Things You Need To Know Before Air Conditioner Installation

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Brenda Nyawara

Brenda Nyawara is an editor at Archute. She is a graduate architect with a passion for edge-cutting ideas in design, fashion, art and modern world interests.
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Are you looking to install a new air conditioner in your home? If the answer is yes, then there are a few things you should know before you get started. This is important because the last thing you want is to end up with a unit that doesn’t work properly or one that isn’t installed correctly.

Here are the things you need to know before AC installation.

Types of Air Conditioner Units

Before you can even begin to think about air conditioner installation, you need to decide what type of unit you want. Here are the most common types of air conditioners:

The No-Sweat Guide to Air Conditioner Types

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  • Ductless Split System Air Conditioner: A split system air conditioner is a unit that is composed of two parts, an indoor and an outdoor component.
  • Ducted Air Conditioner: A ducted air conditioner is similar to a split system in that it also has two parts; however, the difference is that the indoor and outdoor units are connected by a series of ducts.
  • Window Air Conditioner: A window air conditioner is a unit that is installed in a window and doesn’t require any ductwork.
  • Portable Air Conditioner: A portable air conditioner is a unit that can be moved from one room to another and doesn’t require any installation.

rectangular AC unit

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To know which of these air conditioners is right for you, it’s important to consider the size of the space you want to cool, your budget, and whether or not you want a unit that can be moved around.

For example, if you have a large space to cool and a limited budget, then a split-system air conditioner would be a good option. However, if you want the ability to move the unit from one room to another, then a portable unit might be the better choice.

Factors to Consider When Setting up AC Systems

a) Location

An important consideration is where you’ll place your home air conditioning unit. It’s important to choose a spot that is not obstructed by furniture or other objects. Proper airflow will ensure that the air circulates properly and cools the room evenly.

You should avoid placing your air conditioner near windows as this can cause it to work harder than necessary. This means that the air conditioning system consumes more electric energy to get this work done, resulting in lower efficiency.

woman controlling window air conditioning system

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If you are not sure where to place your air conditioner, you will need to hire a service provider that specializes in AC installation to help you out. This is because they would know the best placement for your AC system based on the size and layout of your room, and they would have the necessary tools to install it properly.

b) Proper Ducting and Insulation Work

Once you’ve selected the perfect spot for your air conditioner, it’s time to focus on proper ducting and insulation work. This is critical in ensuring that your AC unit runs efficiently and doesn’t run up your electric bill. Poorly insulated ductwork can also lead to excessive noise from your AC unit, so it’s definitely something you’ll want to avoid.

Ducting is typically done by a professional, but you can also do it yourself if you’re feeling handy. Just be sure to follow all the instructions carefully and measure twice before cutting anything! Insulation work, on the other hand, is best left to the professionals as they have the necessary tools and experience to get the job done.

c) The Right Refrigerant Charge

Last but not least, you’ll need to make sure that your air conditioner has the proper refrigerant charge. This refers to the amount of refrigerant necessary for your air conditioner to function properly. A low refrigerant charge can cause your AC unit to work harder than necessary and use more energy, so it’s important to make sure it’s at the correct level.

d) How the Size of Your Room Affects Your AC’s Horsepower

The size of your room is one of the most important factors to consider when deciding on an air conditioner. This is because the larger the room, the more powerful the air conditioner will need to be in order to cool the space sufficiently.

A/C unit in a room

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If you have a small room, you can get away with a lower horsepower (HP) unit. However, if you have a large room or multiple rooms that need to be cooled, you’ll need a higher HP unit. This is something you should discuss with your air conditioner specialist to ensure you get the right size unit for your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

1. How Much Does It Cost to Set up an AC?

Installation costs depend on the type, size, efficiency, and brand of the AC unit you want to install. On the other hand, installation and labor costs vary depending on the house’s size (and layout) and the type of air conditioning required to be set up.

Larger homes will require larger and more expensive air conditioning. The average installation cost is $5,900 for central AC units, $3,800 for smaller systems, and $7,500 for larger systems. If you choose to DIY your window unit, you could spend as low as $200. Labor costs lie between $500 and $2,500, depending on the size and layout of the house.

Different companies offer different quotes. We, therefore, advise you to use their available online calculators or shop around first to identify which is the best offer on the table.

2. What Is Required for AC Installation?

To adequately answer this, you need to consider two factors. One, which tools are required for AC installation, and two, what are the criteria for AC installation? Both are prerequisites that should be met if you’re thinking of setting up an AC unit.

