Is air conditioning installation rocket science? Not quite, but one wrong move can damage your air conditioner, lead to high monthly bills and ultimately destroy the energy efficiency in your carefully chosen model. It is possible for HVAC contractors to make mistakes, which is why homeowners need to do their due diligence when shopping for a contractor.
However, it is still a good idea to know what the most common mistakes are so you can spot them if your contractor ends up underperforming. The first is a biggie: failing to know about combustion safety. The first place most contractors turn when a carbon monoxide alarm goes off is the furnace to check for a leak, and if none is found, it may be dubbed a false alarm. However, backdrafting is a real issue, so testing flue gases is a must.
Here are a few more oversights that happen too often:
1. Forgetting about air flow
If you have not heard of a ductopus, count yourself lucky (it’s when ductwork gets out of control). Air flow usually requires bigger duct systems than what has been installed. A lot of ductwork is subpar, not the right size and prone to leaking. Understanding air flow should be HVAC Basics 101, but it is not.
2. Skimping on home performance
A lot of contractors have tunnel vision and overlook opportunities to share with homeowners how their overall home performance could improve. Just because a contractor is called in to repair a boiler doesn’t mean he can’t point out ways to improve the central air, too. It’s silly, since speaking up will benefit both the homeowner and the contractor.
3. What’s the “V” in HVAC for, again?
A lot of contractors completely forget about ventilation — and if you don’t have the V, you’re left with a HAC/hack. Ventilation can be difficult in newer homes that are sealed tightly, but spot ventilation is critical, particularly in bathrooms and kitchens.
4. Ditching the math
“This is how I’ve always done it,” is a poor mantra for a contractor. With so many HVAC systems out there, you simply cannot go without running the numbers. To get the right size and minimize heat/cool air loss, the contractor needs to have an equation worked out. Otherwise, he or she is just guessing. Mistakes can be made, but they can also be avoided. Make sure your contractor is reputable and reliable.
The biggest mistake of all may actually be that of the homeowners: failing to research contractors thoroughly. Get started on the right path today by connecting with Utah’s Sandy Heating & Air Conditioning team, a local company that sets the HVAC installation bar high.