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8 AC Installation Errors to Avoid for Homeowners in Cape Coral, FL

If you live in Florida, there’s never a wrong time to install a new AC system. Most people use air conditioning for at least part of the day, even during the cooler months. 

That’s why it’s essential to ensure you correctly install your new equipment. Making mistakes during installation can cost you not only money but comfort. 

To avoid costly AC installation errors, take a minute and learn more about eight things to avoid when replacing your residential AC system. 

1. Buying the Cheapest AC System

There’s no doubt that replacing AC units is a significant expense. The cost to replace a residential AC system here in the Cape Coral, FL, area runs anywhere from $2,500 to $14,100.

Why such a wide range in cost?

The main factors that affect what you’ll spend on a new AC installation are:

The larger the unit, the more you’ll spend. The price increases if you choose a high-efficiency system or one with a higher SEER rating. Packaged systems cost more than split systems.

Location matters too! Outdoor AC units can be installed either on the roof or the ground. Installing the condenser unit at ground level costs less than placing it on the roof.

Most homeowners look for budget-friendly AC units, but be careful about judging a system solely on price.

Paying more doesn’t always mean you’ll get the best equipment, but buying a poor-quality system can result in poor performance. You’ll also want to ensure you buy the system that helps you maintain good indoor air quality.

2. Trying to DIY Without Experience

If you’re one of the many people who love doing home improvement projects, you may be considering a DIY AC installation. Here’s why that’s usually a mistake.

First, proper AC installation requires working with electrical components. You could hurt yourself if you’re unsure how to do that safely. You may also damage the new equipment.

Second, a DIY installation could void your warranty. Most warranties come with the condition that a licensed AC contractor must install, repair, and maintain the equipment.

3. Installing the Wrong Size

AC professionals size new AC units to match the number of cubic feet in your home. If you decide to purchase and take care of the installation yourself, you’ll need to ensure the new equipment fits the space correctly.

One mistake people make is buying an AC unit rated for a smaller space. This causes the air conditioner to work overtime.

An overworked AC unit may wear out prematurely. It will also struggle to meet the cooling demands of your home.

On the other hand, installing a unit rated for a larger space than is needed may result in a unit that constantly cycles. This, too, causes equipment to wear out sooner than expected.

Mistakes in sizing are less likely to happen if you hire a professional AC installer.

4. Incorrect Placement of Your Thermostat

The thermostat is a critical component of your heating and cooling system. If you replace your thermostat when you install the new AC unit, it’s easy to make a common mistake.

Many people don’t realize they shouldn’t place the thermostat on a wall where it receives direct sunlight. This can cause false readings, making the thermostat think the room is warmer and causing the AC to turn on at the wrong time.

Ghost readings can cause your AC to waste energy. They also contribute to abnormal wear and tear on your equipment.

5. Failing to Inspect Existing Ductwork

With so many things to consider when replacing AC units, it’s easy to forget about the ductwork. Not inspecting it before installing the new unit nearly guarantees future problems.

Depending on the age and condition of your existing ductwork, it may have leaks at one or more of the joints. If the joints aren’t sealed properly, less cool air is pushed out into the room.

Did you know that inefficient ductwork can leak 20% of the cool air that’s supposed to be cooling your home? Even if you purchase the latest high-efficiency AC unit, you may not reap the benefits of the cool air never making it into your home’s rooms.

If the ductwork has leaky joints, you’ll need to seal them before installing the new equipment. 

A qualified AC technician should inspect the ductwork before you begin the AC installation process.

6. Not Allowing Enough Clearance for the Condenser Unit

Sometimes referred to as the outside AC unit, the condenser usually sits either on a concrete, ground-level pad or on the roof.

Space is a significant concern when installing a new condenser unit. AC professionals recommend a clearance of a minimum of two feet on each side of the unit.

If the condenser doesn’t have enough room, your AC will work harder to maintain comfortable temperatures. When that happens, the system will consume more energy than it should, and you’ll see higher energy bills.

If there is insufficient space for the condenser, the AC works harder, resulting in increased energy consumption and high electricity bills. Therefore, the condenser must have at least two feet of clearance space on each side. 

7. Hiring the Wrong AC Contractor 

Here in Florida, it’s not hard to find AC installation and service contractors. What’s difficult is knowing whether the ones that appear in your online search are qualified and reliable.

If you’re unfamiliar with buying and installing AC equipment, you may feel overwhelmed when talking with contractors. 

Look for the AC service company that listens when you talk and doesn’t brush off your questions. Make sure the contractor you’re interested in working with will come to your home and perform a preliminary inspection. Finally, don’t go with a company that won’t put things in writing.

Making sure you hire the most qualified and reliable AC contractor means you’ll have help selecting and caring for the best residential AC system to fit your needs and budget. 

8. Forgetting to Schedule Routine Maintenance

After you install a new AC unit, you can’t forget about it. That’s what many people do because they feel like if it’s working, everything must be okay.

AC equipment needs regular maintenance, especially in Florida, where heat and humidity can affect the performance and longevity of the inside and outside units.

AC professionals usually recommend at least one AC inspection and tune-up every year. You may need to schedule maintenance every six months if you operate your AC year-round.

Worried About Making AC Installation Errors?

Hiring a professional can help you avoid the issues covered in this article. When you work with a qualified AC contractor, there’s no reason to worry about making AC installation errors.

Since 2004, Florida Cooling Solutions has taken care of HVAC services all over Lee County, FL. We have many satisfied customers and only send licensed, insured, and background-checked technicians to your home. 

If you live in Cape Coral, North Fort Myers, Fort Myers, Sanibel, and St. James City, FL, we’d be happy to help with your next AC installation or repair.

Reach out today for a free quote.