Preparing For A Retrofit Central AC Installation

Retrofitting a central air conditioning system in your home is an excellent way to increase its comfort and value. You'll also save more money over the long term by replacing your old, inefficient window units with a new, high-efficiency central system. Of course, retrofits are more complex installation jobs than simple replacements, so you'll need to keep a few special considerations in mind.

Although there may be some unique challenges with your home, most retrofit jobs follow a relatively similar pattern. These three tips will help you prepare for your new air conditioning installation so that your contractors can finish the job quickly and efficiently.

1. Plan Your Ductwork

If your home doesn't already have a forced-air heating system, you'll need to retrofit ductwork in addition to the air conditioning equipment. You'll usually have several options for retrofitting ductwork, although your contractor should recommend the best and most cost-efficient option. In many cases, you can minimize disruptions by running ducts through closets or other out-of-the-way areas.

Even though you should trust your contractor's recommendations, it's still a good idea to go over your ductwork plan before work begins. You may also have the option to choose between a ductwork system that will place vents on the floor or ceiling. It's generally worth considering ceiling vents for areas with hot summers and floor vents for regions with cold winters.

2. Consider Alternatives

If standard ductwork is cost-prohibitive or challenging to install for your home, you can consider several alternatives. High-velocity systems are one of these options. With a high-velocity system, you can replace traditional large-diameter ductwork with much smaller, high-velocity air tubes. Installing a high-velocity system typically requires less space and less disruption to your home.

Ductless mini-split systems are another option. These systems offer many of the benefits of traditional central air conditioning units without requiring any ductwork. Mini-splits may be a more cost-effective choice if the price of a ductwork retrofit is giving you pause.

3. Prepare for Possible Disruptions

Installing a new air conditioning system with existing ductwork might take a day or two, but retrofitting ductwork may require a few more days. You should expect some minor disruptions to your home during this period since workers will need to access walls, crawl spaces, etc. Larger homes or homes with more than one floor will require more time for installation.

Ultimately, the best way to prepare for any AC installation is to spend plenty of time talking with your contractor about the process. Carefully explaining your needs and goals will allow them to help you develop a retrofit plan that works for your home and budget. Contact a company like Total Comfort HVAC to learn more.