The HVAC system is one of the essential components of your home. This helps ensure you can keep your home warm or cool when faced with unbearable weather conditions. It is also what helps maintain clean indoor air. Unfortunately, installing a residential HVAC system can be one of the most expensive home improvement projects around. So avoiding HVAC installation mistakes is important.
Besides knowing that costs for an HVAC system tend to add up at unexpected amounts, in this guide, we look at some common HVAC installation mistakes and offer up some ways to avoid them.
1. Going With an Inexperienced HVAC Installer
When looking for an HVAC installation service, you need a team that knows what they are doing. Therefore, it would help if you had installers with the experience and skill level needed to install your home's HVAC system. In addition, it ensures you have a capable team working on the system without any errors.
Installation experts often say they're among the best ones that can help. Some diligent background checking and research will do you a lot of good. With it, you can gauge how well a company will work.
One top tip is to never go for the cheapest quote. But, at the same time, you don’t want to go for something too expensive either. So, instead, try to find the middle ground on that price tag.
Check the reviews and testimonials. Also, try to get the credentials of the installation service. With those in hand, you can confidently decide who to hire to install your HVAC system.
2. Choosing the Wrong HVAC Size
Another mistake is failing to note the HVAC unit’s dimensions and measurements. Getting the wrong size can bring a lot of problems if you don’t pay attention.
Never have the false notion that going for bigger HVAC units grants better performance. It's not the case at all, especially when your HVAC unit is larger than your air conditioning unit or heating system.
Instead, pay attention to what suits your home. Take note of your home’s dimensions and measurements. Your HVAC installer would also consider this when measuring and calculating the size of the right unit.
That way, you can get the right output for your heating and cooling systems. With an accurate read of the airflow required for your home, your HVAC installers can recommend specific units. It helps in buying the right model the first time around.
3. Purchasing the Cheapest HVAC System
One of the biggest HVAC installation mistakes you can make is with your budget. Plan out your expenses and know your possible pinch points. Make a note of all the possible costs related to both the unit and HVAC installation.
Because of these concerns, going for the cheapest option on the market might be tempting. However, doing so rarely ends in a great AC unit. In some cases, it can compromise your air quality and temperature control.
The problem with cheap HVAC systems is the quality of their components. These parts tend to have poor quality due to how these manufacturers use the cheapest materials available on the market. What you want is a long-lasting HVAC unit, not one that breaks down at a moment’s notice.
With proper tune-ups, an HVAC system can last for decades. You can achieve this with quality components and parts. With a cheap HVAC unit, you won't reach that far.
By choosing an affordable HVAC with adequate quality, it will serve your home for up to 17 years, maybe more! You can make it last longer by checking out how to extend its life expectancy.
4. Subpar Air Distribution Scheme
Pay attention to your duct system’s correct design. The effectiveness of a new HVAC unit lies in the ductwork.
The HVAC unit does most of the hard work in keeping your home hot or cool. But, at the same time, your duct system distributes that hot air or cold air throughout the building.
In this case, make sure that the air distribution network doesn't have any leaks. Another thing to take note of is the ductwork’s compatibility with your HVAC unit.
For this, you can get the assistance of an expert HVAC installation company. They'll determine whether the duct system and the HVAC match those specific parameters.
Other areas to keep in mind include diffusers, such as ceiling diffusers, insulation, sealing, and areas that facilitate uninterrupted airflow.
Avoid using the old duct system if you plan to install new equipment. It can help avoid recurring issues.
5. Running the HVAC Continuously
Your HVAC unit may also need some downtime, letting it rest when needed. Leaving it on can help you cut back on energy bills and ensure that the device lasts longer. The good thing about this is that you can avoid this mistake with ease.
Leaving your HVAC unit active without people in your home is a waste of energy. It can also damage the system if you leave it on for longer periods without giving it the appropriate rest time. For example, you might only need to run the AC for 15 to 20 minutes in mild temperatures to get a room cool.
Depending on your needs and the circumstances, you can leave an HVAC system running for longer periods. Even so, turn them off when not in use. The good thing is that you can use smart thermostats to program the settings of your HVAC.
6. Not Leaving Space for Breathing Room
Give your outdoor HVAC unit enough space to operate. In this case, don't hide the machine behind vegetation and foliage. When you do, you're putting the unit at risk due to the leaves and branches that may end up getting caught in the machine.
The external HVAC unit may appear unsightly. Covering it with vegetation and foliage, however, makes things worse. Never sacrifice safety for aesthetics.
Instead, leave it open and free from obstructions. When installing the HVAC, please put it in an area with enough open space for the machine to operate.
This ensures there's no debris nearby that would cause the machine problems. Other areas that must be obstruction-free are the heat registers and the return grills. Finally, keep the exhaust vents clear to ensure that you have an unobstructed airflow.
Look into the indoor air quality as that is also a part of your HVAC system. Also, consider looking into the air purifiers that you need for your home. Otherwise, you risk developing various respiratory problems.
7. Wrong Thermostat Placement
Where would be a good spot to put a thermostat? This question may seem like an afterthought, but it has a bigger impact on your HVAC system than you might believe.
When adjusting the warm and cool air within your home, you need the thermostat in a visible spot. To ensure convenience, put it in an accessible spot, too.
With that said, the best place for you to put your thermostat is in a high-traffic area on an interior wall. You can access it as you're walking past and check the temperature and other statistics at a glance.
The least desirable spot to put a thermostat is on the wall near the TV, lamp, or external wall. Avoid these inconvenient locations.
Do not leave the thermostat in areas that experience temperature extremes, and be sure to install the system in an area away from direct sunlight exposure.
8. Replacing Parts of the System
Replacing the damaged parts of an HVAC system while leaving the rest of the system in place may result in several problems. When it comes to parts replacement, homeowners (understandably) often try to find the cheapest options in the market. If you feel compelled to buy these parts, think long and hard about their quality before you put down any money.
The HVAC system has both internal and external components. You have fans, blowers, coils, and vents. The condenser unit is also one of the external components.
These items are designed to work together as a single system. However, these parts can also wear out at different times. Try to DIY it and replace individual parts while leaving the rest in the machine, and you may end up with an HVAC system that's performing suboptimally.
When in doubt or if you have little to no mechanical expertise, contact your HVAC installer. They can help troubleshoot and point out what you need to do.
Avoid These HVAC Installation Mistakes Now
If you've experienced any of these HVAC installation mistakes in your home system, don't fret. As you've seen, some fixes help you avoid them in the future. And you can never go wrong asking for help from a capable professional when installing an HVAC system.
Are you looking for HVAC maintenance and installation services? Request a service call to get a free onsite estimate. When it comes to HVAC installation and repair, we have the experience and the know-how to help you.
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