Many Canadians have central air conditioners installed in their homes. Many large apartment buildings and commercial buildings also use central air. Before you get central air for the first time or have a new central air unit installed, it’s helpful to know how the installation works, and some things to consider.
How Central Air Installation Works
Professional cooling contractors should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when doing an installation. If a unit is being replaced, the technicians will dismantle and remove the old unit and clear the area before beginning the installation. If the home has no ductwork, new ductwork will be installed. If ductwork is already in place, the ductwork will be tailored to ensure it works with the new unit.
Homes with existing ductwork, for example, homes with central heating, require less installation labour time, thereby lowering the price substantially. Homes without existing ductwork need to have it installed, however contractors handily install ductwork in a way that’s not unsightly and cleverly hidden at the back of closets, in the attic or behind walls.
One or two technicians start by positioning the condensing unit, or the outside unit, beside the home, ideally in a shaded area. The unit should be placed somewhere where the noise emitted doesn’t disturb you and the other residents. They will ensure the unit is as level as possible, and install refrigerant lines from the unit, through the external wall. The lines are packed with putty to prevent noise, vibration and leaks. Then any necessary fittings and valves will be positioned.
Then, a new thermostat will be installed, if none exists. Finally, the technician will charge and start the new system and conduct a final inspection.
Finding a Contractor
A reputable contractor is an important part of your investment. As with any major service, ask friends for referrals and get firm quotes from other contractors. Your contractor should be able to calculate the cooling load for the house, provide you with information on the unit and its SEER rating, answer any questions you have about the warranty, and offer a service contract on the equipment. For more information, read our article on how to hire an HVAC contractor.
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