Important Details About Your AC Installation And The Refrigerant Lines

Posted on: 14 June 2023

If your air conditioner is several years old, the old condenser might be smaller than an equivalent modern condenser. New condensers sometimes have larger coils to make the AC operate more efficiently. When you get a new AC, that can pose a problem if you keep the old coil in the air handler indoors. AC contractors often recommend replacing both coils at the same time so that they're the same size and compatible with each other. Here are more important details about AC installations.

A New Type Of Refrigerant May Be Needed

Depending on how old your AC is, you may need to change to a new type of refrigerant when you have your AC installation done. Refrigerant that was used years ago has been phased out since it was harmful to the environment. New air conditioners come with the new refrigerant, which is a benefit if you ever have a leak since the old refrigerant is hard to find and expensive.

The new refrigerant may not work with old refrigerant lines and coils, and that's another reason why your AC contractor will talk to you about the need to get a new evaporator coil in the air handler at the same time you get a new condenser coil and refrigerant lines.

More Cooling Power Isn't Always Better

An air conditioner has to be sized properly by a contractor. If your old air conditioner didn't do a very good job of keeping you cool, look at things such as the insulation in your home, the condition of your windows, and the energy efficiency of your old unit. It's possible a unit with the same cooling power will be sufficient since it's more energy efficient. However, your contractor will determine this by doing a load calculation that takes several factors beyond the square footage of your home into account. Simply buying a larger AC could result in problems with the way it works and high power bills.

A Plastic Pad May Be Better Than Concrete

If your old condenser is in the ideal spot, you may want your new one to go there too. However, moving it to a new location may be worth it when you get a new AC installation. A new AC should be quieter than your old one, so you probably won't need to move the condenser for noise reasons. Instead, you might want a place that protects the equipment from full sun all day.

The heat inside the condenser can soar in the summer, even with the fan running. During a heatwave, the parts can even struggle to work and burn out. Moving the condenser might help if there is a shady area available, but if not, you might put up a sunscreen that doesn't block airflow but blocks the sun.

Another thing to consider is the condenser pad. A condenser doesn't have to rest on a concrete slab. Instead, a plastic base that's placed on gravel could work if you decide to move the condenser. This type of base has feet that can be adjusted to keep the condenser level. The heavy-duty plastic won't crack or warp like other materials will over time.

For more information on an AC installation, contact a professional near you.