If you consider yourself fairly handy around the house, you might think installing a new air conditioning system is well within your capabilities. At first glance, replacing a central air conditioning system doesn't seem too complex, especially if the ductwork is already in place. After all, there are only two significant components to deal with, so what makes this such a challenging job?
Unfortunately, central air conditioning installation is much more difficult than it appears, especially if you don't have any training or experience in HVAC work. Installing a condenser and air handler unit is far from a plug-and-play process. If you're still not convinced, check out these three substantial AC installation challenges.
1. Copper Brazing
Your air conditioning system relies on a copper line set to carry refrigerant from your condenser to your evaporator and back again. These copper tubes are not simple connections that plug into one another. Instead, you must use an acetylene torch for brazing joints between copper tubes. Brazing is a specialized form of soldering for making solid connections between copper pipes.
However, brazing itself is far from a simple process. Learning to make solid joints requires training, skill, and experience. Trying to braze copper lines without the required knowledge can be dangerous and lead to faulty joints and future refrigerant leaks. Installing an AC system yourself is never a good idea if you don't have a high degree of confidence in your brazing skills.
Wiring a new system is another potentially complicated process. While replacing one or two connections on your AC system may not seem that challenging, running new wires between your indoor and outdoor units is often much more difficult than you might expect. You will also need to work with hazardous line voltage that can pose a serious fire risk if installed incorrectly.
The complexity of wiring up a new system also makes it difficult for amateurs to diagnose problems easily. You may spend hours or longer tracking down the problem if something doesn't work when you're done with your wiring job. In a worst-case scenario, you'll need to call in an expert anyway to find where your wiring may have gone wrong.
3. Charging and Pressure-Testing
Part of any professional installation is ensuring that everything works when completed. Even if the most experienced experts can make mistakes, so it's necessary to test the system for leaks thoroughly and ensure that it's charged to the correct level. Mistakes during the charging process can lead to leaks, inefficient operation, or even severe damage to the compressor.
This process often requires plenty of knowledge and experience. If you want to ensure your new air conditioning system functions reliably and with the best possible efficiency, it's crucial to hire an expert to handle your installation.
Contact a local HVAC service to learn more about AC installation.