Air conditioning used to be a luxury, but with summer temperatures rising, an efficient new air conditioner protects and adds value to your home. It also makes a significant impact on your family’s comfort, health, productivity and energy levels. But a new AC system can only perform at its best when it’s properly installed. A skilled and experienced HVAC installation team is critical to the process. A good installation contractor will walk you through their steps, answer any questions, guide you through using your programmable and smart thermostats (if necessary) and suggest routine AC maintenance tips.

Before the installation begins, an estimator will visit your home and collect key information about your existing cooling infrastructure, including ductwork, insulation and airflow. This ensures that the installation team will have all the details they need to prepare an accurate proposal for you and your project.

During the actual air conditioning installation, an experienced technician will remove your old unit and install the new one in its place. This step may involve the removal of existing electrical wiring, depending on your cooling needs. If your air conditioner was installed as part of a ductless system, the installer will use a vacuum to remove the refrigerant line set, which is then fitted into the new condenser’s service valve.

This is a necessary step to prevent re-contamination of the refrigerant. Anyone handling refrigerant must have an individual EPA certification. Before the technician installs your indoor unit, he or she will ensure that the mounting plate is both horizontally and vertically level, as well as check the wall for proper ventilation and access. Depending on the size of your unit, the installer may need to cut a hole in your ceiling to fit the condenser and compressor.

The installer will then run the included copper pipes, power cable and drain pipe to your indoor unit. The lines will be connected to the unit’s designated spots, as directed by the instruction manual.

Often, the installer will recommend the installation of a new programmable or smart thermostat to give you more control over your cooling and energy consumption. If you do decide to upgrade your thermostat, the installer will connect it to your new air conditioner and test it for proper operation.

Your installation team should clean up all materials and debris and leave your space cleaner than it was when they arrived. Generally, they will roll up their drop cloths last, so the carpet or flooring is not left exposed to dust and dirt. Additionally, they should not block fire escape windows or any exits with your new AC unit.

How Air Conditioning Installation Works