In all of the years I’ve been in business, I’ve been proud to serve the Dublin, Ohio, community with HVAC services. The homeowners there have treated me well, and I’ve done my best to return the favor.
We do things the right way when it comes to installing air conditioners, and we’d like to continue to earn your business.
Replacing an expensive piece of equipment is never easy. First you fret about your existing unit; will it give you another year of cooling? Two? Then you might have to decide whether it’s better to repair it or move on to a new one.
Then you have to make the decision to buy a replacement. What brand? What HVAC company? What size?
In this article, we hope to answer a few of those questions so that you have less to worry about.
How Long Will Your AC Last?
According to Carrier, air conditioners should last around 10-15 years. Factors that will shorten or lengthen their lifetime include:
- Quality of installation. Poor installation can subtract years off its lifespan.
- Maintenance history. It’s recommended that ACs undergo maintenance at least once a year
- Usage. For instance, an air conditioner in Florida won’t last as long as one in Maine.
- Brand and model
- Size. An AC that’s too big or too small will create problems with home comfort and will probably wear out sooner than one that’s correctly-sized.
We at Fire & Ice preach the quality of installation a lot. It’s the day that best determines how well your system will perform, how long it will last. But consider this: 9 out of 10 air conditioning installations are performed incorrectly!
They are either improperly sized or poorly installed, and the installer left the home without running a crucial series of diagnostics called commissioning. The technicians who installed it also worked for an HVAC company that doesn’t go back and inspect their work.
How Will You Know It’s Time to Replace Your Air Conditioner?
Your air conditioner may look fine, may sound normal, and has been a reliable source of cool air for years. But there are subtle signs that your unit may be near the end of its lifecycle, especially if it’s 15-20 years old. They include:
- Frequent service calls
- Expensive repair bills
- Uneven temperatures: Your home will have more and more hot and cool spots
- Your AC will lose the ability to stay at the thermostat’s temperature setting
- New or increased noises: They may be subtle, but your might notice your unit isn’t as quiet as it was when it was new
- Increase in energy bills: A comparison from year to year may be the best indication of how much your AC is costing you in terms of run times
- Excessive humidity inside your home: Your AC dehumidifies as it cools. When it feels muggier indoors than it used to, there’s a reason
- Desire to be more energy efficient: We hear from many customers that their AC is adequate, but they’re interested in replacing it with a greener, more efficient air conditioner
Steps to Replacing Your AC in Dublin, Ohio
The biggest potential pitfall is actually before installation day.
Your HVAC contractor should perform a Manual J Load Calculation before an installation, which is just a complicated way of saying that your salesperson should be measuring a number of aspects of your home to determine what power level (or “size”) your unit needs to be.
If you don’t do that, you’re not working with a piece of equipment that’s going to be best for your home. It doesn’t matter if the installation itself is 100% perfect. It will still be a sub-par system.
A typical air conditioner installation typically takes between 4 and 8 hours to complete. These times can fluctuate depending on the size of the existing system, weather, and accessibility.
It’s a lengthy, complicated process. To get an idea of the steps to be followed, we made a list: Air Conditioning System Installation Process from Start to Finish
Here are the steps in a nutshell:
- Removing your existing air conditioner
- Preparing the area for the new central air conditioner
- Removing the existing copper refrigerant lines (line set)
- Installation of the new indoor evaporator coil
- Installation of the new copper refrigerant lines
- Setting the new air conditioner condenser
- Filter dryer installation
- Brazing with nitrogen
- Installing new high- and low-voltage wiring
- Installing a condensate drain line
- Commissioning (testing) process
- Clean up
Once everything is in place and the air conditioner is running, an HVAC technician will test the unit from top to bottom so that it meets all manufacturer’s specifications. This is called commissioning. It’s the difference between those 10% installations I mentioned earlier, and the other 90% that does one or more things unacceptably.
Commissioning is the only way to know for sure exactly how well your system is operating.
A permit inspection is one of the last steps of an air conditioner installation. “Pulling” a permit refers to the process of obtaining a local permit for HVAC work. As part of this process, an inspector will come out and look at the completed installation. Most municipalities in Ohio require a permit to do work.
AC Installation in Dublin, Ohio
Knowing the process of installing a new air conditioner will allow you to hold HVAC companies accountable when you decide to invest in a new system. Whether you live in Dublin, Ohio, or anywhere in Central Ohio, it will give you an idea of what to expect and what questions to ask so you’ll feel more confident about your investment. The result will be a comfortable, efficient, long-lasting product.
Want to know what other things you should be thinking about? We’ve put together a list of helpful resources that will get you prepared to make a great decision. Best of luck, and if we can help at any point, give us a call.