Many common faults with split unit central air systems are actually the result of improper installation. A poorly installed air conditioning system may function properly for a while, but the underlying issues will eventually cause failures that may be difficult to diagnose or repair. Faults in the overall design, layout, or the choice of equipment can lead to long-term problems that may keep cropping up time and time again. To avoid this cycle of maintenance nightmares and the prospect of expensive repairs, keep these three installation issues in mind when dealing with any installation contractor.
1. Poorly Planned Refrigerant Piping
Your air conditioning system's refrigerant is literally its lifeblood. The refrigerant system is made up of a closed loop of plumbing that moves refrigerant from the indoor evaporator coil to the outdoor condenser unit, which contains the compressor and condenser coils. This refrigerant is responsible for transporting heat from inside your house to the outside environment, ultimately cooling the air used to keep your home comfortable.
Properly planning the plumbing between the indoor and outdoor units is vital to a system that functions correctly. While physical requirements (the indoor unit is generally located with the furnace) sometimes prevent ideal runs, plumbing that is too long will put stress on the compressor as it attempts to move refrigerant through the system. This can lead to higher energy bills and, over time, compressor failures.
2. Incorrect Thermostat Placement
Choosing where to place your thermostat is more important to your air conditioning efficiency than you may think. Thermostats are relatively simple devices. A regular thermostat will detect the temperature of the air near it and send a signal to run the compressor when the air is warmer than the desired temperature.
This straightforward operation actually makes proper placement vital, however. Your thermostat should always be located somewhere in the home that is not unusually warm or unusually cold. If your thermostat is placed too close to ducting, it may signal the compressor to shut off too soon since its immediate surroundings will cool down more quickly.
On the other hand, a thermostat located in direct sunlight or somewhere with poor cooling potential may force the compressor to run constantly even after the home has been cooled. This can be a serious issue, as a compressor that runs constantly is wasting energy and is more likely to wear out faster.
3. Cutting Corners on Ductwork
It may be out of sight, but your ductwork should never be out of mind. Unfortunately, many installers may cut corners when performing duct installation. Since your ducts are responsible for actually delivering cold air to the rooms of your house, they are just as important as any other part of the system. Two common issues that arise when trying to save a few bucks on duct installation are ducts that are too small and ducts that are not sealed properly.
Poorly sealed ducts usually create problems fairly quickly. As air leaks out of the ducts, the overall efficiency of the system is decreased, and your compressor is forced to work harder to keep your home cool. Unfortunately, it is not always clear that your ducts are the cause of the problem. Weak airflow, air that is warmer than it should be, or a compressor that runs too often can all be symptoms of other underlying issues, making this a difficult problem to diagnose after the fact.
Ducts that were not sized properly created similar issues. Properly sizing ducts requires a detailed understanding of the rooms that air is being delivered to as well as an understanding of the AC equipment itself. Ducts that are too small will not be able to deliver adequate airflow and will result in rooms that are not properly cooled and a system that struggles to run efficiently. Ultimately, this problem can only be designed by completely removing and reinstalling the ductwork.
For more information, contact a company that offers air conditioning installation in your area.