If your current central air conditioning unit is on its last legs, or it’s gone out completely, you know replacing it is the only option to keep your home cool this summer. The problem is, air conditioning installation isn’t always cheap. While you definitely want to save money, you don’t want to go cheap on a unit – too small and it won’t keep your home cool and it will wear out too quickly. You also want to get your air conditioner from a trusted brand, but quality often costs a bit more.
What about DIY installation? Should you just buy the equipment and install your AC unit yourself? To help you decide the right decision, 6 & Fix is breaking down the pros and cons of a DIY AC install.
The Benefits of Installing an Air Conditioner
First, let’s look at how it benefits you to begin researching how to install your new AC.
Saving Money on Initial Investment
While HVAC companies get a contractor rate for air conditioners, especially from the manufacturers they specially partner with, there are still labor costs involved. Buying a unit from a home improvement store will most likely save you on your initial investment.
Learning a New Skill
There’s a lot to be said about learning a new skill and the pride you can get in a DIY project. After painting a room or laying new flooring, you can stand back and admire the work you did yourself, and you may get the same feeling from installing your air conditioner.
Research the Exact Unit You Want
While most HVAC companies can service and repair all brands of air conditioners, most HVAC companies only sell and install specific brands of units. If you’re doing everything on your own, you have ultimate freedom and control over choosing your unit.
The Drawbacks of Installing an Air Conditioner
Saving money, getting exactly what you want and pride in a job well done are great benefits, but we also want to share some factors that may make installing an AC a project best left to the professionals.
It’s Time Consuming
Hanging drywall, painting, even patching a roof, are all weekend warrior projects. Installing an air conditioner is not one of those. You need to learn about air conditioning first, beyond watching a few YouTube videos. And duct work. And electrical wiring. Licensed HVAC technicians undergo at least a year of training plus hands-on experience under the guide of an experienced mentor in order to ensure a safe, efficient installation.
So, at minimum, researching should take several weeks, plus the sheer volume of time it takes to connect your new unit and ensure it’s set up correctly could take closer to a month or more.
Permits & Certifications
In order to install a new unit, depending on where you live, you may need permits from your local officials. A professional in your area already knows what to navigate as well as costs and waiting times involved and factors that in.
In order to add refrigerant to your air conditioning unit or remove an old unit that has refrigerant inside, you’ll need to have special EPA-certification to do this legally and safely. This involves studying for an exam, plus paying a fee, whereas a certified technician already has this certification in place.
Most DIY projects are exhausting, but HVAC can be especially challenging. Working with duct work, lifting heavy equipment, and the minutiae of ensuring wiring is done safely and correctly is intensive, more so if you’re not used to doing it.
Unless you’re experienced in wiring and electricity, you could shock yourself or create a fire hazard trying to connect the unit to your electrical panel. Working with refrigerant, using saws and drills to run lines, installing evaporator coils – these are not safe for the inexperienced DIY-er.
If you install your new AC unit yourself, there’s a good chance you’ll void the warranty as most require them to be installed by licensed technicians. Also, without in-depth knowledge of fitting the existing duct work to your new unit and making sure it’s properly sealed, you’ll be losing energy, causing a massive spike in your energy bills.
Contact Us for AC Installation
DIY projects are great, but there are some projects that really are better left to the professionals, and AC unit installation is one of them. At 6 & Fix you’ll get a skilled, experienced team working with you to choose the right air conditioner for your home and budget. We serve Garner, Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Durham, Knightdale, and surrounding areas. Get a quote today.