Whether you’re replacing an existing unit or welcoming your first fixed, whole-house cooling system, AC installation is always exciting. When the work is done, you can look forward to a comfortable temperature, balanced humidity, and improved indoor air quality (IAQ). To help you get ready, here are seven things to know about having an air conditioner installed in Louisville, KY.
1. Calculating the Correct AC Size Isn’t Easy on Your Own
Big box stores often have impressive discounts on home cooling equipment. For homeowners who are handy, these offers are all too appealing. Unfortunately, choosing an air conditioner on your own is always a high-risk, low-reward endeavor. Most HVAC companies won’t warrant the labor provided to install cooling systems that have been sourced by homeowners themselves. Worse still, installing a store-bought AC without the help of a licensed professional will void its manufacturer warranty.
One of the greatest risks in selecting an air conditioner on your own is accidentally purchasing a model that’s too large or too small for your space. Many homeowners calculate the necessary British Thermal Units (BTUs) for their homes by using only the square footage of their living area. This method of calculation overlooks a number of critical factors:
- Ceiling heights
- Window sizes and locations
- Building layouts
- Number of occupants
- Heat-generating appliances
When air conditioners are too large, they don’t run long enough to effectively regulate temperature and humidity. They also fail to adequately filter the indoor air. They frequently cycle on and then rapidly cycle back off. The result is higher than normal energy bills and building interiors that are warm and muggy.
Undersize ACs also experience problems. Rather than short cycling, these appliances run almost all the time. They lack the cooling power to keep indoor temperatures down. As such, they wear down faster, cost more to use, and underperform throughout their lifespans.
When installing air conditioners for our clients, we use the Manual J Load Calculation. Along with square footage, the Manual J accounts for a number building and household-specific factors to accurately determine the required BTUs for each environment. This promotes optimum performance, cost-efficiency, and comfort.
2. The Right SEER2 Rating Could Qualify You for a Decent Discount
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 came with some pretty impressive incentives for homeowners seeking to make efficiency-related upgrades. If you choose an air conditioner or heat pump that’s built for efficiency, you could get an end-of-year tax break that shaves $500 or more off your tax bill.
The seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of an air conditioner represents its total cooling output over a cooling season in comparison to its energy use over this same time. Introduced Jan. 1, 2023, SEER2 ratings offer the same information, but result from testing that accounts for the static pressure and stress applied by HVAC air ducts. To qualify for a tax credit when installing a new air conditioner, look for a packaged AC with a SEER2 rating of 15.2 or higher, or a split system AC with a SEER2 rating of 16 or higher.
3. It’s Wise to Pair AC Installation With Air Duct Replacement
If you’re replacing an old air conditioner rather than having your home’s first cooling system put in, it’s probably time to replace your air ducts, too. Most modern air conditioners are expected to last between 15 and 20 years, while HVAC air ducts last between 10 and 15 years. Replacing both at the same time will give your IAQ a boost and ensure optimum levels of efficiency. If your current air ducts are especially old and worn, replacing them now can even protect and extend the lifespan of your new cooling equipment.
4. Putting a New AC in Is More Complicated Than Pulling the Old One Out
In an ideal world, installing a new air conditioner would be as easy as pulling the old one out and sliding the new one in. In reality, it’s a lot more involved. To start, most residential air conditioners are split systems or two-part systems. They have indoor air handlers and outdoor condensers.
To ensure the safety, stability, and longevity of the outdoor condenser, it’s best to begin these installations by replacing the concrete or composite pad that supports this unit. Once a condenser is fully installed, it will be highly pressurized and all but impossible to move. Thus, it’s best to make sure that it’s on a level, secure, and fully stable surface from the outset.
Inside your home, your installer may discover that your new air conditioner is significantly larger than your old one. As cooling equipment becomes ever more efficient, it also becomes slightly bigger. In many homes, this increase makes it necessary to modify or refine the storage areas for indoor air handlers.
Whether replacing your ductwork or having it streamlined to suit your new unit, your AC installation will require time for ductwork adjustments, too. In most cases, AC installation projects take four to eight hours to complete. When you work with a company like Absolute Services in Louisville, KY, you can expect diligent dust control, noise control, and a thorough cleanup of all project materials.
5. You Can Zone Your Home for Efficiency
When you’re putting a new air conditioner, it’s also a great time to zone your home for efficiency. If there are times when just one or two household members are in need of cooling, you won’t have to waste energy to cool the entire house. While a standard HVAC system creates a single, uniform temperature throughout your home, a zoned system makes it possible to selectively cool only the spaces that you’re using.
Even if you aren’t interested in having your home zoned, you can use this opportunity to upgrade your thermostat to a smart or programmable model. You can set a programmable thermostat to adjust temperatures according to your personal schedule. A smart thermostat can collect information about HVAC system users so that it eventually grows adept at adjusting itself.
6. A Central Air Conditioner Isn’t Your Only Choice
If you’re eager to have whole-house cooling but don’t have the ductwork to support it, you’re in luck. Ductless mini-split air conditioners and ductless heat pumps provide reliable, whole-house cooling without the need for expensive ductwork retrofitting projects. Best of all, these systems are naturally zoned for customized air delivery and efficiency. Each zone or room in your home will get its own thermostat, and each thermostat can be controlled independently of the others.
7. You Can Seamlessly Integrate IAQ Accessories and Other Features
Although all air conditioners are built to provide modest amounts of humidity regulation and air filtration, your home might require a little extra support. When planning your AC install, consider your options in IAQ equipment. Whole-house air purifiers and air scrubbers are great for limiting the spread of illness, removing mold spores, and meeting the needs of those with chronic respiratory ailments. There are also whole-house dehumidifiers, media filters, and many other accessories that will leave you with lighter, fresher-smelling air, a healthier living environment, and a better-functioning HVAC system.
We aim to make new AC installation easy. We also work hard to ensure that Louisville locals get the best possible returns from their investments. We offer heating, cooling, plumbing, and electrical services. We also maintain an expansive selection of high-quality garage doors.
To learn more or schedule an appointment, contact Absolute Services now!