Decisions You Need To Make For Your AC Install
Leave it to the experts, right? For something as complex as a central air conditioning system installation, it can be tempting to defer all decision making to your contractor. This can be a good idea when it comes to the technical details, but that doesn't mean that you should give up all agency in the process. Instead, you should work with your contractor to use their skill and expertise to design the system that you want.
Choose Grille, Register, and Return Locations
Your home's ducting system needs to be carefully designed and sized to work with the equipment that you have selected. Your contractor will plan this out so that your system can cool your home efficiently, but there are a few things that you should keep in mind. Perhaps the most important point to keep in mind is that a blocked vent will both prevent the room that it's in from being cooled and potentially cause your system to work much too hard.
Ask your contractor to view the planned locations for grilles and registers. If you believe that furniture or other items will obstruct the airflow, then consider having them moved. Likewise, if the return vent is in an area that sees high traffic there is the potential for it drawing more dust and dirt into the system, ultimately overloading the filter.
Decide How Many Zones You Need
Although many homes have only a single air conditioning zone, it can be beneficial to have more than one if your house is large. Zones can also help with overall efficiency by allowing you to turn off your AC in sections of the house that aren't being used. For example, an upstairs zone can be used at night when your family is in their bedrooms, allowing you to raise the temperature on the downstairs thermostat to save energy. Some larger homes have as many as three or four zones. Discuss your particular needs with your contractor in order to come up with a plan that works for your particular circumstances.
Consider Thermostat Placement
Each zone will need its own thermostat, but thermostat placement isn't necessarily an easy task. Your thermostat has two main jobs:
- Allow you to set your desired temperature
- Measure the temperature nearby to determine if it is too hot or too cold
This means that the thermostat's location within a zone must be conveniently accessible, but it also needs to be in an area that will not be cooled much more quickly or more slowly than other areas in the same zone. If it is located in an area that is out of the way or with fewer ducts, the system may run for longer than necessary or it may shut off before the entire zone has been sufficiently cooled.
Remember that a properly installed central AC system can last for well over a decade, and your ducting is likely to last much longer than that. Working with your contractor during the air conditioning installation is the best way to guarantee that you get a system that perform exactly as you expect it to.