All split system AC units come with an indoor evaporator unit and an outdoor condenser unit. Most manufacturers also include a line set to carry the refrigerant between your indoor and outdoor units. However, installing a new AC system isn't always as straightforward as putting the condenser and evaporator into place and connecting both sides.
Depending on your home, the age of your current system, and several other factors, you may need to take additional steps during the installation process. If you want to avoid any surprises when replacing your air conditioner, check out these three additional steps that you may want to consider when installing a new split system.
1. Ductwork Cleaning and Sealing
Most installations will include an evaluation of your ductwork. An installer from a place like Total Comfort HVAC may run an inspection camera through your ducts or perform a leakage test. These inspections can reveal issues with your home's ducts that can impact the efficiency and longevity of your new system. Old, dirty, or leaky ducts can mean less efficient cooling and may even cause extra wear on your new equipment.
If your installer finds any issues, you may need to perform a thorough ductwork cleaning. Leaky ducts are another problem you'll want to address since they can allow conditioned air to escape into unconditioned spaces. Sealing your ducts can also help keep them clean since dirt and debris will no longer have a way to enter the system behind the filter.
2. Blower or Furnace Replacement
Do you have to replace your furnace when installing a new air conditioner? In general, the answer is "no," but it will also depend on your circumstances. Air conditioner manufacturers design their systems with assumptions about line set length, ductwork sizing, and blower efficiency. If any aspect of your installation doesn't meet these specifications, your system may not function effectively or efficiently.
You should have your installer evaluate your current HVAC system to determine if it's up to spec for your new air conditioner. You may find that your furnace blower or some other aspect of the system will hinder your new air conditioner's operation. In these cases, adding a blower or furnace replacement to the job may be more cost-effective over the long term.
3. Thermostat Wiring Upgrades
Modern HVAC systems run five wires to every thermostat in your house. These wires allow the thermostat to control heating, cooling, and the blower motor. The additional two wires provide power to the thermostat, with the C-wire enabling continuous low-voltage electricity to run smart or programmable thermostats.
If you have an older HVAC system, you may only have four wires running from your thermostat. Without a C-wire, you can't upgrade to newer smart thermostats. Installing a new AC system is a great time to upgrade your wiring, allowing you to pair your new system with the efficiency gains from high-tech thermostats.