When you’re deciding whether to install central air conditioning in your home or stick with the old window units, the first thing you need to understand is how the central AC works. Once you know the necessities of the AC system, you’ll have an idea of the work needed to install a system in your home.
What is Central Air and How Does it Work?
Central air conditioning is a system that uses ductwork to circulate cool air throughout your home. Your central air unit works much like a refrigerator and uses a refrigerant that transforms between liquid and gas states as it travels through the coils in the AC unit. This produces heat that then creates the chilled air that is pushed to the air handler/furnace located inside the home through a duct. The furnace has a blower that then pushes and circulates the cold air throughout the rest of the home.
Things to Consider Before Installing a Central AC Unit
Your central AC will need to be connected to electricity, and if the weather is warm all year, or especially hot during the summer months, you’ll need an energy-efficient air conditioner. Central AC units consume a lot of energy and can be expensive to operate in larger homes or poorly insulated homes. Before you install a new central AC system in your home, make sure any drafty windows are sealed, and you have the proper attic insulation.
AC systems generally last between ten and twenty years, which means most homeowners will need to replace their central air at least once or twice during their time owning a home. The cost of a new central cooling system is going to vary greatly depending on a few things:
- Unit Size
- Unit Price
A professional HVAC company can help you determine the right size unit for the square footage of your home. The contractor will come to your home and determine the load calculation by considering the size of your home, how much insulation is present, and climate, among other factors.
When you are installing central air for the first time in an older home, ductwork will need to run throughout the home with vents and cold air returns. To keep humidity low and airflow proper, professional installation is the best choice.