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Tips on Planning for AC Installation

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If you’re planning for AC installation in the near future, whether it’s time for AC replacement or you’re installing a unit for the first time, it’s important to weigh a few considerations. The following tips should make purchasing an air conditioner less stressful. They can also ensure your new AC system works reliably and efficiently.

Decide on a Type of AC to Install

Most people are accustomed to ducted air conditioning. But it’s not always the most efficient option. Split systems can be more affordable to purchase. They also avoid the expenses of energy loss due to duct leaks. You won’t have to pay for ductwork sealing and repairs, either. 

Also, if you’re looking to heat or cool different areas separately, a mini-split system is worth considering. A heat pump provides heating and cooling, while an inverter or digital scroll-type system is more efficient if it’s used frequently year-round.

Your AC contractor can help determine the most effective and efficient type of AC for your home.

Determine the Right-Sized System

Calculating the best-sized air conditioner requires knowing the square footage of your home (and each room). You also need to know the right-sized AC. Air conditioner sizes are measured in British Thermal units (BTUs) and tons. A 2,000-square-foot home requires an AC of about 30,000 BTUs or 2.5 tons. 

It’s possible to estimate the right AC size by multiplying the total square footage by 25. Then you’ll get the total BTUs you need to cool your home. Divide the number by 12,000 to estimate the size of the AC you need in tons. But square footage isn’t the only consideration, as insulation, sun exposure, the number of windows, ceiling height, and climate can impact how big an AC you’ll need. The number of occupants in your home is also a factor.

A professional will consider all of these using a Manual J load calculation.

Find the Best Location

Deciding on a location is important with AC installation, especially for the outdoor unit. The condenser unit should be placed in a shaded area where airflow isn’t obstructed. It shouldn’t be too far from the indoor unit but not close enough to a bedroom or living area where noise can be a distraction. The best location is on a front or side wall facing the street or facing your backyard. Therefore, its noise won’t disturb neighbors.

Avoid placing the indoor unit near a source of gas that can leak. Also, avoid installing it near a trash can, which will allow odors to enter the system and circulate throughout your home. It’s tempting to install an air conditioner in the warmer parts of your house, but this will only make it work harder. Higher energy use will mean paying higher utility bills each month.

Keep the Unit Away from Heat Sources

Nearby sources of heat can affect an air conditioner’s performance. They can also cause a thermostat to have false readings. Therefore, ACs and their components should not be placed near a stove or oven. Also, make sure they’re at least three feet away from any cables or wiring. Keep the indoor unit away from direct sunlight as well. A centralized location in an open area (with no obstructions to block airflow) is best. 

Hire a Professional

Planning for AC installation isn’t a simple process. A licensed professional is trained in various aspects of installing an air conditioner. They can consider every factor and provide additional tips on planning. Doing it yourself risks missing important variables and choosing a unit that’s improperly sized for your home, increasing operating costs and the risk of expensive repairs and early replacement. Despite the upfront cost, expert AC installation will help you save over time.

Call Waldrop for Professional AC Installation

Our licensed installers provide the latest energy-efficient ACs in Greenville and Spartanburg Counties. If you have an older, outdated AC, let us evaluate your cooling needs. We install high-quality systems from reputable manufacturers and have a variety of makes and models to choose from. For help with AC replacement and to learn about our financing options, schedule service online or call (864) 536-0887.

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