Your home’s air conditioner is the key to keeping you comfortable in the warmer months. When it isn’t working correctly, it can cause discomfort and unnecessary stress. Knowing when you should replace your unit, what choices you have, and how to choose the best HVAC contractors in St. Louis to do the job will help ease the stress that an old air conditioner can cause. Dig into this article on ac installation.
When it’s time to replace your air conditioner, we recommend hiring a trusted heating and cooling company that offers AC installation. Here in this article, we’ll tell you how to tell when your AC has reached the end of its life and who to trust to get the job done right.
Table of Contents
- When to Consider New AC Installation
- Choosing the Best AC Unit for Your Home
- What are the Best AC Units to Purchase
- Using Furnace Ducts For Air Conditioning
- AC Installation AfterCare
- Know Who to Trust For Residential AC Installation
- St. Louis Residents Count on Crystal for AC Installation Service
- Frequently Asked Questions
When to Consider New AC Installation
If your air conditioner isn’t working as well as it used to, it’s hard to tell if it can be fixed or if you should replace it. Most reputable air conditioning installation companies will inspect your system and let you know if a new unit is the best option. You may need to replace your AC if:
- It’s 10-15 years old. Air conditioners are built to last around 15 years or so. After ten years, it may start to need expensive repairs that add up quickly or begin to stop cooling your home as well as it used to. It often makes more sense financially to get a new one.
- Your energy bills are high. Older air conditioners are not as efficient as new models, so if your air conditioner doesn’t have a SEER rating of at least 13, chances are it costs a lot to run it. The amount you could save on energy bills may be worth purchasing a new unit.
- It uses R 22 Freon. The federal government is phasing out Freon to conserve energy, so Freon’s cost for AC units is rising. So if you’re having problems with your air conditioner requiring more Freon, most AC installation companies recommend replacing it.
Choosing the Best AC Unit for Your Home
The most important decision when choosing a new AC unit for your home is selecting the right equipment.
Understanding the correct size, type, and efficiency can help narrow down all the options.
Hiring a heating and cooling company is the best way to ensure all these critical aspects are considered.
Here are essential tips on choosing a suitable unit for you.
Consider The Size
Several factors affect the size of the unit you need including where you live, the amount of wall and attic insulation you have, your types of windows and doors and where they are located, and the orientation of your home to the sun.
HVAC contractors can perform a load calculation to reveal what size unit your home needs. Once complete, the contractor will recommend the right air conditioner size for your home using tonnage or Btu per hour.
For reference, one ton equals 12,000 Btu per hour.
Air Conditioner BTU Chart
To buy the right size air conditioner, reference these BTU calculations*. A BTU, or British Thermal Unit, measures how much energy is required to raise a room’s temperature of one pound of water by one degree. This calculation is critical to staying comfortable.
Every air conditioner and heater is rated to produce a certain number of BTUs.
This chart is a good starting point for sizing your AC installation.
[ Square Feet = BTU’s ]
- 0-150 = 5,000
- 150-200 = 6,000
- 200-250 = 7,000
- 250-300 = 8,000
- 300-350 = 10,000
- 350-400 = 12,000
- 400-450 = 14,000
- 500-600 = 18,000
- 600-700 = 20,000
- 700-800 = 22,000
- 800-900 = 25,000
* These BTU figures are estimates based on an average room for two windows, 1 door, and an 8-foot ceiling.
This analysis can also alert you to the benefits of upgrading your home’s insulation, which could increase energy efficiency and reduce the size of the AC unit your home needs.
Keep in mind an undersized unit won’t cool all your rooms completely, causing the team to run continually without keeping your home comfortable.
This will also cost you more to operate from both lack of efficiency and quick wear and tear on your unit from running constantly.
An oversized unit costs more to operate also, but this is because it generally takes more electricity. Large teams can also cause rooms to feel humid and damp.
The way AC is intended to work, a certain amount of air is supposed to circulate past the coils to extract moisture. If your unit is too large, it may cool the air too quickly without removing excess water.
Chose a Type of Air Conditioner
For most residential customers, there are two main types of air conditioning units most often used today.
- Central Air Conditioner: This unit cools multiple rooms at once. It uses a split system that regulates air through your home’s ducts, often called a ducted system.
- Ductless Mini-Split: Provides good efficiency and does not require duct. This unit is best used in single rooms. This system combines an outdoor unit comprising a compressor and a condenser with one or more indoor units mounted on a wall and equipped with air blowers.
Consider the AC Units Efficiency
Every air conditioning unit comes with a seasonal energy-efficiency rating (SEER).
This rating system rates how many Btu an air conditioner will remove for each watt of electricity it consumes.
- Federal law requires a SEER rating of at least 13 on all new AC units.
- Newer units with higher SEER ratings also include more safety features, better sound shields, and lower voltage requirements.
- Typically, the higher the SEER rating, the less it costs to operate the unit.
- However, a unit’s initial cost is generally higher as you get higher in the SEER ratings.
New AC Units
What are the Best AC Units to Purchase
Choosing an AC company that is trusted with proven products is essential. We may be biased, but we believe Carrier products give you experience, comfort, and efficiency.
Since Willis Carrier invented modern air conditioning in 1902, Carrier HVAC products have been the preferred brand in the heating and cooling industry. They use the industry’s leading technology to create reliable, efficient heating, cooling, and air quality solutions.
Carrier products include intelligent features designed for the ways you live, work, and play.
