So, you’re finally replacing your old, worn-out HVAC condenser unit. How exciting!
However, you might have a few unnerving questions about the installation process. For instance, will it be very disruptive to your home life while it’s going on? Is it dangerous?
How long does it take, altogether? Should you plan to leave for a few days until it’s complete?
First of all, calm down. We’ll get to the answers you’re looking for in just a moment.
Secondly, once you have these answers, you’ll see you have nothing to worry about. So, for the next few minutes, pause your fretting and read this guide to learn all about the AC condenser installation process.
The Initial Visit to Your Home
A condenser is a complex machine that takes a lot of work to install. In other words, there’s a lot that can go wrong, here.
So, before the installation can begin, the installer needs to visit your home to assess the situation. The most important thing they need to determine is that the new condenser is the appropriate size for your home. If it isn’t, it won’t work efficiently and it will wear out faster.
They also need to see if other components need replacing before the new system can be installed. For example, certain components of your current system, like the ducts, might be faulty, improperly sized, or otherwise incompatible with the new system.
The installer will also assess what work/equipment will be required for the removal of the old condenser.
Removing Your Old HVAC Condenser Unit
On a later day, the removal of your old AC condenser unit can begin. This part in particular is why you should always leave this job to the professionals. You see, it’s so dangerous that it’s illegal to remove a central air conditioning unit without the proper equipment and training.
Specifically, the refrigerant contained inside is a potentially fatal toxin. For this reason, removing the refrigerant is the first step taken to remove the entire condenser.
Next, the system is disconnected from the electrical wiring and detached from your property and from the rest of your HVAC system. Additionally, most HVAC installation companies will remove and replace an adjacent safety device known as the “disconnect box.”
This box sits next to your condenser and shuts it down in case of an emergency. It’s a good idea to have this replaced as well to avoid disaster.
Prepping For Installation
Obviously, HVAC units are not “one-size-fits-all.” That is, the installer can’t just plug it into the pre-drilled holes your other condenser was bolted to.
Instead, some prep work must be performed to situate and secure your new condenser unit. Firstly, any holes that were pre-drilled for the other unit may need to be filled in. Otherwise, it might compromise how securely the new system is attached to the foundation it sits on.
For that matter, this foundation or “pad” itself might be in bad repair and need replacing. Or, perhaps a sinkhole has caved in the ground that your old condenser was sitting on. In such cases, the installer will need to literally lay the groundwork before the new unit can be installed.
On the other hand, perhaps your old unit was placed in a bad location to begin with. In this case, a new location will be determined (during the initial visit). Then, this location will be leveled and prepped for the new unit.
Installing New Refrigerant Lines and Other Components
Besides the disconnect box, other components might need replacing as well. For example, the installer won’t connect the new unit if the existing components are in very bad shape. Problematic components must be fixed or replaced first before installing the new condenser.
Furthermore, there are components that connect your condenser to the indoor evaporator unit, like the refrigerant lines. If these connectors aren’t compatible, they will need to be updated with new ones.
In fact, HVAC technology may have come a long way since the old condenser was installed. The new one might not be compatible with any components of your existing HVAC. Thus, the whole system might need to be overhauled.
Of course, these details will be noted during the initial assessment visit.
Installing Your New HVAC Condenser Unit
Really, it’s all the assessment and preparation that are the hard parts. The installation itself is actually pretty straightforward.
The unit will be set in place and secured to the ground/pad. Then, it’s connected to the wiring and the refrigerant lines. That’s about it.
Testing the New System
Now, the system must be tested while the installer is present to make sure everything is in working order. Most of the time, any problems that occur are minor. For instance, the system won’t turn on because an electrical connection was overlooked.
As rare as it is, though, things could go dangerously wrong during the initial test. So make sure the system is thoroughly inspected before the installer leaves.
Training the User
Just because the system works well when the installer tests it doesn’t mean it will work well for you. Specifically, you might not know how to use all of its functions as the installer does.
Besides that, you should be briefed on any warnings and emergency procedures/contact numbers regardless. Make sure the installer gives you any such information about your new condenser that’s important for you to know.
HVAC Condenser Unit Installation: What to Expect
If you’re having a new HVAC condenser unit installed, you don’t have to be anxious anymore. Furthermore, if you know anyone else who’s getting a new condenser, please share this guide to help them prepare.
Are you still looking for a qualified HVAC installer? Contact us here to learn how we can help.