There are a few HVAC tasks that homeowners can and should do on their own. For example, changing the air filter is something that should be done every 1-3 months depending on the type of filter and the level of particles in the home–a home with pet dander and/or cigarette smoke, for example, will need a filter change more often than a home without.
Another task you should do on your own is to make sure that the outside unit of your central air conditioner is cleared of any debris such as tree branches, mulch, leaves, etc. This could otherwise restrict airflow leading to inefficient operation and higher energy bills, in addition to increased wear and tear on your air conditioner that has to try too hard to compensate.
The task you shouldn’t do on your own, however, is installation. Read on to learn why!
Your AC System May Be Sized Incorrectly
Did you know that an air conditioner that’s too large–overpowered–can be just as detrimental to efficiency and your comfort as one that’s too small–underpowered?
While a small air conditioner will struggle to cool the entire space it’s intended for, a system that’s too big will go through a process called short-cycling, where it meets the desired temperature on your thermostat too fast, shuts off, and turns back on a moment later.
This exacerbates wear and tear on the system, which should only run 2-3 times per hour, in 15-minute increments. Of course, this problem can be avoided altogether by trusting a trained and experienced professional for the installation.
The Thermostat May Not Be in the Best Spot
If the thermostat is put in direct sunlight or installed in the coolest part of your home, it could impact how well, and therefore how efficiently, your air conditioner operates. Whether it gets hot too fast or stays cool too long, your thermostat can’t send the right signal to your AC system when this happens.
You Need to Insulate the Refrigerant Line
The refrigerant of your air conditioner is what makes the cooling process actually possible. By not properly insulating it, you risk refrigerant leaks. Upon manufacturing, your air conditioner is supplied with enough refrigerant to ideally last its entire lifespan. If it’s leaking refrigerant, then your system will start breaking down as it isn’t able to effectively cool.
You Risk Damaged Ductwork and Other Equipment
One of the steps we take during professional AC installation is connecting it to your existing ductwork, or new ductwork. During this process, it’s easier than you may think to cause a tear, pinhole leak, or loose-fitting air duct. You can lose up to 30% of the conditioned air you’re otherwise paying for through damaged ducts!
You Won’t Know if It’s Working As It Should
Last but not least, when you install an air conditioner yourself, you have no way if it’s actually working as efficiently as it should. You also may not know if any of the sounds you’re hearing from it are abnormal. A trained and experienced professional can help with all of this!