Air Conditioning Install Process by Kalos Services
At Kalos Services we take a comprehensive approach to air conditioning replacement and upgrades. We want to ensure that the quote for your air conditioning install has no hidden costs and is accurate the first time. We desire the air conditioning install to live up to your expectations and that the energy efficiency of the A/C system will be at the highest possible level.
Here’s the process we complete for each new air conditioning install:
- Reclaim old refrigerant for recycling.
- Remove existing equipment and disposal for recycling.
- Inspect existing ductwork, return duct and supports for new equipment.
- Remove platform top.
- Replace supports if needed.
- Replace return box if needed or quoted as a request.
- Replace or flush copper according to industry standard.
- Replace drain.
- Check low voltage wiring, if found in bad condition once exposed or if included with quote.
- Ensure chase is sealed.
- Replace condenser pad, if needed or requested in quote.
- Relocation of disconnects as needed or required by code.
- Install new ¾” pressure treated plywood platform topping ensuring air handler will sit level.
- Raise air handler as needed for ensure proper filter access and drainage.
- Seal new air handler to return.
- Install a new sealed four piece transition to existing attic duct.
- Install secondary pans and float switch in horizontal applications.
- Install primary float switches on all air handlers.
- Install liquid filter dryers on all equipment installs.
- Leak check all connections by positive nitrogen pressure.
- Evacuate the system of air and water vapor while measuring for proper vacuum with a micron gauge.
- Paint all outdoor exposed tubing insulation with UV resistant coating as required by manufacturer.
- Install locking caps on the ports to prevent refrigerant from escaping.
- Ensure no double traps exist in the condensate drain lines that can cause drainage issues.
- Allow adequate time to ensure proper charge calibration at startup.
- Check refrigerant charge using manufacturers specifications, as well as Subcool and Superheat methods.
- Check amp draw on all new mechanical components at startup.
- Check for static air and air flow.
- Ensure customer is satisfied with cleanup and installation of the new system.
Always Get the Air Conditioning Install Process in Writing
As you consider quotes from other companies, ask them to show you their air conditioning install process. Make sure to ask to see this process in writing. A reputable air conditioning contractor should always be able to tell you how they plan on making sure your air conditioning install goes smoothly. Still have more questions? Download our eBook The Complete Air Conditioner Buying Guide
Want to schedule a free estimate? Call us at 352-243-7088 or fill out the form below:
Whats More Important? The Air Conditioning Brand or the HVAC Contractor?
Find an HVAC Contractor You Can Trust
One of the most common questions we get at Kalos Services goes something like this, “What’s the best air conditioning brand? I want to make sure you’re installing a good AC system.” But, what customers often don’t consider is that the HVAC contractor who performs the install needs have abundant knowledge of the systems they install.
There are many different A/C manufacturers in the market, so it is important that you do not fall prey to clever marketing. While there are a few truly unique technologies in the market today, most residential systems are actually pretty similar between the reputable brands.
[Tweet “The most important factor for a consumer is that a system is installed and tested properly.”]
Why the HVAC Contractor You Choose Matters
You may purchase the best air conditioning system on the market but if the air conditioning installation isn’t performed properly you will still end up with an inefficient, unreliable system. This means that the company installing your new unit matters more than the brand of the new system. There are many aspects of a new installation that involve personal safety, fire hazards, indoor air quality, system longevity, and long-term power usage. It’s essential the HVAC Contractor you trust with your installation is well versed and has a documented track record of consistent, quality work.
Get Quality Air Conditioner Installation
The most important aspect of any brand is the reliability of the product as well as the availability of the parts to repair the unit. Many of the less common brands may have a good warranty on paper, but actually getting the parts to repair the unit can take days or weeks to get.
The better manufacturers generally will have a factory distribution center in your area. This means that when you need an air conditioning repair in the middle of the summer, it will be more likely that your part is stored in a warehouse in Central Florida, getting you back up and running quickly. An HVAC contractor might be able to get you a cheap unit, but make sure your warranty is actually worth something.
Every air conditioning contractor that hopes to earn your business should have their installation process in writing. This shows process (or lack of one) will show exactly the type of contractor they are and if you can trust them to install the best air conditioning brand the right way.
Some other helpful posts:
How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost?
