Whether you’re installing central air conditioning in Hampton for the first time in your home or updating your current system, it can be difficult to know what to expect and how to find the best contractor for the job. Fortunately, if you know important components of central air conditioning, the process will be much more manageable and you’ll be more likely to find the right provider for home air conditioning service in Hampton. Here are some things to remember.
Air Conditioner Size
It’s important to use online calculators or software to determine a close estimate of what size of AC unit you’ll need. This will allow you to not only know a good price range you’re looking at for an adequate air conditioner, but it can help you identify dishonest contractors who may try to sell you something you don’t need. AC unit size is calculated using square footage, home type, insulation values, windows, and climate zone. It’s important to have the right size of AC unit because a unit that is too large will run too frequently and waste energy, while a unit that is too small will be unable to cool your home sufficiently and waste energy trying to catch up.
Air Conditioner Unit Efficiency
To save even more money on your utility bills and protect the environment, look for an energy efficient model. Air conditioners are rated on their seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) which is basically how much energy is needed to provide a certain cooling output. Older systems generally only have a SEER rating of 6 or less, while newer models have higher ratings up to 18. A standard AC has a SEER rating of 13, so decide how much you can invest in a good SEER rating. Fortunately, the higher rated SEER units can quickly make up the difference in price from the energy savings throughout the year.
If you’re new to central air, your home will probably need to have ductwork installed. This process varies in labor intensity and price depending on the size and layout of your home. Whenever possible, the ducts should be installed in the conditioned space rather than in the attic. If your home already has ducts installed, it’s still important to make sure the ducts are inspected and properly sealed. Improper ductwork or damaged ducts can negate any of the benefits of a new, energy-efficient AC unit.
The installer will need to verify that the system is running properly once it’s been installed. This can only be done by performing a test run period, which allows the technician to double check the refrigerant charge. Once the refrigerant charge is verified, refrigerant can be added as needed and the installation process can conclude. In addition to checking the refrigerant charge, the technician will make sure the airflow is balanced. The supply ducts should have a positive pressure and the return ducts should have a slightly negative pressure. The living spaces should have a neutral pressure. Lastly, the thermostat should be located away from windows, supply registers, or other heat sources.
Before AC installation is complete, be sure to get maintenance information from the technician. Have the technician show you how to replace the air filter and make sure all the manuals and documentation of the installation procedures are in your possession. This should include the verification of refrigerant charge and airflow balance as well.