First Steps for Installing an AC Unit



Keeping cool during these scorching summer months is more important than ever. Luckily, there are more energy-efficient air conditioning units on the market. Windowsill units are the easiest to handle but have a limited capacity. If you have a larger home, then a central unit is required.

The leanest way to install a central air system is for you to set it up and let the professionals handle all the wiring and dangerous chemicals. The Environmental Protection Agency states that a licensed professional is required to handle the refrigerant for your unit.

Confirm Building Code Requirements (or Limitations)

Three agencies write the residential building code requirements: The IAMPO mainly deals with plumbing, the International Code Council takes responsibility for the safety and building structure, and the NFPA deals with fire safety.

The ACCA is the air conditioning association that works with the ICC to provide the manuals that govern the codes and regulatory designs for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC). Manual J has the residential load calculations for the region needed.  Manual D keeps the duct system in compliance, and Manual S governs the equipment selection. These manuals are on the ACCA’s website. See this YouTube video series for what code officials need to know about HVAC.

Load calculations measure heat flow from area to the next, depending on the time of year. These measurements vary between different parts of the home. The windows, skylights, floors, wall panels, the orientation of the home, and the doors all have an important role in the measurements. The Manual J will provide the tables for the best match suitable for your unit.

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