Sweating through the summer months without a reliable cooling system can test anyone’s patience. What if you could break free from the grip of costly professional services and install an AC unit yourself? Will it be as efficient as a professional’s work, or will it risk your safety and comfort? Find out more about the prospects and pitfalls of a do-it-yourself AC installation.
Dangers of DIY AC Installation
Installing an AC system is a task that requires skill, technical knowledge, and experience. While the DIY approach can be enticing due to the potential cost savings, it comes with a set of risks that might outweigh any financial benefits. Below are five shortcomings you should consider before attempting a DIY AC installation.
1. Risk of Physical Injury
Handling an AC unit is a physically demanding task. The units are often heavy and awkward to move around. There is a risk of personal injury if the unit drops or slips during installation. Furthermore, the installation process may require working in confined spaces or at heights, which adds another layer of danger. High-voltage electrical connections are also a part of the installation process. If not done correctly, it can lead to electrocution. Installing an AC unit can be hazardous without the right safety gear and the knowledge of proper handling techniques.
2. Improper Refrigerant Handling
Refrigerants are crucial for the cooling process in an AC system. However, these substances can be dangerous if mishandled. They can cause frostbite on contact and, if released into the air, can contribute to environmental pollution or personal harm if breathed in. HVAC professionals are trained to handle refrigerants safely.
3. Incorrect Installation
Even if you manage to physically install the AC system without incident, there’s no guarantee that the system will operate correctly. An air conditioner’s performance heavily depends on accurate placement, correct sizing, and appropriate sealing. For example, improperly sealed ductwork can lead to conditioned air loss, escalating your utility bills. Also, incorrect sizing can cause the unit to cycle on and off frequently, reducing its lifespan and causing energy inefficiencies. These technical aspects require a deep understanding of HVAC principles, making professional help advisable.
4. Voiding the Warranty
Most manufacturers provide a warranty for their air conditioning units. These warranties serve as a safety net that can save you from significant costs if the unit malfunctions. However, these warranties often stipulate that the installation must be carried out by a certified professional. Therefore, installing your AC unit yourself could void the warranty, leaving you responsible for any AC repair costs down the line.
5. Poor Energy Efficiency
An incorrectly installed air conditioner can lead to poor energy efficiency. The unit might seem to work perfectly, but unseen problems can cause the system to consume more energy than necessary, leading to higher utility bills. Issues such as improper thermostat placement, faulty wiring, or suboptimal airflow can all contribute to energy inefficiency. The cumulative cost of this increased energy consumption over the unit’s lifetime could be huge.
Is Installing an AC Unit Expensive?
We recommend having all the installation work done by a qualified HVAC professional. The cost of installing an air conditioning unit can vary widely, depending primarily on the type of system, the complexity of installation, and the size of your home. Central air conditioning systems tend to be the most expensive, with costs including the unit itself, ductwork installation or modification, and labor. The price can significantly increase if your home requires a larger unit.
How Long Does It Take to Install an Air Conditioner?
The duration of an air conditioner installation can vary significantly based on various factors, such as your expertise and whether it’s a replacement or a brand-new install. For instance, installing a central air conditioning system typically takes 1 to 3 days for professionals. This includes the time to set up the outdoor condenser, run ductwork if necessary, install the indoor unit, and test the system to ensure it is operating correctly. For new installs, a concrete pad must be poured as well.
Trust the Professionals for Your AC Installation
Are you looking for reliable, professional HVAC services in Huntington, WV, or the surrounding areas? At Variable Comfort Solutions, we specialize in heating and air conditioning repairs, maintenance, and installation, including heat pumps and ductless mini splits. We also provide dehumidifiers, humidifiers, air purification services, and commercial AC installations. Don’t risk the comfort and air quality of your home or business by trying to handle these tasks alone. Contact Variable Comfort Solutions today to schedule your consultation.