So, you’ve decided to have an air conditioner installed in your Rohnert Park home. Congratulations: you’re about to experience much less discomfort during the year’s warmest months—that is, assuming your unit works the way you’re hoping it will. Most air conditioners function just fine after being installed, but sadly this is not always the case. In fact, a sizeable portion of energy efficiency problems and resultant mechanical failures can ultimately be traced back to improper air conditioning installation practices.
The installation of your air conditioner is one of the most critical aspects of your new ownership. To use a rather blunt metaphor: you want to start on the right foot, so you don’t fall on your face after a couple of steps. A successful Rohnert Park air conditioning installation ensures that your air conditioner will be an energy efficient cooling machine, providing you with comfort far into the future. However, problems with installation can cause your unit to work much too hard, damaging sensitive components and causing expensive problems.
That said, you need to find a way to ensure that your air conditioner is installed correctly. Moreover, you need to be able to nip any potential problems in the bud. It’s best not to wait until after the installation to report problems with your unit. You might end up having to pay for a second visit, or for another technician if you don’t trust the one who made the error in the first place. Instead, make sure you can identify problems during the installation itself, and address them in a respectful but firm way. Read on to discover our strategies for noticing installation problems while they’re occurring and our tips on how to settle them quickly and decisively.
Typical AC Installation Problems
Sizing the AC to Your Home
One of the most common problems that occur during AC installation is improper sizing. When your unit has been sized incorrectly, two things can happen: it either ends up using a lot more power than it needs, or it only cools a small area effectively and has to be turned way up to produce any noticeable effect. The first option wastes money, while the second one can reduce the life of your system by a considerable margin. To make sure your unit is sized correctly, it might be wise to have a conversation with your installer about the system’s Btu rating. Btu stands for British thermal unit, and every system is rated for a certain number of these units. This rating corresponds directly to the size of the space in which such systems are intended to be used.
A number of factors go into successful AC sizing, and it’s often difficult for the average homeowner to calculate the Btu rating needed for their home without professional help. However, that’s not to say you can’t talk with your contractor to learn why they’re sizing your system the way they are. In fact, asking such questions can encourage your contractor to think twice about the criteria they’re using to size your system, and prevent them from making an error.
Another common source of trouble during the installation process for most air conditioners is when it comes to the ductwork they use. Some contractors will opt to use the existing ductwork in a home, which can seem like an attractive option for homeowners because it tends to cost less than putting in all new ducts. However, it’s worth noting that old ducts may not be appropriate for a new system. Don’t assume that your old ductwork will support a brand-new cooling system—and don’t let your contractor assume it, either. It’s always best to double-check if you’re uncertain.
The other thing you should make sure of is that your technician is checking your ducts for leaks and connecting all seams properly. A quality technician will almost always give the ductwork in a home the once-over after completing their work, just to make sure there isn’t an obvious leak before they leave. Additionally, they should use reliable, long term methods to plug up any cavities they find. We’re not talking about duct tape and hot glue here—those are the ductwork equivalents of using band-aids for surgery. Your contractor should use professional sealing materials.
Raising Your Concerns
Remember, your contractor is licensed (at least they should be!), which means they have considerable experience. If they’re doing something that looks strange, there’s probably a good reason for it. That said, it never hurts to ask. Just don’t assume you know more than they do. It’s typically polite to apologize for interrupting them, then ask in a neutral and respectful tone for clarification on a certain piece of work. Asking this way will put them in the frame of mind to thoroughly consider what you’re talking about, and notice any errors instead of dismissing your concerns.
At Valley Comfort Heating and Air, we jump at the opportunity to prove our value to new customers. In your search for a qualified air conditioning service in Sonoma, please check us out.