The Kalos Services Air Conditioner Install Process
Common Air Conditioning Installation Mistakes That Could Cost You Thousands
Interested in a Free Estimate? Fill out this form and our Comfort Adviser will be in touch shortly!
“Is that actually a fair price?”
This is always one of the first questions a customer has when they get their first quote for a new air conditioning system. The problem is, with so many options and variance, it’s really hard to give a simple answer. There is so much that goes into figuring how much it will cost to install, that the suggested AC prices are really vague, and do not cover everything that might be involved. You can skip past the good stuff for the general price-ranges at the bottom, or you can take the time to understand why a system might cost what it does, and why someone else might get a very different price.
Typical Residential A/C Systems in Florida
The most common configuration for an air conditioner is a split system, where the “Fan Coil” or “Air Handler” half is inside, and the “Condenser” is outside. Some systems are “Packaged Units” that are inside of a single enclosure outside.
A basic system might provide cooling only, with or without an electric heater integrated. “Heat Pump” AC systems can heat much more efficiently than with just the electric heater unit, and if you have a gas hookup, a furnace might be an option. Gas heating is generally more cost-efficient than even a heat pump, but the heating efficiency that either can offer will cost you more upfront.
Basic Air Conditioning Install Inclusions
Replacing your air conditioning system involves a lot of work. There are often things beyond the system itself that can either affect the system or else cause damage. Other times, something might just be easier to do when replacing the system. It is almost always necessary for a qualified professional to come out to your home to determine what needs to be included in your new air conditioner cost. Whenever you see add-ons included, ask the service professionals why they are including it.
- Concrete Pad: having a good hurricane pad is required by code in Florida. It not only helps avoid damage in high winds, but it also stabilizes the condenser for more efficient operation and longer life.
- Drain lines: the “air handler” pulls moisture out of the air during normal operation. This moisture condenses on the coil and flows safely outside through the drain line. If there are breaks or damage to the line or supports, the condensation may instead leak and create water damage. Water might also back up, triggering safety devices that shut off the unit to avoid such damage. Replacing the drain lines helps ensure that the system will operate safely.
- Duct sections: air leakage into areas like attics or garages can dramatically affect efficiency. collapsed sections or other damage might also affect the air balance and cause unexpected stress on the system. Damaged sections of ductwork can sometimes be repaired, but are often cheaper and easier to replace entirely.
- Electrical: portions of the electrical circuit that supplies a system might be damaged or unsafe. This can be an issue for you as the resident, but it can also cause premature failure of key components, leading to high repair costs. Replacing at least the portion of the electrical circuit leading from the wall panel to the unit is generally recommended, but more aggressive electrical repairs are sometimes needed.
- Platform Top: if the “air handler” is in an upright position, it is usually positioned on top of a wooden return box. The top of this box will usually begin to sag with age, especially if poorly constructed or with water damage. Replacing this platform top is strongly recommended with any air conditioning system replacement.
- Refrigerant Lines: the copper piping that runs between the “air handler” and “condenser” carries the freon or puron, the refrigerant material specially formulated for thermal-transfer. This copper tubing is exposed to the elements, and degrades due to age and exposure to chemicals in the water or air. Failures here are both relatively common, and can have results ranging from requiring more frequent service to catastrophic equipment failure. Replacement is often not necessary, but should always be considered.
- Thermostat: Replacement of older mercury-based thermostats is usually required, but a digital thermostat is usually alright if left alone. Aging thermostats are generally innocuous, as problems are typically limited to lost efficiency or temporary AC failure. They don’t generally cause further damage. A new thermostat is still an inexpensive way to add convenient features.
Air Conditioner Sizing Options
The cooling capacity of an air conditioner is measured in tons, but the “tons” are not a measurement of how heavy the system is. Tonnage actually refers to the amount of heat an A/C unit can remove from a space in one hour.
Most reputable air conditioning contractors will calculate the appropriate tonnage of cooling capacity for a new system. Total home area, wall-thickness, tree shading, window size and direction, and even awnings and curtains can all contribute to the overall expected heat load. It might even be different from what is currently installed in your home.