Tools Needed for AC Installation

The following tools are needed for AC installation:

  • Screwdrivers and screws
  • Tape measure
  • L-shaped bracket
  • A/C foam insulation weather strip
  • A multimeter to check the electrical current of where you’re setting up the AC.
  • Hex-head nut drivers
  • Pipe wrenches to provide water supply to the AC. For this, you might need an HVAC contractor to ensure you don’t miss anything.

Criteria for AC Installation

You don’t want excessive heat in your home, especially during the hot summer months. Hot air can be draining and cause extreme tiredness in some cases. You’ll need the right AC system to ensure you get all the cooling power you need. So what criteria do you need to meet before setting up your AC unit?

house air conditioner

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  • What type of AC unit do you want? There are numerous options to choose from – split system, duct system, window wall, and portable air conditioners. A portable air conditioning unit does not require installation. A central AC unit is designed to cool an entire building, while a window unit cools a single room.
  • What size do you need? More than physical size, you should know what size your house requires in terms of average power in kW. For instance, in America, you’ll need 1-1.5 kW of cooling capacity per 10 m² of space.
  • How much energy efficiency do you need? This solely depends on how much you intend to reduce your energy bills. An energy-efficient air conditioning unit should spend the least amount of kW for each unit of power produced. This is a very important aspect to look out for when shopping for AC units. A split air conditioning system is more efficient than a central air conditioner.

Also Read: 7 Air Conditioning Myths You Need To Know About

3. How Do I Install an Air Conditioner in My House?

Here are the steps to install an AC system in your house:

  1. Choose an unobstructed space on your interior wall where you’ll set up the internal unit, called the air handler. There should be a hole through the wall to ensure easy passage of the pipes. Preferably, this should be an area with studs to take the AC unit’s weight. Indoor units need to be centrally placed to ensure easy airflow.The air handler consists of the evaporator coil and blower unit. This section needs to be connected to the house’s existing ductwork. You should run the electrical wires and refrigerant tubing to the outdoor unit.air conditioner in home

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  1. Install the outdoor unit. This consists of the outdoor condenser and a condenser coil. Here, you will need to connect the refrigerant tubing and electrical wiring to the condensing unit.
  2. Test your air conditioning system. Check for any leaks which may ultimately increase your energy costs. You may also need to turn on your thermostat to ensure you’re getting the right, intended temperature.

4. Where Is the Best Place to Put an Air Conditioner?

Most homeowners prefer setting up AC units where they need fresh air the most or in a central location, such as living rooms or bedrooms. For commercial buildings, the indoor unit should be set up close enough to the outdoor unit to minimize losses.

brown concrete building with AC units

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However, more specifically, the following are the ideal locations to put your air conditioner.

  • Central air conditioning system: It should be placed on a flat, level surface that is away from obstructions, such as fences or bushes. The area should be well-ventilated to ensure hot air is easily expelled and cool air is easily distributed.
  • Window AC unit: The window chosen should be close to an electrical outlet and able to support the AC unit’s weight. The window should be sealed completely to avoid air leaks.
  • Ductless mini-split AC system. They do not require ductwork, hence the name. The best place to set them up is in a central location in a room, at a height that will not be obstructed.

When setting up air conditioning units, it is vital to consider other factors such as noise levels, accessibility for maintenance, and aesthetic factors. To ensure you have the best location, consult with a professional HVAC technician.

5. How Long Does It Take To Install AC in a House?

Again, this will depend on a variety of factors, such as the size of the house and the type of AC system being installed. Generally, the installation will take a few hours to days, depending on the complexity of the process used.

Installing a central air conditioning system with ductwork may take around 2-3 days to complete. This is inclusive of all processes, from setting up the inner and outside components, ductwork, electrical, and the drain line (plumbing).

For less complex installations, such as ductless mini-split ACs, the process might take just a few hours. Mini-splits are easier to install than full ducted systems and are more efficient than window units or a central HVAC system. They are also less cluttered and complex.

Also, AC installation depends on whether you are doing regular maintenance or setting up a new unit. A new system will require more time to research, set up, and install, while a replacement system will generally take a shorter time unless your existing AC system is more complex than you envisioned. This is why it is advisable to ensure proper maintenance of your AC systems.


As you can see, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when it comes to air conditioner installation. This includes the size of your room, the placement of your unit, and proper ducting and insulation work.

Additionally, you’ll need to make sure that your air conditioner has the proper refrigerant charge. It’s also a good idea to hire a professional to help you with the installation process, as they will have the necessary experience and tools to get the job done right and within the shortest time possible.

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About the author

Brenda Nyawara

Brenda Nyawara is an editor at Archute. She is a graduate architect with a passion for edge-cutting ideas in design, fashion, art and modern world interests.
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