Are you thinking about upgrading your central air system with a new efficient AC unit? Are you thinking about saving some money and doing it yourself? You might want to think twice before you do it yourself. Even if you are the top handyman in town, HVAC is an entirely different world than many other types of straightforward repairs. These systems are expensive and require significant and delicate care to install them properly. Moreover, when it comes to HVAC installation, you don’t get any free second chances if you break something. Below, we have identified the critical aspects of HVAC that make it so tricky for do-it- yourself technicians.
Common HVAC installation problems
If you are installing an AC unit on your own, you’d better be an electrician at the minimum. When you install a new air conditioner, the wiring must have the ideal gauge, level of resistance, and an independent circuit to supply electricity without fail. It is prevalent for do-it-yourself installers to patch an AC installation into the nearest circuit. When this occurs, they can overload the circuit and trip the breaker in the best-case scenario. In the worst-case scenario, an inexperienced installer can melt the wires and start a fire. There are all sorts of technical complexities when it comes to wiring a new AC system correctly.
A/C units are delicate, and you can’t just install it any area of your backyard. You must assess the virtues of every location. An area that is too close to refuse carries the odor into your home. An area that is in direct sunlight forces the unit to work much harder when you need cooling power. However, an area hidden behind shrubbery or other obstacles strangles the airflow to your A/C unit and burn it out prematurely. Qualified HVAC specialists have the training and experience to determine the prime location for the new A/C unit.
The other issue that many do-it-yourself installers run into is scaling. If they don’t figure out the proper square footage, estimated usage, and other factors, they may pick a unit mismatched with the house it’s cooling. More than half of all A/C installations incur problems because the homeowners chose the wrong size. Most HVAC specialists recommend that you assess approximately 200 BTUs for every 500 square feet of space. However, specialists also remind you that experience is the only way for a technician to know for sure what works. There is a big difference between being book smart and having a working knowledge
During shipping and transport, an A/C unit can lose some of its refrigerant. Only a professional can thoroughly inspect the unit once it is delivered and check for the proper volume of refrigerant. If you fail to catch this issue at the onset, the unit can be damaged and may leave you holding the bill. The refrigerant is a liquid gas that is under high pressure. It only takes a pinhole-sized leak to compromise a unit.
Lack of warranty protections
Even if you do rent out tools or have the skills to check the refrigerant levels, you may find yourself without any recourse. Many do-it-yourself A/C installers fail to check the warranty that comes with their units. In most cases, the warranty is only valid if the unit is installed by a licensed professional.
Steve VanQuill, an HVAC Technician with All Hours Plumbing “Most DIY don’t realize that, with equipment and parts, you can sometimes double warrantee length with product. And if installed by licensed technician, some models will receive a lifetime warranty. If you install it yourself, good luck getting any warranty from manufactures.”
Additionally, because professional A/C installers buy the A/C units at discount prices, you are wasting money. By paying retail for a unit at a home improvement store, you are essentially paying for half of the professional installation costs. You are also paying for the warranty protections that are effectively worthless if you are not a professional installer.
Another severe problem that do-it-yourself installers face during AC installation is poorly sealed or disjointed ductwork. If you have improperly sealed ductwork, it significantly reduces the efficiency of the system. The improper installation also allows moisture to accumulate in the ductwork, which leads to corrosion and foul odors from mildew and mold growth. Only professional HVAC installers know what types of sealants to use and how to align a ductwork system for optimal results.
Refrigeration line problems
The refrigeration lines must be as short as possible to provide the maximum efficiency in your system. The A/C unit must work that much harder when it is forced to pump the refrigerated air greater distances to cool it down. In addition to the length of the lines, the lines must also be insulated to protect against condensation. The cold lines lead to condensation on the outside and create water damage in the walls. If you don’t want a dry-rotted subframe or water stains on ceilings and drywall, then you must insulate your lines correctly. These lines also must be airtight and must retain that seal for the life of the unit. If you don’t have experience with gas plumbing, it can be hard to guarantee an airtight fit.
Hiring an expert to install your new air conditioner may lead to higher upfront costs. However, the technical aspects, installation difficulties, and reduced future costs make it well worth the money. The warranty protection and the optimal energy efficiency make professional installation the savvy choice for homeowners who want to protect their property investment. About the Author: Richard Overmyer a copywriter and outreach specialist for All Hours Plumbing, plumbing and HVAC specialists in Salt Lake City. He strives to help all his clients make the best decisions to keep their homes a functioning, happy place. When not writing, you can find Richard in the mountains, looking for his next piece of inspiration.
About the Author: Richard Overmyer a copywriter and outreach specialist for All Hours Plumbing, plumbing and HVAC specialists in Salt Lake City. He strives to help all his clients make the best decisions to keep their homes a functioning, happy place. When not writing, you can find Richard in the mountains, looking for his next piece of inspiration.