There are several different variables to consider with an Air Conditioning unit installation, but here are the top 5!
1. Size Matters!
Square footage is the first determinant of the type of air conditioning system you will need. Air conditioning units are measured in tons, and in the amount of heat, they remove from the house per hour, in British thermal units (BTUs). Simply said, the bigger the house, the more cooling power you need. However, if the system’s too big, it can cycle on and off continually, wasting energy. Conversely, if the system is not big enough, it will run constantly and inefficiently.
2. Unit Load Calculation
The second determinant is the unit load calculation. This is done to determine the proper central air conditioning unit for your home, considering the shape, size, and layout of your house, and the climate you live in. Other considerations are your windows, insulation, existing vents or ducts, and the materials used in your walls, floors, and construction of the home. The general rule of thumb for unit load calculation is every 500 or 600 square feet requires one ton of cooling.
3. Choosing the Right Contractor is Key
The most important decision you make is your contractor. There are several things to consider when choosing the right one. Word of mouth is always the best advertising. If you can’t get a referral from someone you know, check online reviews of the company. Some key questions to ask are: what type of experience and training do the installers have? Do they do a Manual J Heat Load for proper system sizing, do they analyze your duct system, do they have proper licensing and sufficient insurance?
- Do you already have a central heating system? If you do not, it is most cost-effective to install an HVAC system at the same time. If you have central heat, the existing fans and duct system can be used for your new central air system.
- How’s the insulation in your home? If your home well insulated, your HVAC system will work efficiently which means lower utility bills. If your insulation is not in good shape, of course, bills are higher. In the long run, it is worth exploring the costs of new insulation or an upgrade of your old insulation.