How to Install a Central AC Unit

How to Install a Central AC Unit: A Step-by-Step Guide

Air conditioner installation can be complex and daunting, and many customers are surprised by the amount of work involved. Unfortunately, many HVAC companies and installers take shortcuts and must follow all the necessary steps for a proper installation. While this may result in a system that runs “good enough,” it often increases energy costs and reduces comfort for you and your family over time.

But don’t worry – if you’re looking for a sleek, efficient air conditioning system, you’re in luck. In this article, we will walk you through the installation process from start to finish. By the end, you will have a clear understanding of each step involved and be able to ensure that any company you choose to work with follows these critical procedures.

It is important to note that a licensed professional should always handle air conditioning installation. This article is intended to educate homeowners on what goes into a proper installation, but it is not a DIY guide. So if you’re committed to getting the most out of your air conditioning system, read on for a detailed breakdown of the installation process. Once you see the steps involved, you will understand why professional expertise is necessary.

How to Install Central Air Conditioner: A Step-by-step Process

When you buy the right new AC, Installing a central air conditioner can be complex, especially for those without prior experience. It’s important to note that improper installation can cause damage to the air conditioning unit, ducts, and even your home. Therefore, if you need to become more familiar with installing central air conditioning systems, it’s recommended to seek professional installation services.

Purchase Your Central Air Conditioning Unit

Step 1 in installing a central air conditioner is purchasing the appropriate home unit. It’s crucial to consider the size and layout of your home and the specific rooms you want to connect to the central AC system. Remember that effective air conditioning systems are not one-size-fits-all, and the unit’s BTU will determine its cooling power and efficiency.

If you need help deciding which central air conditioning system to purchase, consider seeking assistance from professionals like Sarman Air. In addition to offering cleaning and maintenance services, they can also guide you in selecting a suitable unit for your home. By taking advantage of their purchasing services, you can eliminate the guesswork and ensure you buy the perfect central AC system.

Assess the Ductwork

Installing a central air conditioner is to inspect and assess your home’s existing ductwork, especially if it’s old. It’s essential to repair or reinforce any gaps, cracks, or worn-down spots in the ductwork before installing the central air conditioner. Cleaning the ductwork will also help make the installation process smoother.

Install the Outdoor Unit

Step 3 of central air conditioner installation involves placing the outdoor unit in a suitable location. Choose a spot that doesn’t obstruct any passageways and doesn’t blow hot air directly into the garden or home. It’s also essential to place a pad where the air conditioner will sit and keep the outdoor unit at least 6-10 inches away from all walls to allow for proper air circulation.

To connect the outdoor and indoor units, cut a hole through the home wall for the refrigerant Line and drain piping. The spot should be around 2 inches in diameter to fit the piping through, and it’s best to keep it within 2 feet of distance or less from the outdoor unit.

Measure the Right Length of the Refrigerant Line and Drain Piping

Step 4 of the central air conditioner installation measures the refrigerant Line and drain piping length. Measure the distance between the plenum and the outdoor unit to ensure that the indoor and outdoor units can be connected properly. The evaporator coil should be inside the plenum and connected to the outdoor unit via the refrigerant Line and drain piping.

Connect the Electrical Lines

Step 5 of central air conditioner installation involves connecting the electrical lines.

First, choose a location for the outdoor disconnect switch near the outdoor unit and install it on the exterior wall. Hook watertight whips to each end of the disconnect box, then tighten the screws around the wires to secure them. Connect the ground wires to the lugs in the disconnect box, and connect the whip into the home to the terminal labelled Line.

Pass the whip through the hole in the exterior wall and connect it to an electrical junction box, which will then click to the main circuit breaker box inside the home. Finally, open the access panel of the outdoor condensing unit and connect the wires to the proper places.

Connect the Thermostat

Step 6 of central air conditioner installation involves connecting the thermostat.

First, ensure that your furnace is turned off. Then, remove the cover of the thermostat connection near your furnace, where you should find the control wiring. Locate the connecting wire from your condenser unit, and connect it to your thermostat. Refer to your installation manual to ensure that you join the correct cables.

Top Up the Refrigerant Lines

Step 7 of central air conditioner installation involves topping up the refrigerant lines.

It is important to note that refrigerant is hazardous, and it is best to contact a licensed technician to handle the coolant. The refrigerant provides cool air into the home, so topping up refrigerant levels is crucial in installing your central air conditioning system. Once the refrigerant lines have been topped up, you can clean your central AC system.

Clean Up the Space

Step 8 of central air conditioner installation involves cleaning up the space after installation.

If you opt for professional installation services, the air conditioning contractors should clean up the area. However, if you installed the unit, cleaning up your work area is essential to ensure no dust or debris is left around the team. It will prevent the AC unit from blowing dust and debris into your home, ensuring the air you breathe is clean and healthy.

Run Your AC Unit 

After completing the installation process, it’s time to test and run your air conditioning system. Power it on and ensure each duct blows cold air into the room. Your central air conditioner should operate quietly and efficiently. It’s important to note that any mistakes during the installation process may reduce the cooling capacity of your air conditioner. Therefore, follow each step carefully before running your air conditioner to ensure it runs properly.

Installing central air conditioning can add value to your home and provide a comfortable living environment for you and your family. Although it’s a complicated process, this guide from Sarman Air can help you understand the steps involved. Be bold and ask your installer questions to ensure a smooth installation process.

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