What to Expect When Replacing Your Air Conditioner

Residential AC replacement isn’t something homeowners do often. Most replace their unit only once or twice in their lifetime. If your air conditioner is over 10 years old, it’s a good idea to look into a replacement. 

Why You Should Replace Your Air Conditioner

There are at least three good reasons to replace your AC:

    • Your air conditioner is old and you’re always calling in your HVAC repair technician. If you notice that the time between repairs has been  getting shorter, you’re probably already spending too much money on repairs. This means your AC is likely very close to failing completely, which is particularly  bad news if it’s the middle of summer. 
    • Your air conditioner is an older model that isn’t energy efficient. Modern systems are much more energy efficient than older ones. You can save more money in the long run if you upgrade now.
    • Your air conditioner is the wrong size for the room. An AC that’s too small for the room has to work harder, and even then this still might not be enough to make the room comfortable. An undersized AC will fail sooner than it’s supposed to because of the extra load. Meanwhile, an oversized AC can make the room uncomfortably cold or result in uneven cooling. It will also break down sooner  because it’s continuously cycling, making the room too cold too fast.

If any of these issues sound like a problem you’ve been having with your AC, it’s time to call a residential AC contractor to get a replacement.

What to Expect

Here’s a list of the things you can expect when replacing your air conditioning system:

Choosing an HVAC Contractor

Get quotes for an air conditioning replacement from at least three contractors. Ask every contractor to provide you with a list of references so you can perform a simple background check. This is one way to avoid getting scammed. Call the references and ask about their experience with the HVAC company. Remember that a low bid doesn’t necessarily make that company your best option. 

Home Inspection

An HVAC repair and replacement technician should visit before giving you a quote because they need more information to provide you with better suggestions on which AC system you need and how much the system and labor will cost you. Most HVAC companies will do this inspection for free or for a small fee that will be deducted from the cost of the installation if you choose to hire them. They’ll determine the size and capacity of the air conditioner that best fits your home by taking measurements and checking the voltage load circulation. If the technician doesn’t ask many questions, you should be wary, because a professional will want to learn as much as they can about your home’s AC needs so they can get things right the first time.

Installation

If you can move any furniture that’s in the way of where the new AC will be installed, do it before the installers arrive. This will make the job go faster. However, if you can’t do this, the technicians will do it themselves once they arrive. They’ll also cover your floor and other surfaces with tarps for protection. They’ll then disconnect and carefully remove the old air conditioning equipment. Depending on what you’ve agreed upon, they’ll either take the old AC for disposal or recycling or place it in the area you’ve chosen so you can easily dispose of it yourself. Your technicians will then install the new AC system according to the specifications of the manufacturer.

Post-Installation

A typical HVAC installation takes less than a day. As part of the final inspection, your technicians will check every connection to make sure everything is correct. If they’re satisfied, they’ll clean the area and remove all tools, boxes, plastic bags, etc. They’ll also run the AC to test it. You’ll be given a walk-through at this point so you can familiarize yourself with your new AC equipment. They’ll explain how to replace the air filter and operate the thermostat and  leave some instructions on how to perform basic maintenance. In addition, they’ll likely instruct you to call them if anything goes wrong instead of trying to troubleshoot the unit yourself. 

In some cases, a reputable technician will make a call to you a week or so after the installation just to make sure everything is running smoothly.

A Word on Maintenance & Repairs

Your new air conditioning system comes with a warranty from the manufacturer and possibly from the installer, as well. These warranties will cover you in case the system fails due to a manufacturing defect or poor workmanship. 

If your new AC does malfunction, it’s not a good idea to try to fix it yourself. That’s what the warranty is for. If the unit malfunctions for indiscernible reasons, it’s best to call your installer and have them take a look. 

If you try to open or dismantle the AC, this might void your warranty. Additionally, it could be dangerous. ACs run on high voltage, so you might get electrocuted, or the unit could short circuit. A short circuit can affect your entire house, damaging your appliances and other electronics or even causing a fire. 

It could also be illegal to work on your own AC because residential and commercial AC units have refrigerant and should only be repaired or installed by licensed professionals. 

It’s a good idea to ask your AC installer about a regular maintenance program. This way, you can keep your AC unit running optimally and avoid falling victim to AC repair scams. 

If you have questions about replacing, repairing or maintaining your air conditioning system, get in touch with Above Air Inc. We also work with commercial AC units. Call us today in Broward at (954) 341-0816 or in Palm Beach at (561) 488-0832.