With summer right around the corner, homeowners across the country are starting to think about how they plan to keep houses cool and comfortable for the next few months. In most cases, that means calling an HVAC expert to tune up the air conditioner. Not all homes are equipped with AC units, though, and every year, some families find that air conditioners that seemed to be working fine last year no longer work, or no longer meet their needs.
Whether homeowners are planning to replace an existing air conditioner or install a brand new one, there are a few important steps to take first. Read on to find out how to prepare for an AC installation.
Step One: Schedule the Installation
Most HVAC companies have their hands full during the late spring and early summer, so schedule the appointment well in advance. Scheduling in advance also gives homeowners the chance to take care of other preparatory work on their own time instead of rushing to make sure the home is ready.
Step Two: Perform an Energy Audit
Before installing a new AC unit, homeowners should take the time to check their properties for air leaks and other issues that could adversely affect an air conditioner’s efficiency. Performing a home energy audit is a great way to make sure the family will be comfortably cool without wasting any power. During a pre-summer home energy audit, homeowners can:
- Check for air leaks around doors and windows by lighting a candle nearby and waiting to see if the flame gets pulled towards or away from the seals.
- Look for cracks or gaps wherever two different building materials meet.
- Make sure their wood stove or fireplace dampers are closed.
- Take a peek in the attic to make sure the insulation hasn’t sustained water or rodent damage.
- Ensure that the home is properly ventilated.
- Resolving any problems before having a new air conditioner installed will help it to work at optimal efficiency.
Step Three: Consider Options Carefully
Most homeowners who already have central air opt for replacing old units with newer, more energy-efficient but still traditionally constructed air conditioners. Families that don’t have central air but do have some extra cash to invest in their homes may want to think about ductless mini-split ACs. Either way, the system will need to be sized appropriately and should be Energy Star rated to ensure maximum efficiency.
Step Four: Make Room for the Air Conditioner
Homeowners should now know how large their new air conditioners will be, where they will go, and when the units will be installed. All of this information makes preparing for the new AC system fairly easy. Just clear the area by removing any clutter or obstacles so that the HVAC contractors have room to work.
If homeowners plan to have entirely new systems installed, the technicians may also need to get to other areas of the house to put in new ductwork. Find out where the ducts will go and clear the areas beneath them to make it easier for contractors to reach the ceiling. The contractors will take care of all the rest.
Get the Ball Rolling Now
Completing the four basic steps described above should have any house ready for a new air conditioner. Homeowners who want to make sure they can keep their families comfortably cool all summer long should get the ball rolling now by calling to schedule a new AC installation. The rest of the work can be done while waiting for the big day.