Your air conditioner may require endless tune-ups leading you to spend a lot of money on repairs. These signs may indicate that your AC requires replacement. At Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, we provide our clients with reliable air conditioner replacement services. Our technicians will advise you on what type of air conditioner suits your home best and install the system for you as needed.
As detailed below, there are several steps to installing a replacement AC unit.
Home Visit by Technicians for an Estimate
There are different air conditioners, including portable air conditioners, window air conditioners, domestic or split-system air conditioners, and single-room air conditioners. Most technicians will recommend the split system for a household because it cools multiple rooms simultaneously. The single-room air conditioner caters to only one room at a go. The split system comprises an indoor unit and an outdoor unit, and the installation is ductless, making it easier to install.
Our technicians will also need to identify where to place the replacement air conditioner. If you were using an older model, its current space might not be sufficient for your new system as it will be more significant. Newer air conditioner models are larger, allowing them to accommodate a larger coil, making them more efficient. Your HVAC specialist will then give you an estimate of how much the whole installation process will cost.
Uninstalling the Current Outdoor Unit
The next step our technicians will carry out will be removing the refrigerant from your outside unit using a recovery machine and recovery tank. This equipment is mandatory as venting refrigerant to the open air is considered unlawful. Our EPA-certified technicians will safely use the equipment to remove and handle the refrigerant pipes. We will disconnect your old system’s wiring by turning off the disconnect box. We can then remove the system altogether.
Outside Unit Pad Replacement
Our technicians will first level the ground, using gravel, where they will place the new outside unit. They will then pour a composite pad, which is preferred to the concrete pad because its design allows it to sit outside for longer without getting damaged. The concrete pads are prone to drastic shifts resulting in cracks, and repairs may be difficult to achieve. Composite pads can absorb vibrations produced by the outdoor unit, and they can mask or reduce the noises and shaking of the outside unit.
Removal and Replacement of the Evaporator Coils
The indoor evaporator coil is an essential part of your AC, and our technicians will place it on the furnace. An evaporator coil comes in two variations, a cased or an uncased coil. We recommend a cased coil as it comes with an insulated cabinet housing the coil behind a removable panel, making it accessible. The cased evaporator makes repairs and modifications easier. When installing a new coil, we will disconnect the metal plenum first and then carry on with the installation.
An uncased coil comes without an insulated cabinet and has more preparation requirements, taking a long time to install. The evaporator coil has a plastic drainpipe; therefore, our technicians will first install a rail that creates distance between the furnace and the coil. The next step is connecting the coil and the supply plenum. A smaller coil will require our technicians to build a metal sheet to cover the space between the coil and the plenum. The last step is creating a plenum door with holes to connect the refrigerant and condensate lines to the evaporator coil. The gate protects the coil from any damage.
Removing and Replacing the Copper Refrigerant Lines
The refrigerant line comprises two copper lines that allow the refrigerant to travel to the outside condenser and back to the evaporator coil installed earlier. Both the refrigerant and oil travel through the copper lines, but new systems do not use the same oil as old systems. The oils should therefore not mix at any point as this would damage the new AC. We recommend installing new refrigerant lines contrary to using the old lines. If it’s not possible, we will flush and clean the old lines ensuring the line pressure is working.
Our technicians will install hangers in areas where the refrigerant line passes through to hold them in place while avoiding bending them. Bends may reduce the efficiency of your new AC unit. We will ensure the lines are close enough to reach the condenser’s valve located outside. The lines run from the outside unit back to the indoor coil we installed on your furnace.
We will then install a control wire connecting the furnace to the outside unit and another line to the thermostat. The air conditioner will use this line to signal the unit when it needs to go on or off, allowing for cooling.
Setting Up the Condenser on the Pad
Our technicians will set the outside unit on the composite pad they had set up earlier in the process. Before setting it up, they will inspect the unit for any damages it may have gotten in transit. They will then place the unit on the pad and connect the refrigerant line installed earlier to the condenser’s appropriate service valve.
Your technician will melt the refrigerant line, the service rod, and the filler rod to hold them together. This will form a leak-free connection protecting you from unprecedented accidents. Our technicians will use heat protection, such as a heat-absorbing paste or wet towels or rugs during blazing. Heat protection serves to keep heat from spreading to the coil. We will also purge nitrogen while blazing, protecting the copper tubing from the oxidation process likely to occur during the melting process.
Filter Dryer Installation
Filter dryers are vital components in the refrigerant system as they absorb moisture and provide physical filtration. Therefore, you should ensure that your new setup includes a liquid line filter dryer installation during the condenser installation process. Our technicians will install the filter dryer close to the expansion valve at the evaporator coil as recommended by the manufacturers. This ensures the expansion valve is protected and the filter dryer is safe from bad weather that could lead to rust.
Installation of the New Wiring
We will then install the disconnect box and mount it with appropriate fasteners. There are two types of disconnect boxes: fused and non-fused boxes. The fused box allows for overcurrent protection, and most manufacturers recommend its use. Our technicians will only use the non-fused box if the breaker and the overcurrent protection listed by the AC manufacturers match. We’ll ensure that your unit is within the minimum and maximum overcurrent protection guidelines.
Condensate Drain Installation
Moisture removed from your home travels through a PVC pipe attached to the condenser coil during the cooling process. The PVC pipe then has a connection to a floor drain, and in homes that do not have a floor drain, our technicians will use a condensate pump. We’ll secure the condensate tubing and piping with glue and cement and install an overflow safety switch. This protects your house and equipment from floods.
The final step involves turning on the system and letting it run for 15 to 20 minutes, which is enough time for the air conditioner system to start up. We’ll make sure everything is running smoothly and that there are no leaks from the system. Commissioning aims to give you peace of mind as well as activate the manufacturer’s warranty.
At Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, we provide the best air conditioner installation, maintenance, and repair services in Sacramento and the surrounding area. If you experience heating problems, we also offer reliable heating services. Contact us today for more information.