This is not an area that you can adjust. It is one thing if two contractors disagree on the tonnage required, and you should ask how the appropriate tonnage was figured, but this will be a set factor. A lower-capacity system won’t necessarily be able to keep up with the harsh Florida heat, but a higher-capacity system might waste energy by constantly stopping and starting — think how frustrated you get in stop-and-go traffic.
An area that you as the customer have a significant amount of flexibility is in system efficiency. The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is a general metric for how much it can cost to heat and cool your space, around the year. The higher the number, the more cost-efficient the unit is to run, but beware: higher-efficiency systems can cost drastically more.
Florida energy code does require a minimum of 14-SEER equipment for any new install or replacement, but efficiencies of up to 20-SEER are available for smaller capacity units. There are also a number of intangibles that come with higher efficiency systems, such as improved dehumidification and filtration options, or even advanced controls.
When an air conditioning company is quoting a new unit for you, make sure to get at least three efficiency options from them in order to see the new air conditioner cost differences. Some AC companies will only quote higher efficiency units in order to influence customers to purchase the bigger ticket item, so be sure you request to see an installation price for a 14 SEER unit in order to compare costs accurately. At Kalos Services, Inc. you’ll always receive four efficiency options to choose from.
As you do your research, be sure to include a qualified expert to ensure the air conditioner cost you are expecting is accurate. Never accept air conditioner prices handed out over the phone as accurate, or reliable. Be sure the air conditioning company visit your property to give you a thorough quote addressing every aspect of the scope of work.
Please fill out this form and we will contact you about air conditioning replacement.
The fact that you’re reading this means you care about protecting one of the biggest investments you’ve made: your house. Smart homeowners know that proactive and regular home maintenance is essential to preserving the value of your home — without it your home can lose 10% of its potential value!
We certainly believe in regular home maintenance on your air conditioning unit, but there is a lot of other jobs to keep up with as well. We’ve included a good list below that we found here in order to help you stay current with all of the jobs you should be current on. We hope it helps!
As you go through this home maintenance list, don’t be afraid to reach out to our service partners or ourselves if we could be of assistance!
Annual Home Maintenance Checklist
- Organize your home improvement files. Review warranties and product manuals to check on recommended maintenance for furnaces, equipment, appliances and tools. Mark your calendar to track scheduled upkeep and service.
- Inspect furniture, cabinets and vanities for loose knobs, pulls and hinges. Tighten or repair as necessary. Lubricate squeaky door hinges with lightweight machine oil. Free sticky doors by trimming edges or shimming hinges with thin pieces of cardboard.
- Fix squeaks in floors and stairs by applying weight to the area (having a partner stand on it works) and driving an 8d or 12d galvanized finish nail through the flooring into a floor joist or stringer. If you have access to the floor from underneath, glue and screw backs to the floor or treads and to the joist or stringer.
- Look for bargains on discontinued appliances and tools. Before buying, make sure that warranties are valid.
- Make a room-by-room inventory of everything in your house. In the event of fire, flood or other disaster, it will be important in filing an insurance claim. Photographs or video of your possessions can also be helpful.
- Don’t close vents to crawl spaces. If you live where pipes can freeze and the floor becomes very cold, insulate pipes and under the floor. Vents play an important role in controlling condensation beneath a house.
- Double-check insulation around exterior pipes that are exposed to freezing weather to be certain that water cannot seep under the insulation.
- Remove drain traps under sinks and clean them thoroughly. Clean pop-up drain plugs.
- Inspect the linkage for pop-up drains to make sure they are set properly. To adjust the linkage, squeeze the finger-operated pressure lock to release it and slide it up or down as necessary.
- Inspect grout and caulk around tubs, sinks and showers. Chip out cracked grout and replace missing grout. Stained, discolored and mildewed caulk should be cleaned with trisodium phosphate or other household cleaner. If the caulk remains discolored, remove it and replace it with fresh, mildew-resistant caulk.
- Refinish furniture in a heated garage or workspace equipped with ventilation fans.
- Otherwise, use water-based strippers, paints, stains and varnishes that are especially formulated for low odors.
- Musty closet odors can be reduced or eliminated by removing the closet’s contents and washing walls with a diluted solution of chlorine bleach. In addition, try replacing solid doors with louvered doors. Note: If the mustiness is the result of moisture, find the source and correct it. Otherwise the problem will come back.
