• July 24, 2024

How to Save Money on AC Installation

Cooling technologies are more advanced than ever, allowing homeowners to stay comfortable in any space. Choosing the right AC system will depend on your budget and home’s unique needs.

AC Installation

If major duct work is involved, expect crew members to spend time navigating attics and crawl spaces. Hiring a professional like AC Installation Los Angeles reduces this hassle and ensures the project is done correctly.

Whether you’re installing a central AC system, ductless split, or a portable unit, the total cost of your new air conditioner depends on factors like size and energy efficiency. The total price for an air conditioning installation also depends on the amount of work involved. Some companies offer installation only, while others include unit replacement, ductwork, and other work in the overall package.

The square footage of your home determines what size AC unit you’ll need. A professional will perform a “Manual J load calculation” to calculate your home’s cooling capacity and ensure the new unit is sized correctly. This step is required before the AC contractor can install your new unit, and it typically costs $250 for a 2,000-square-foot house.

If your home has ductwork, the new AC system will need to be connected to it. If your ductwork is leaky or old, the AC contractor may have to replace it. Installing ductwork can add $3,000 or more to the total AC installation cost.

Air conditioning units are rated by their SEER, or seasonal energy efficiency ratio. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the unit is. Higher-efficiency units are more expensive upfront, but they’ll save you money on utility bills in the long run.

The type of AC unit you choose and the quality of its construction also affects the total installation cost. You’ll want to opt for a unit with an established reputation for service and longevity. A good AC specialist will be able to explain the differences between different brands and which ones work best in your climate zone.

Some companies offer financing options for AC installation. If paying the entire cost of your installation upfront isn’t possible, you can look for financing through independent lenders or through your AC manufacturer. Be sure to review all of the terms and conditions before agreeing to any financing. This will help you avoid any surprise fees down the road.

Energy Efficiency

Air conditioning used to be considered a luxury but, with the advances in home-cooling technology, it is an essential part of keeping your family comfortable during hot summer months. In addition, modern AC units are highly energy efficient and can be paired with zoning systems to maximize comfort in specific areas of your house.

One of the biggest factors that affects AC installation costs is the size of the system you need. This is based on your square footage and your desired level of comfort, as well as your home’s energy efficiency. If you have a lot of west-facing windows and poor insulation, for example, you’ll need a larger AC to keep the entire house cool.

Your contractor will help you choose the right size unit for your space, as well as discuss efficiency options such as seasonal energy-efficiency rating (SEER). SEER rates how many Btu of heat an air conditioner removes for every watt of electricity it uses, and higher ratings mean more savings over time. New regulations require all new air conditioners to have a minimum SEER of 13.

Brand and manufacturer play a role in cost as well. For example, some brands utilize more durable components and longer-lasting parts, which can reduce repair bills over the lifetime of your new unit. The best brands also offer a warranty to back up their products.

Once you’ve settled on a type and size of unit, the actual installation process begins. The crew will repair or modify the ductwork and install the equipment according to the manufacturer’s specifications. This can involve either a split-system that has an indoor air handler and outdoor cabinet or a packaged unit that sits in the roof or on top of your home.

If you’re replacing an existing AC unit, the installer will need to recover and add refrigerant if it’s not already there. This is a dangerous task that requires an EPA refrigerant handling certification. Homeowners who try to DIY this aspect of the process can end up with a costly leak or improperly charged system that will require additional refrigerant later on.

Warranty

While warranty details may vary based on contractor and manufacturer, you should expect a good AC installation to come with both a parts and labor warranty. Some manufacturers also offer extended warranties at an additional cost, providing protection for parts and labor beyond the standard one- to five-year warranty period.

Parts Warranties

Many new HVAC systems will have a limited parts warranty from the manufacturer. These typically cover manufacturing defects for a certain timeframe after the installation. You should look at the terms carefully to ensure you understand what is and isn’t covered. For example, some components will have a shorter warranty than others, and some warranties will exclude specific types of damage such as electrical storm damage.

Most manufacturers will require that the product be registered to receive full coverage. You should check whether the serial number is located on the unit, or ask your installer about it. You should also be aware that certain actions or circumstances can void a parts warranty.

If you choose to purchase an extended warranty, this can give you extra peace of mind and protect your investment in the long run. The cost of an extended warranty can often be less than the cost of paying for repairs out of pocket, so it’s a smart choice for some homeowners.

A labor warranty isn’t as common, but it’s important to find an air conditioning company that offers one. A quality installation is critical for your AC system, and a solid labor warranty can help you avoid any issues with the equipment or installation after the initial heating and cooling seasons. The term of a labor warranty can vary from contractor to contractor, but look for one that has good terms and will stand by their work. Also be sure to look at the fine print for any exclusions. For example, if your AC system was damaged by flood water, hail, lightning, or a power surge, you will likely need to look at your homeowner’s insurance policy for coverage.

Installation

You can save money on AC installation by working with a contractor that offers service plans. These combine regular inspections, discounts on repairs, and a labor warranty into one package. These plans are an excellent choice for homeowners, as they can save money on maintenance over the long term. They can also help prevent costly repairs in the future.

The first step in the installation process is for a licensed professional to evaluate your current air conditioning system. They can then tell you if any parts need to be replaced or if your existing system has an issue that needs to be resolved before installing the new AC. This will allow you to plan ahead for the costs involved and ensure your air conditioning installation goes smoothly.

A contractor will prepare the area where your new air conditioner is going to be installed. This includes laying down floor protection and shutting off the electrical current to your old system. They will then remove the old air conditioner and dispose of it properly. They will also recover any refrigerant that is left in the system. This can be difficult and dangerous, so it’s important that you hire a professional who has the proper certification to do this task.

Once the contractors have removed the old air conditioner, they will inspect the ductwork for leaks. They will also look for any other issues that may affect the performance of your new AC unit. Then they will begin the installation process, which should take 4-8 hours.

During this phase, the installer will mount the new air conditioner, install the evaporator coil, and run the suction and liquid lines. These lines are made from soft copper and are carefully placed in paths with as few bends as possible. They will be brazed or welded to each other for added strength. They will then add refrigerant and vacuum the lines to ensure they are sealed correctly.

Once the installation is complete, your AC technician will check the thermostat. If you want to replace your thermostat, the installer will do this during the same visit. If you decide to keep your old thermostat, the installer will make sure the connection between them is functional. They will also show you how to use the new thermostat.