If you want to live comfortably, proper indoor climate control isn’t an option – it’s a necessity. In fact, a home that has insufficient temperature control can have a major impact on your quality of life and overall health.
So, to be comfortable and healthy in your home you should invest in an air conditioning system.
However, getting a proper AC unit installed is a little more complicated than just grabbing an appliance from an electrical store and plugging it in. Unless you choose a portable aircon, however, these do not provide superior levels of comfort when compared to properly installed systems.
As you may know, there are numerous aircon options available, each with its own pros and cons. Also, every home requires a unique approach to ensure comfort can be achieved in all the desired rooms and areas.
That is why we have created this simple five-point air conditioning installation checklist. However, don’t be fooled by the few steps involved in this broad overview:
1. Research your options.
2. Choose a suitable aircon system to install.
3. Ensure you have all the required tools, parts, and materials for installation.
4. Follow manufacturer’s installation guidelines.
5. Perform a safety inspection on wiring and test before use.
As you will discover in the sections below, choosing the right system for your needs, as indicated in point 2, is the most important part.
Depending on your chosen AC system, professional installation from a licensed tradesman will most likely be required. So, in most cases, the installation checklist will need to be completed by a licensed HVAC technician.
Still, you have a major role to play in this new addition to your home. Read on to learn how you can ensure you choose the right system for your needs and get it installed correctly.
Researching & Deciding on Your AC System
When it comes to air conditioners for your home there are four main categories:
1. Portable aircon
2. Window AC units
3. Wall-mounted split systems
4. Ducted air conditioners
The difference in price can range from around a couple of hundreds of dollars for a portable air conditioner to over ten thousand dollars for a ducted system running in a large multi-story home. With these differences in prices, comes large differences in achievable comfort.
The option you will want to choose will come down to what best suits your needs, but you should take special note of the number of rooms you want aircon in and the size of these rooms. Of course, your budget will be the ultimate deciding factor.
One thing to keep in mind is you do not just have to think about the purchase and installation cost but also the running cost as you are using your new AC system.
The number of Rooms Needing Climate Control:
If you live in a small home and only want to cool or heat one room, you could choose a portable air con, window unit or wall-mounted split system. However, each of these systems will only work in the area it is being used.
If you want aircon in two or more rooms, you will need to purchase additional AC units. This is still reasonable if you buy the right size air conditioners.
However, if you’re trying to full climate control a mid-to-large sized home in every room, using window units can be just as expensive, if not more, than investing in a ducted air conditioning system. Not to mention, the combined electricity costs and stress on your home’s electrical system can be far higher than just having one central unit.
Window units come in several sizes, and they’re measured in BTUs or British Thermal Units. The higher the rating, the larger the room it can properly cool.
However, as with all air conditioners, window units have limits. Even if you put the highest-rated models in an exceptionally large room, it might not cool the entire room properly. The same can be said for portable air conditioners.
If the rooms you’re trying to cool are larger than an average-sized living room, window units aren’t ideal regardless of which size you get. Instead, you should choose a more powerful wall-mounted split system in each room you want aircon. Or a ducted system if you want an aircon in more than two rooms.
How To Install Air Conditioning Units
After your due diligence in researching and choosing the best air conditioning system and specific model for your needs, it is time for installation. If you have chosen a portable air con, well done. All you need to do is plug it in! Job done. For all other types, refer to below.
Window AC Units
Some window units also only require plugging into an electrical socket to gain power. However, special care needs to be taken to make sure it is mounted securely in the window frame.
Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions and check to see if this can be done by yourself or if professional assistance is needed. Or you can have an online Carrier manuals download and get the manual you need.
Wall Mounted Split Systems
These systems are quite powerful and quitter than wall-mounted AC units. However, installation is only allowed by licensed aircon installers. This is due to the refrigerant used and the fact that hard wiring into the electrical system is required.
Installation requires mounting an outdoor unit either on the ground or on a wall. The indoor wall unit is placed high near the ceiling in the room where air-con is desired. Then small holes are drilled through the wall so that small pipes can connect the outdoor unit to the indoor unit.
The outdoor unit does most of the work and is louder as it has an extraction fan and refrigerant. The indoor unit blows the cool air in and sucks the warm air out.
Ducted Air Conditioning:
Ducted air conditioners are like wall-mounted split systems in that there is one outdoor unit and one indoor unit. However, the indoor unit is hidden in the ceiling or under the floor. It then has numerous vents running from it to the various rooms that need to be climate controlled.
The access required for the ducting installation for this type of system requires the most work. Also as with other split systems, an installation by a licensed HVAC technician is required.
These systems consume large amounts of power and as such need their own circuit running from your main power switchboard. This is to ensure no electrical fires start from too much power traveling down insufficiently sized cabling.
Over to You
As you can see, the most important part for you is researching and choosing the best aircon system for your needs.
Choosing a portable air con requires almost no installation. Window units may require a bit of handyman support to ensure the brackets are secure. But split systems and ducted aircons require installation from a professional and licensed installer with a certificate of compliance.
In fact, it is illegal in some countries to purchase and use some of the chemicals needed without proper qualifications. Not only that, but a professional team will ensure that you don’t damage your home or potentially create a fire hazard when it comes time to work with the electrical portion of the installation.