Has your bedroom turned into an oven during the hot, summer nights? Is your apartment or home becoming unlivable due to soaring levels of heat? If so, you would benefit from the installation of an AC unit.
Installing AC units is easier than people think. However, there are a number of problems that can impact anyone doing the installation themself. Below, we go through our 8 tips on doing a home AC installation.
1. Get Permission
One of the biggest mistakes people can make when doing an AC installation is the assumption that they are allowed to install AC. If you have your own house and property, then you can do what you wish. However, many complexes, condos, and apartments require permission.
This will most likely be written into your contract. You may find the complex does not allow outdoor AC units because they can be unpleasing on the eye. They can also cause safety problems when placed in the wrong areas.
If you cannot find any details in your contract, it is best to check with your property manager. Have an idea of where the unit will go so you can discuss any problems with them in advance.
2. Get the Correct Sized Unit
AC units come in a variety of sizes, and it is imperative that you install one that has the power to cool your house. If not, you could waste a lot of money on a unit that is not fit for purpose. If too small, the unit will struggle to cool the room on hot days.
Buying types of units that are too large can cause just as much trouble. They will allow moisture back into your room. This can make it difficult to breathe, as well as increasing the danger of mold and pest infestation.
A larger unit will also use up more power. This will increase your energy bill exponentially. Consult a specialist to work out which size unit is best for you.
3. Check the Windows Suitability
When conducting an installation yourself, you should be aware that only double-hung windows are suitable for an AC installation. These windows are ones that have a lower pane that moves up and down, with a fixed top panel. Windows that open outward or move from side to side are not suitable.
From the street side, the air conditioner should not be in direct sunlight. This can cause it to overwork, decreasing its efficiency and increasing your utility bill due to increased power use.
You should also have a three-prong plug socket close to the unit. Using an extension cord voids the warranty on most units and can be a safety hazard. AC units have a cord on average of 6ft long, so the power outlet will need to be in that radius.
4. Allow Airflow to the Unit
On the outside, your unit needs a good, uninterrupted flow of air to it. The unit should face a space that is free of furniture, walls, and other obstructions. It should have clearance for around 20 inches on the inside and outside of the unit.
One of the worst mistakes is to hide the unit behind plants and foliage. While it may get rid of the unsightly box, the leaves and debris from plants will block up your unit and air filters very quickly. While it may not be possible to keep all environmental rubbish away from the unit, you can allow adequate clearance.
5. Installing AC Units With Brackets
If the unit is off the ground and attached to a window, you will need a bracket to hold it in place. These brackets are usually purchased separately to the unit and hold it from underneath using two metal legs that the unit sits on top of. You should use one regardless of the weight of your unit.
Many of them now require no screws, drilling, or assembly to affix. They work using expandable bars that slot into the window frame. The feet outside the window resting on the wall, allowing the unit to sit on top.
6. Installing a Cheap System
AC installation costs should never be kept low by the purchase of a cheap system. In fact, an AC unit that is significantly lower priced than the others should be avoided at all costs. If you do not recognize the manufacturer of the unit, then do not even consider making a purchase.
Cheap systems are made with cheaper parts, and some may not even contain essential elements at all. Your system will wear out quicker, and you will end up paying out more money for repairs and replacements in the long run.
7. Make Sure to Register the Warranty
The warranty is a guarantee that your product will work after installation. If it does not, then the company is legally obliged to repair the unit or provide a replacement. However, this is only if you have managed to register.
Most warranties can be registered online, making it really easy to do. In the worst case, you will have to fill in a card and mail it to the appropriate office.
8. Get the Right Length Refrigerant Pipes
The refrigerant pipes are the lengths that connect the indoor and outdoor sections of the AC unit. They are important because it allows the AC unit to complete its cooling cycle. If the pipes block or break, then the unit is unable to complete its task.
Having pipes that are too long makes it difficult for the unit to do this. It will mean the unit drains energy due to continual use. This will result in higher energy bills and extra maintenance as the unit wears itself down quicker.
Keep a Cool Head
In summary, get permission, check your windows are able to hold a unit, then make sure you buy the correct one. Installing AC units in your home will soon have you and your family comfortable and cool in the sweltering heat.
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