- To keep valves from sticking and check for leaks, turn all water valves off and on. This includes outdoor faucets and valves to toilets, bathroom and kitchen sinks, laundry, bar, etc.
- Review the contents of your medicine cabinets and throw away dated prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines. Be sure all medicines are out of the reach of children or contained in a cabinet equipped with childproof locks.
- Celebrate spring by cleaning the garage. Hold a yard sale, or organize a community yard sale with neighbors. Dispose of paint thinners, household cleaners and pesticides properly. Contact your city’s department of public works to find out the next scheduled collection of hazardous materials.
- Clean the refrigerator, inside and out, with mild detergent. Remove all trays and shelves, wash, and allow to dry thoroughly before replacing them. Remove old ice from ice-making tray.
- After heavy rains, inspect your basement walls for signs of moisture. If you detect wetness, run a portable dehumidifier. If condition persists, consult a waterproofing contractor. Check to make sure your sump pump works properly by pouring water into the pump silo to raise the float and activate the motor.
- Test the pressure and temperature relief valve on your water heater by opening it and allowing some water to flow out. If little or no water flows out or it doesn’t shut off, replace it. Bad valves can cause explosions.
- Spring is a good time to build a doghouse. Make sure to provide adequate roof ventilation to allow hot air to escape. And don’t use pressure-treated wood in any area where your dog might chew it.
- Daylight Savings Time begins. Honor the occasion by replacing batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Inspect screens (both house and vent screens to attic or crawl space) for tears and bent frames.
- Check screens (both house and vent screens to attic or crawl space) for tears and bent frames. Clean window screens. Lay them flat on a picnic table or a pair of sawhorses and scrub them with a soft bristle brush and a mild detergent solution. Rinse with a garden hose and allow to dry thoroughly.
- Inspect outdoor structures for deterioration – especially signs of rot. Use a small awl to probe posts, railings and window sills for soft spots. If you find any, plan to replace or repair them when the weather turns fair.
- Prepare for the outdoor cooking season by inspecting gas grills. Remove cooking grills and thoroughly clean them with soapy water and a brush with brass bristles. Remove accumulated grease from lava rocks and ceramic briquettes by turning them over and igniting the burners. Allow 10 minutes on high heat to clean the briquettes.
- Inspect garden hoses for leaks. Make temporary repairs with electrical tape. Pry out old washers and replace them. Don’t leave hoses connected to outdoor spigots until the danger of frost is completely over.
- Caulk open joints, particularly around windows and doors.
- Inspect the crawl space or basement after rains for water accumulation or excessive moisture. Look for signs of water damage on the subfloor and joists beneath bathrooms, the kitchen and laundry. Find and fix leaks now or pay the price later.
- Shut off the water to the washing machine, remove the water supply hoses and examine them and the washers. Replace worn and damaged ones.
- Check fire extinguishers to make sure they are not outdated, have lost pressure or are damaged.
- Check all weather stripping around doors and windows for wear, damage or loss of flexibility. Replace material that is no longer blocking air.
- Clean your garbage disposal. Grind two trays of ice cubes made from a mixture of one cup white vinegar to one gallon of water.
- Clean gutters. Inspect gutters to ensure all spikes, straps and clips are tightly fastened. Use a garden hose to flush debris from downspouts. Make sure downspouts or splashbacks direct water at least three feet away from the foundation.
- Wash windows, inside and out, using a solution made from three tablespoons of nonsudsy ammonia to 1 gallon of water. Don’t work in the direct sun – the solution will dry too fast and streak. To clean windows with real (not removable) grills, use a hacksaw to cut a squeegee so it fits the windowpanes exactly.
- Have central air-conditioning unit checked according to the recommendations of the unit’s manufacturer. Replace the filter in the forced-air system. Clean debris from condenser or heat pump located outside.
- Remove mineral deposits from faucet aerators and shower heads by soaking parts in white vinegar and scrubbing with an old toothbrush.
- Have swimming pools cleaned. Inspect and service pool liners and filters.
- Shop for seasonal sales on air-conditioning units and window fans.
- Dust ceiling fan blades.
- Set thermostats and automatic sprinkler system to adjust for weather changes
- Before placing metal patio furniture outdoors, coat it with auto polish.