Join the millions of other homeowners who trust Carrier to keep their homes comfortable and energy efficient.
Using Furnace Ducts For Air Conditioning
It is possible to use your existing furnace ducts for air conditioning. But first, these ducts should be inspected. Modifications are often required to accommodate the larger volume of air that the AC unit creates. Typical modifications may include the following:
- Upsizing the Furnace Blower – Most newer furnace blowers are smaller in size. You will need to ensure your blower is large enough to move the cubic feet of cool air required for your home.
- Sealing the Ducts – An unbalanced system can lead to back-drafting during the heating season, which can be dangerous. It could also create pockets of warm air during the cooling season. Sealing the ducts will boost your unit’s efficiency and keep your home safe, but a professional should perform the job.
- Swapping Out Supply Registers – Your current grill slits may be too small to allow the necessary air volume to pass through. New grills can allow more air to pass through, improving overall airflow by 15 to 25 percent.
Even if there is no ductwork in your home, a new ductless HVAC system would significantly improve your comfort indoors.
Contact Crystal Heating and Cooling to discuss your options and installation cost.
AC Installation AfterCare
You can do a few things after AC installation to ensure that it was done correctly, as well as extend the life of your new unit.
First, a good installer will check the thermostats, system sequence, refrigerant levels, and more once the installation has been completed.
Once the professional has checked off their list and everything is running smoothly, you should do a few things to keep your new AC unit running great.
- Let It Rest – Just like any machine, occasional rest is necessary to extend the AC unit’s lifespan. You can manually turn off your AC or automatically set up the unit to rest periodically.
- Change the Filter – A clean filter significantly impacts your home’s air quality. Changing the filter frequently can reduce the burden on your unit and lower energy consumption.
- Don’t Ignore the Outside Unit – Make sure to clean any debris around the unit and keep grass and weeds cut back.
- Get Regular Maintenance – A professional should regularly check the inside and outside equipment to ensure the unit is running correctly and to catch any issues before they become significant problems. Crystal Heating and Cooling have hvac maintenance plans as a convenient way to ensure your AC unit is getting the attention it needs.
HVAC Maintenance Plans
Know Who to Trust For AC Installation
If you’ve determined it’s time to replace your air conditioner, ensure a reputable HVAC company installs it.
Hiring any residential AC installation company that does not meet the following criteria could result in many headaches and repairs.
- References. They have plenty of satisfied customers and can provide references. Your family’s comfort is a huge priority, so it helps to know who other St. Louis residents have trusted with their AC installation. Ask for testimonials and look on the company’s website — you should see lots of happy customers.
- Licensed and insured. Your chosen company should be able to prove that they are authorized to repair and replace HVAC equipment in St. Louis and have proof of liability insurance.
- Background Check. They employ only drug-tested and background-checked technicians. You don’t want to invite criminals into your home. A reputable company will ensure you can trust their technicians around your family and personal belongings.
- Warranties. They discuss prices and warranties in detail. You don’t want to end up with any surprises on your service bill. A trustworthy company will tell you the cost of the air conditioner and the AC installation and go over the manufacturer’s warranty with you. They should also guarantee that they will come back and fix any issues that have to do with the installation.
Who Do St. Louis Residents Count on for AC Installation Service?
When choosing a reputable and professional HVAC company, Crystal Heating and Cooling meets all of the above criteria.
- High Google Rating from satisfied customers
- We’re licensed and insured to perform HVAC services throughout the St. Louis area
- We only employ technicians who pass drug tests and background checks
- We’re always open and honest about our prices before we do the job.
We’re a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer and have been awarded the President’s Award for many years. You can trust our technicians for your Carrier AC installation and any required maintenance in the future.
And unlike many newer companies, we’ve been performing AC installation across St.Louis for over 50 years! So please give us a call or schedule service online. We promise you’ll be glad you did!
We have locations in Festus, Farmington, and Washington, Missouri, and over 40 rapid-response trucks ready to serve the entire St. Louis metropolitan area.
Request a service call
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much is Installation of AC?
Air conditioning installation varies greatly depending on the age and size of your home. It is impossible to give an installation cost without an expert considering your home’s insulation, square footage, number of windows, and current heating or cooling system.
This is why Crystal Heating and Cooling offers free estimates from one of our experienced technicians.
What Does AC Installation Include?
The basics you can expect to be included with AC installation are your home’s estimate, installation of all necessary equipment, and final testing after installation to ensure all is running smoothly.
Remember that some homes require more work than others when installing an AC unit. But rest assured that you will receive the best installation service with Crystal Heating and Cooling, from the first estimate to final testing after installation is complete.
Can I Install AC Myself?
You may be comfortable working on things around your home, but installing an AC unit yourself is not feasible. In some places, it may even be against the law to do so unless you are licensed.
Because of the electrical work that goes into AC installation, it can also be a dangerous job if you are not experienced. Regarding air conditioning installation, it is best to hire a professional to do the installation for you.
What Should I Check After AC Installation?
After completing your AC installation, you will want an operational manual and warranty card from the manufacturer. It is also good to check the air changes in each room over the next few hours. This will help ensure that the installation was done correctly and that the home is cooling.
After installation is complete is also the best time to set up a maintenance plan with your HVAC contractor. This will ensure that your new unit is well maintained on a schedule, even if it slips your mind. With a maintenance agreement, the contractor with contact you when it is time for a checkup on your unit.
Here are a few related resources on this topic.