Buying a new air conditioner is a significant investment, and as one of the most important parts of your home, the installation process should be given great care. Part of installing a new air conditioner involves making sure the rest of its components are maintained and ready and that you are fully prepared so that you can start using it without any problems on the day it's installed. Before the installation date, here are three things you should do.
Verify Your Air Conditioner Size
Even if you've already purchased your new air conditioner, it's not too late to make sure you have the right kind. Choosing the right air conditioner is about more than things like cost and energy efficiency; you should also make sure you've chosen the right size for your house. The size doesn't refer to the actual dimensions of the air conditioning unit, but rather, its cooling capacity, and it's important to get right. An air conditioner made for a smaller home than yours will cycle on and off more often, and one designed for a larger home than yours will run constantly to try to keep temperatures down. Both of these can have a negative impact on the lifespan of your air conditioner.
There are two easy ways you can verify you have the right kind of air conditioner. The first is to use a tool that uses the square footage of your home, so if you know this off-hand, you can quickly learn what you need to know. The second is to ask either an HVAC technician or a contractor who can figure out the information for you and account for any possible extra factors like attic or basement space and vaulted ceilings.
Have Your Ducts Inspected
Whether you're buying a new air conditioner for energy efficiency or not, a newer model is likely to be easier on your electric bill than your previous model. However, this effect may be mitigated if there are problems with your ducts you haven't had corrected. If there are gaps in your ducts, they could be letting out plenty of cool air before it gets to your house. Old ducts can also be dirty, and if there are gaps in your ducts that allow air out, they may also allow air in. Many pests need only small spaces to get in, at which point they can spread throughout your home.
Though you should rarely need any cleaning or maintenance done on your ducts, this is one of the best times to have it done so you can make sure everything is in complete working order when it's time to turn your new air conditioner on. This can also reduce downtime by potentially avoiding a situation where this maintenance needs to be done after the new air conditioner is already installed. Contact an HVAC specialist to inspect your ducts and see what services they recommend for you.
Check Your Components and Grab Spares
Your air conditioning system is made up of a number of components, some of which need regular replacements or which are important to replace in the event of troubleshooting an issue. One example is your air filters, which need to be replaced on a regular basis. With a new air conditioner, it's a good idea to figure out what kind of fuses you need. These are the common cause of many failures and can be quickly replaced, so ask your HVAC technician what kind you need. They can be purchased at many hardware stores, and it's a good idea to have spares; during the height of summer they often sell out, which can turn a five-minute fix into a days-long wait.
To learn more about AC system installation, contact an HVAC contractor in your area.