What Happens During an HVAC Installation?

HVAC Technicians Performing AC Installation in Burbank, CA

Always leave HVAC installation in the hands of a professional. The time it takes to install the new heating and cooling unit depends on the system’s dimensions and complexity. Some installations take as little as a day, while others may take several days, especially when installing multiple units in larger homes. Read on to explore what to do before an HVAC installation, what to expect on the day of installation, and what will happen after the installation is complete.

Before Installation: Inspection of the Installation Site

Several days or weeks before you get a new HVAC system installed, a licensed technician will inspect your existing system and perform an on-site evaluation. This allows the technician to decide which tools to bring to the job and whether there’s a need for any remodeling.

During the on-site visit, the technician will also check if any nearby trees or shrubs present a problem for the outside unit. If so, the technician will recommend removing them.

Before Installation: Homeowner Preparation

As the homeowner, you can prepare for installation day in several ways. First, make plans to be away from home on the day of installation. This includes pets, as well. Secondly, move furniture away from the installation site to ensure the technicians won’t have to move it for you. Lastly, make sure the home is clear of any clutter that might get in the way of technicians as they remove the old system and install the new one.

Installation Day: Meet the Technicians

On the day of installation, you’ll meet the technicians upon their arrival. These technicians will explain how long they believe the installation will take to give you an idea of when to return home. Meeting the technicians is an important part of the installation process because it opens communication between you and the people who will be inside your home.

Installation Day: Lay Drop Cloths, Organize Tools, and Turn off Valves

After meeting the technicians, they will make their way into your home and cover the floor with drop cloths. During this time, the workers will also organize the tools they intend to use and turn off any gas valves along with the electricity.

Installation Day: Remove Old HVAC System

Before removing the air conditioner part of an HVAC system, the refrigerant must be safely handled, secured, and removed. A technician cannot simply release the refrigerant into the air. Instead, the Environmental Protection Agency mandates using a recovery machine and that anyone handling refrigerant must have the appropriate licensure to do so.

After the refrigerant-removal process is complete, the technicians will remove the old wiring. This may or may not require removing and replacing circuit breakers. The new system’s size and the condition of the old wiring will determine which wiring to remove.

Technicians can remove the indoor evaporator coil once they remove the AC unit. The coil unit typically sits above or below the furnace. Before removing the actual coil unit, though, technicians will remove a plenum (box) of sheet metal. Depending on the exact setup of the old unit, removing the metal plenum may become difficult, especially if closets or other objects restrict access to it. In some instances, remodeling may be necessary to access the metal plenum.

Next, the technicians will remove the old copper lines connected to your HVAC system. Refrigerant mixed with oil fills the copper tubing, which carries it from the outside unit to the indoor evaporator coil. This old oil cannot mix with new oil, so replacing or flushing the lines is necessary. Not all line sets, particularly those lying beneath concrete floors, can be removed and replaced. When this happens, technicians will choose whether to run a new set of lines or flush the old set.

With the AC, evaporator coil unit, and copper lines removed, technicians can then extract the furnace. But first, workers must unhook the furnace from the power source, drain line, and vents. After all the connections are unhooked, technicians will check to see whether the existing tubing and vents are compatible with the new system.

Installation Day: Prepare Installation Site

Most of the time, technicians must make a few changes to the old system’s location to prepare it for the new system. This may include things like cutting away tree limbs and removing obstructions that impede airflow to the new unit.

AC outdoor units often cause the ground below them to become soft, causing the AC pad to sink. When this happens, technicians must level the ground and pad before installing a new unit. The AC unit must be level with the ground. Otherwise, the unit will have to work harder to move the refrigerant to the indoor unit, reducing its efficiency. It can also cause an uneven flow of oil through the compressor, increasing friction and reducing its lifespan.

Installation Day: Install New HVAC System

When installing the new system, technicians will choose between a cased and uncased indoor evaporator coil. If they choose a cased coil, it will sit on top of the new furnace. This coil facilitates a simpler and faster installation process than its uncased alternative. It also makes it easier to perform future heating maintenance and repairs.

After installing the new evaporator coil, workers will connect the old, flushed copper lines or install the new ones. The technician will position the lines with as few bends as possible and secure them every four to six feet. This prevents oil or refrigerant from becoming trapped in any kinks. If the flow of refrigerant is constricted, your AC’s efficiency and lifespan will be compromised. Then, technicians often install a filter dryer to prevent water and moisture from entering the new refrigeration system.

Upon unboxing the new HVAC system, technicians will inspect it for damages and broken parts. If none exist, they will install the new unit on the AC pad. During this part of the installation process, the refrigerant lines get fitted and brazed. Once the new system is in place, a technician will weld the line set and valves, resulting in a seamless and leak-free connection. Lastly, a service-disconnect box, all the new wiring parts, and a new condensate drain line are installed.

Installation Day: Commission the System

To ensure the new HVAC system works as it should, the technicians will initiate a commissioning process. During this time, they will also make sure the thermostat works correctly with the new system.

After Installation: Clean-Up and Walk-Through

After installation, a clean-up process will begin to ensure the home looks as it did before the installation process began. Additionally, a technician will walk you through operating the new system, including how to turn it on and off and adjust the settings.

Learn All About HVAC Installation Today!

Air Max HVAC specializes in a variety of HVAC installation and maintenance services, including AC repair and furnace replacement. We also offer a variety of service plans to choose from to keep your new system working as long as possible. Contact Air Max HVAC today to learn more about what to expect during an HVAC installation or schedule an appointment.

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