Can Anyone Install an Air Conditioner Safely and Properly?

It is generally not recommended that homeowners install their own air conditioner unless they have experience and training in HVAC installation. Improper installation can result in poor performance, energy inefficiency, and safety risks. While 87 percent of American homes have air conditioning, central air conditioning systems are the most common because of their simplicity and accessibility. If you want to turn on a switch to cool the whole house, you might wonder if it's possible to do it yourself.

And the answer is yes, you definitely can. Homes use some type of air conditioning, central air conditioning systems are the most sought after both for their comfort and their accessibility. If you're looking to turn on a switch to cool the whole house, you might be wondering if it's possible to install your own. And the answer is that you definitely can.

Installing a central air conditioner is not a task for the faint of heart. It requires knowledge of HVAC systems, electrical wiring, and local building codes. It's important to understand the risks associated with DIY installation before attempting it. Here's how to safely and properly install the central air conditioner yourself.

The first step is to purchase a central air conditioner unit that meets your needs. The easiest place to find one is online, but that's not always the best option because of potential shipping costs. Some air conditioning systems may require additional transportation costs, depending on the place of origin and destination of the shipment, and you may have to enlist the help of some people to help you unload the unit if the transport company does not help you with this. Once you have your unit, you need to decide where to install it.

The central air conditioner must be installed outside and then connected to the ducts of your house. You can pour a concrete platform to place it, or you can install the unit on the roof. Not only will you have to pay for work time, but there may be a number of preparation tasks that increase the cost of installing your air conditioning system. Buying and installing a used air conditioning unit is acceptable, but then you run the risk that it will not work properly or that it will consume less energy than a newly purchased model.

If you decide to do a central air conditioning installation yourself, we strongly recommend that you do your research and follow all instructions to the letter. If your home lacks ducts to support your new system, you'll need to make some renovations to modernize your home's air conditioning. Every HVAC system has an electrical component, so trained HVAC technicians will know how to address the electrical needs of your air conditioning system. Energy Star states that “improper installation can reduce system efficiency by up to 30%, leading to an increase in utility bills and possibly shortening the lifespan of the equipment.

In addition to the physical aspects of installing a new air conditioning unit, many homeowners hire a professional so they don't have to worry about paperwork. If you've never looked for a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) service before, you should learn about the different options before embarking on a complex installation process. If you've never installed a central air conditioning unit before, the whole process is likely to be a learning experience. A split system includes an outdoor unit and an indoor cabinet, while the packaged type is placed in a cabinet outside or on the roof of the house.

Most areas require permits both for the units themselves and for any enclosures or platforms you need to install to place them. If you are thinking of retiring an old air conditioning unit or installing a new one with refrigerant added to it, you will need a specific certification to manage this process yourself. If you're planning to maintain your own air conditioning unit, it makes sense that you'd want to install it from scratch. In addition, many installation packages include a specific maintenance plan to ensure the longevity and safety of your unit.

At this point, you need to decide where to install it, start the assembly process, and add coolant. Installing an air conditioner is not something that should be taken lightly; there are many risks associated with DIY installation that could lead to poor performance or even safety hazards if done incorrectly. It's important for homeowners who are considering installing their own central air conditioner unit themselves understand all of these risks before attempting such an undertaking. While it is possible for anyone with enough knowledge and experience in HVAC systems and electrical wiring can install their own central air conditioner unit safely and properly, it's always best practice for homeowners who lack such knowledge or experience hire a professional HVAC technician.

Adele Fonseca
Adele Fonseca

Hardcore baconaholic. Lifelong pop culture trailblazer. Subtly charming travel scholar. Freelance bacon enthusiast. Wannabe zombie geek.