The efficiency and performance of your new A/C unit over its 12-15-year future service life depends very heavily on the professionalism of air conditioner installation in the here and now. Those attractive manufacturer’s energy consumption specs and cooling stats that may have swayed your buying decision in the first place are all predicated on the assumption that installation is carried out according to very precise standards. Some studies have found that fully half of all air conditioners currently in use have been under-performing since day one simply because proper installation practices weren’t observed. What’s worse, the homeowner’s been paying the penalty all that time, too, in higher operating costs and diminished comfort.
- Correctly “size” the unit using industry standard software such as the Air Conditioning Contractors of America’s Manual J or equivalent manufacturer alternative. Sizing ensures that the rated BTU capacity of the unit matches the unique thermal demands of the house, as well as the requirements for humidity extraction. Rough “guesstimates” instead of scientific sizing methods typically result in oversized or undersized units that deliver poor efficiency and sub-standard comfort performance as long as the A/C is in use.
- Evaluate and pressure-test existing duct work to quantify the amount of leakage and seal leaks as necessary. Additionally, the duct work must match the capacity of the HVAC equipment also. Too big and too small are both problems that manifest themselves differently in poor system performance.
- Design and size new ductwork layout using Manual D software to produce maximum efficiency and minimal thermal loss, as well as promote proper airflow to all rooms.
- Measure the refrigerant charge of pre-charged air conditioners before installation and verify the proper level again after installing and test running the system.
- for new systems or when problems exist, balance the airflow into and out of each room by adjusting in-duct dampers to produce neutral room pressure, the optimum state for proper and efficient cooling. Another solution here can be the addition of a zoning system to your existing home comfort system.
- Instruct the homeowner in the proper operation of the unit and all the available system options. It is a great idea to use your smart phone to video tape this process for future reference.
- Demonstrate the procedure for simple but critical DIY maintenance such as regular air filter changes.
For more information on ensuring maximum performance and efficiency with a professional air conditioner installation, contact P. K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling.
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Paul Wadsworth is the President and Owner of P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling. For 37 years, Paul has been providing heating and cooling services to the Greater Cleveland area. P.K. Wadsworth has been a trusted Cleveland HVAC service company for over 75 years. The company understand the area's construction and local heating and air conditioning needs. Paul has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S., Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. Paul is the Chairman of COSE's Energy Advisory Council. He's been President of the Cleveland Air Conditioning Contractors of America and a founding member of the local chapter. Paul was born and raised in Cleveland and has been active in the local community. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and two sons.
The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.