit
A unit that is too small for your home won't cool it very well. You will have rooms that stay too warm, and the stress on the unit as it tries to cool the too large space will cause premature mechanical breakdowns. An overly large unit will cost more to run and will waste energy. It will also be more prone to freezing up, which will stress the unit and make your house heat up. Verify that the unit you choose is the correct size for the square footage of your home.
Mistake 2: Poor Outdoor Unit Placement
The placement of the outdoor unit is vital to ensure the system can run well without overheating or becoming damaged by exposure. Choose an area that is shielded from direct sun but still has plenty of room around it for air circulation — the north side of the house is often ideal. Make sure the unit is installed on a concrete pad, not on bare dirt. Further, anti-vibration pads must be installed between the unit and the concrete. Plants should be trimmed back so that they don't interfere with the airflow around the unit.
Mistake 3: Ignoring the Duct System
An old, outdated duct system may not be able to handle the airflow of a modern AC, so have your installer examine your ducts before installation. Taking the time to repair damaged ducts or upgrade outdated systems means your AC will be able to work better. Another issue is putting in an AC in a home that was originally designed for heat-only. AC units typically perform best with high vents and low returns, while furnaces perform better with low vents and high returns. Your installation tech can ensure that the system switches between the high and low ducts appropriately.
Mistake 4: Ignoring Drainage Issues
Condensation is produced from your AC unit when it is cooling, and this condensation needs someplace to drain safely. Ground units typically have a drain pan to catch the condensate, and any overflow is routed to the nearby soil. Rooftop units need to have a drain line installed that routes the condensate to the ground or a drain in the house. Otherwise, you can end up with a leak and water damage on the roof.
Contact an air conditioner installation service for more help.