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First Choice Heating & Cooling Blog

Watch Out for These Cheap Mistakes Amateurs Make with AC Installs

outdoor-ac-condenser-unitWhen you need a central air conditioning system in your house, what’s the best way to have it done right?

  1. Do it yourself. There are probably some videos online that make it super-easy.
  2. Call a non-licensed amateur who can do it inexpensively. Why pay more for a professional?
  3. Call a Highland, MI, HVAC contractor with experience and certification.

The correct answer is “3.” We hope you didn’t even consider “1,” because an air conditioning installation is an enormous task and there’s no way you can do it yourself. Unfortunately, many people are tempted to pick “2” because they think there isn’t that much difference between an amateur and a professional contractor.

But there is! And when it comes to installation, amateur work means years of trouble from an air conditioning system that can’t be repaired except with a full system replacement. We’ve seen plenty of the cheap shortcuts that amateurs take whenever we’re called on to install a replacement system for one that failed. Below are a few of the common mistakes amateur make on AC installations:

Failing to accurately size the unit

A new air conditioning system must be sized so that it provides the right amount of cooling power to the house. Often, amateurs pick a system that’s oversized, either because they assume there’s no problem with a system that’s too large or because they want to charge the homeowner more. But an oversized system is as bad as an undersized system: it will waste enormous amounts of energy and fail early.

Putting in the wrong size of air return

An air conditioning system must maintain proper airflow throughout the house. To do that, it needs to have a proper air return to bring air from the house into the HVAC system. The installers may get the supply ducts right, but mess up with the air return ducts—and the whole system will suffer a drop in airflow and comfort.

Not replacing the old line set

The line set is the copper line that carries refrigerant between the indoor and outdoor unit of a split system air conditioner. When replacing a central air conditioner, professionals will always replace this copper line so the old one won’t decay and lead to refrigerant leaks. Amateurs, however, will often ignore this and leave the old line in place because they don’t want to pay for a new copper line or do the work to dig up the old one.

Not installing a load limit switch

This is an important safety precaution for an air conditioner: it shuts off the AC if there is a clog in the condensate drainage system that threatens to cause overflow. Unfortunately, amateurs often skip this and assume nobody will notice. (And they won’t … until the system starts to flood and spill water from the cabinet! By that point, the amateur is long gone and can’t be held accountable.)

We have been in business for almost 20 years and have a reputation for getting jobs done right. Trust our professionals with your AC installation.

First Choice Heating & Cooling: If your home had a voice … it would call First Choice!

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