What Does Air Conditioning Installation Involve?
Tired of the oppressive heat? It seems as if heat and humidity levels break new records every summer. If you’re wondering about installing a cooling system in your home, keep in mind that newer air conditioners are quieter, more powerful, and more energy efficient than older models. Air conditioning even offers added value by reducing your energy bills.
Start at the beginning
The first step towards the installation of a cooling system in your home is to determine the size of the unit you need. An undersized air conditioner will not be powerful enough to cool your home, while an air conditioner that’s too big will make the air feel clammy from too much humidity. That doesn’t sound comfortable, does it?
The capacity of an air conditioner is measured in tons. Tonnage refers to the amount of heat that the unit can remove a home in one hour. A one-ton air conditioner can expel 12,000 BTU while a three-ton system will expel 36,000 BTU. The tonnage system of measurement is based on the fact that it takes 12,000 BTU to melt a ton of ice in 24 hours. For example, a house the size of 1,600 square feet could be well served by an air conditioning system of two and a half tons. A qualified contractor will be able to help you choose the capacity of your system according to your needs.
For a house that has previously never had central air conditioning, installation often requires a new circuit breaker in your electrical panel, new wiring run through your foundation, and new ductwork, plus mounting of your new unit on metal brackets or a on concrete slab. Because work this crucial must be done properly, make sure to ask for a free quote from a reputable professional rather than wasting time trying to do it yourself. You will also avoid potentially injuring yourself.
Choosing a contractor
For your cooling system to be efficient and long-lasting, installation needs to be done correctly. Don’t take any chances. Make sure your contractor is qualified to install and maintain the equipment. The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) is a non-profit national trade association of contractors, wholesalers, and manufacturers in the industry. A section of their website is dedicated to helping you find a qualified contractor. It is also a good idea to check with your provincial authority to make sure your potential contractor’s licenses, qualifications, and insurance coverage are all up to date. Lastly, you can check with the Better Business Bureau online to find out if any complaints have been filed against the contractor.
All that’s left to do is to enjoy the cooling comfort of your air conditioning all summer.