- Clean and seal decks. Ideally, you’ll need three consecutive warm, sunny days. On day one, dry out the deck. Apply deck cleaner and scrub the deck on the second day and let it dry 24 hours. On the third day, apply deck sealer.
- Wash the exterior of your house, using ordinary garden hose pressure and a mild detergent. Beware of the pressure washers – they are powerful enough to force water under the siding where it may encourage mildew and rot.
- Caulk exterior joints around window and doors.
- Clean lint from the entire clothes dryer vent system, from the dryer to the exterior vent cap.
- Inspect and repair or repaint all patio and deck furniture.
- Check operation of attic fans and roof-mounted turbine vents.
- Check all exterior walls for peeling or cracked paint. If you decide to repaint your house yourself, you can cut this job down to size by painting just one or two walls per year. Typically, paint on south and west-facing walls deteriorates faster and requires more frequent recoating than paint on north or east-facing walls.
- Carefully inspect brick or masonry siding for cracks or missing mortar. Repair with fresh mortar or concrete caulk.
- Inspect roofing material for cracks and loose or missing shingles and repair as necessary. If you have access to attic spaces, check underneath the roof for stains that indicate leaks, especially from “flashed” areas in roof valleys and around chimneys and vent stacks.
- Inspect the operation of automatic light timers and motion-detector systems, especially if you plan a vacation.
- Prune trees and shrubs so that branches do not come in contact with exterior siding.
- Clean and repair cracks in concrete driveways using epoxy patching material. Repair asphalt driveways using asphalt patching material. Seal asphalt driveways every other year.
- Inspect foundation walls for signs of termites –- tunnels or dirt bridges. If you suspect termites, contact a professional exterminator.
- Use a vacuum with a narrow nozzle to clean condenser coils on the back or underneath your refrigerator.
- Check faucets for leaks and replace washers or repair the faucet as necessary.
- Clean underneath range hood. Remove and clean or replace range hood filters.
- Fix “water hammer” noises by draining the plumbing system. Open the uppermost faucet (or the one furthest from the water meter) and the lowest (or closest to the meter) and allow the water to flow to a lower-level sink or floor drain. Draining the system restores air to air chambers. Close the lowest faucet and refill the system.
- Plan interior remodeling projects and get estimates. Plan for the work to be done in early fall.
- Paint interior rooms while it’s still warm enough to leave windows open. Ditto for shampooing or replacing carpets.
- Check heating system including filters, pilot lights, and burners, and have the system serviced by a qualified professional.
- Clean and vacuum dust from vents, baseboard heaters and cold-air returns.
- Remove window air-conditioning units and store them. If they are not removable, cover them with plastic to protect them over the winter.
- Tour the outside of your house to make sure that soils around the foundation are properly graded. Soil should slope four to six inches for a distance of three feet out from the foundation walls.
- Watch for year-end close-out sales on lawn and garden equipment.
- Inspect storm windows for any signs of deterioration and make necessary repairs.
- Detach hoses in case of freezing temperatures. Remove all paints, caulks and liquid materials from garage or garden sheds.
- Inspect weather-stripping around doors and windows and repair or replace if necessary.
- Set thermostats and automatic sprinklers for winter.
- Clean gutters after leaves have fallen. Make sure downspouts are in good repair.
- Check gauges on home fire extinguishers to ensure a full charge. Replace if necessary.
- When setting clocks back to Standard Time, change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Inspect automatic garage door opener and lubricate according to the manufacturer’s directions. Make sure all bolts and screws are properly tightened and secured.
- Check for leaks around washing machine. A prime suspect for leaks are the water supply hose washers. Inspect hoses and replace if necessary.
- Clean dishwasher, trash compactor and countertop appliances.
- Check the operation of all ground-fault circuit interrupter outlets by pushing the “test” button. The “reset” button should pop out, indicating the receptacle is operating properly. Press in the reset button.
- Check inside bathroom vanities and kitchen sink cabinets for moisture and other signs of leaks. Carefully inspect pipes for condensation or slow drips. Repair the plumbing system if necessary.
- Review the family fire escape plan with every household member.
- Unpack and test all electrical holiday decorations. Repair or discard any that do not function properly.
- Watch for sales on tools before and after the holiday season.
We hope this detailed guide to home maintenance was helpful!
Do you have questions? We can help! Fill out the form below: