Installing AC in your home for the first time will surely keep you cool in the summer, but it does require a bit of extra preparation. Knowing what to expect can make the process easier.
1. Schedule an In-Home Consultation
If your home doesn't currently have an AC, the first step is to have a full in-home consultation. The installer will check several items to help determine the best way forward. This includes the size of your home and your cooling needs, as well as options for using existing ductwork, installing new ductwork, or bypassing ducts completely. Only after a consultation can you make an informed decision on the type of AC to install.
2. Choose the Type of AC
Air conditioners come in three primary types — mini-split or ductless systems, central systems, or individual window units. Although window units are versatile and inexpensive, they aren't usually a good solution for larger homes or homes with limited windows. They can also be loud and unsightly. A mini-split is the preference for a home that doesn't have suitable ductwork. If your home has ductwork, such as from the furnace, or if there is plenty of room in the walls and ceiling to easily install ducts, a central AC is your best option.
3. Size the System to Your Needs
Once you determine the system type, you need to decide on the size. Your installer will help you with this. Size needs are impacted by several factors, which include the square footage of the home, the layout of the rooms, and your local climate. A mini-split system can typically only cool two rooms at a time, so you may need more than one unit. The central system cooling range is determined by the square footage of your home and the BTUs provided by the unit. You want a unit that provides sufficient BTUs for your home size.
4. Prepare Your Ducts
If you have ductwork in the home, the installer will likely want to have the ducts cleaned and inspected before installation. This way air leaks can be found and repaired. You may also need to have some alterations made to the ducts, such as the installation of extra air returns. If you don't have existing ducts but are installing a central unit, the installer will need to put in the ducts before they put in the AC unit.
5. Get Ready on Installation Day
Installation day will be busy, so you need to ready the house beforehand. Pets and children should be kept out of the way. Clear out the room and a path to the rooms where any work will take place. Outdoors, clear the site where the outdoor compressor unit will be placed. You may need to mow the future compressor pad area for a central unit or move things away from the wall for a mini-split outdoor compressor.
Contact an AC installation service for more help.