We’ve all seen it: the DIY plumbing job that sprayed water all over the house or the Weekend Warrior electrical box re-wiring that resulted in a big spark and a lot of smoke but no electricity.
While these two descriptions are a bit stereotypical of the standard do-it-yourself-projects-gone-wrong, the truth is there are some property projects that should not be undertaken by the average handy homeowner. One of these projects is installing a central air conditioning system in your Miami property.
First Up: Calculations
The first step in an AC installation is to find out exactly how much air conditioning is necessary to keep your home cool. Many people think the main – and only – way to determine this is from square footage. What really needs to be calculated is “heat gain” – how much heat your house takes on during a given day – and square footage will not give you this information. Instead, you need to calculate what is known as the J Load:
- How much insulation your home has
- Types and placement of windows in your property
- How the sun hits your property every day (orientation)
Second: Picking a Properly-Sized Unit
Size equals power in air conditioning terms, and if your unit isn’t powerful enough to cool your home, you’ve installed a system that won’t do its job. Likewise, if the unit is too powerful, air won’t circulate appropriately as the rooms will cool too quickly and the unit will shut off. In either case, the comfort level in your space is compromised.
Using the J Load calculation will help you figure out the size of the unit you’ll need. The size will be expressed in either tons or BTUs, where one ton equals 12,000 BTUs per hour.
Third: Picking an Efficient Unit
The efficiency of a unit is also important, as it correlates directly to the amount of energy it uses and the money you’ll spend when running it. Using the SEER number (seasonal energy efficient rating), you’ll see right on the unit’s packaging what its rating is; the higher the SEER, the more efficient it is. Current federal law requires that all new air conditioning units have a SEER of at least 13.
Fourth: Proper Placement
While newer units have gotten substantially quieter, no outdoor air conditioning unit is going to be really quiet. As such, you want to make sure the unit doesn’t get placed near or underneath bedrooms or living spaces where the noise will cause intrusion. Also, the outdoor compressor needs to be placed clear of any enclosures, as the top part is blowing out exhaust air. If the unit has any airflow restriction, its efficiency is compromised.
The ductwork delivers the cool air, so it’s essential to have it inspected. Most times, the ductwork will need some kind of adjusting. Typical adjustments are:
- Upsizing the furnace blower
- Sealing the ducts
- Updating supply registers
No ductwork? You’ll need to put ducts in, and this requires the work of a licensed contractor.
Ready to Call an Expert?
It takes a great deal of skilled work to install an air conditioning system. Installation of an air conditioning system requires the use of other systems in your property, including the heating and electric, so the margin for error is quite wide. Call Air on Demand in Miami today and have a true air conditioning expert install your new air conditioning system.