Photo By Maudib at istock
Air conditioners are an essential appliance in many homes and commercial buildings throughout Azle, TX, and for a good reason. They effectively help combat the hot, humid Texan heat. If you’ve gone without an air conditioner installation in your home until now, once you get one, you’ll start to wonder how you managed without it! Before the heat begins to hike up and the intense heat and humidity become uncomfortable, early Spring is the ideal time to consider the purchase of an air conditioning system and where it’s best to place it.
Even if you’re replacing an existing unit, it never hurts to consider if there’s a more suitable location for it within your home. You may be surprised at how much energy you can save with a new unit and how much quicker your home heats and cools, as well as how much more accurate your thermostat becomes when it’s placed in the right area.
Before we delve into the ideal locations for each of the components of your air conditioning system, there are a few elements to consider beforehand.
What’s the current state of your ductwork?
Before you go to the trouble of purchasing a new unit and booking an air conditioner installation in Azle, TX, you need to check whether there is existing ductwork that can carry the cool air throughout your property effectively. If already installed, but you’ve noticed your current air conditioner is not as effective as you expected, it could be less to do with the air conditioner unit and more to do with the size and condition of your ductwork.
Ductwork needs to be kept clean to help maintain cooling efficiency, and all joints need to be effectively sealed to ensure that cool air stays inside. Inefficient and old ductwork can result in up to 20% of air leaking to the outside, not what you want when you’re trying to maintain an interior temperature!
Are you going for a partial or completely new installation?
If you’ve never owned an air conditioner before, then you’ll need a completely new installation. Even if you’ve got an existing system, it might actually be more cost-effective and energy-efficient to install a completely new system rather than rely on old ductwork and inefficiently placed vents. Alternatively, you could consider replacing individual components, such as outdoor condensers, air filters, thermostats, evaporator coils, and even the air ducts, which can be replaced independently of a full air conditioner installation.
Regardless of whether you think you need a complete air conditioner installation service or just want to replace a few crucial components, it’s best to get a professional HVAC technician’s opinion. After all, HVAC technicians have made it their life’s work to install, maintain, and repair all types of air conditioner units all across TX, so there’s no one better to ask if you’re unsure!
What type of air conditioner do you need?
Generally, there are three types of air conditioners:
- Unit air conditioners (split or window)
- Portable air conditioners
- Central air conditioners
Typically, centralized air conditioners are preferable if you’re looking to cool a whole living area, such as a Texan home. Portable and unit air conditioners can also be used. Still, they are generally best at cooling single rooms, which is why central air conditioners are the most prevalent option, particularly in Texas, where you can pretty much guarantee regular AC use year-on-year. For a centralized air conditioner, though, you’ll definitely need the assistance of HVAC pros since ductwork and other elements of your home may need to be modified.
What size air conditioner are you looking for?
Air conditioning units are available in a variety of sizes. The size, naturally, dictates how much air they are capable of cooling, and the amount of cooling energy is typically measured in tons. If you live in a typical two-story home, you’ll find that you’ll require an average of 3-5 tons of AC to cool the entire house effectively. However, this does depend on the number of windows, orientation, sun exposure, location, and living space, so it may be worth getting an assessment done by an HVAC company before you splurge on your ideal unit. Since air conditioner installation is often quite expensive, you must select the right sized air conditioner to get the best out of your investment.
Once you’ve ironed out the existing status of your ductwork, the level of installation you’re looking for, and the size of the air conditioner unit, it’s time to bring together the placement of all the elements!
Where to Place Your Thermostat?
Your thermostat will be a crucial component of your air conditioner installation, especially if you’ve opted for a full HVAC system. Chances are, you’ve already got a thermostat somewhere in your home as part of your existing air conditioner, but will it do your new air conditioner installation justice? As well as great places to put your thermostat, there are also some placement no-nos that you should be aware of when you’re looking to install or replace AC in your home. The placement of your thermostat could make a heck of a difference if you weren’t aware of that already. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the most common places you can find thermostats and whether they’re in the most effective location.
Direct sunlight. The person who installed your original thermostat may not have been aware of whether your thermostat is actually being placed in a location that’s susceptible to direct sunlight. As you might expect, direct sunlight exposure risks generating inconsistent temperature readings, leading to improper heating or cooling in Azle, TX. A thermostat records the room’s temperature that it’s placed in and uses the information to determine whether it needs to kickstart your AC or heating components.
Naturally, if your thermostat is placed in a room that’s warmer than the rest of the house due to regular sunlight exposure from large windows or skylights, then it will think your home, in general, is warmer than it actually is. This can lead to the AC being turned on when it’s already cold in the rest of your home or the heating staying off when you’d like it on because it’s inaccurately calculated the temperature in other areas of your home. Readings affected by direct sunlight can also cause unnecessary power cycling of the HVAC system, which also uses up energy and increases bill costs. This can lead to the belief you need a replacement air conditioner installation, when really the issue could be resolved with correct placement.
Near the kitchen. One of the warmest rooms in your home is usually the kitchen, so having a thermostat in or near this room will naturally lead to erroneous readings. Regular cooking and appliances such as refrigerators, washers, and dryers, generating heat while being used, can easily cause fluctuating temperatures, leading to unnecessary AC usage. When considering air conditioner installation, make sure your thermostat is as far away from this location as possible to guarantee the most accurate readings.
Hallways. While hallways can seem a great place to put a thermostat because there are no appliances or equipment generating heat to throw off the thermostat readings, it’s not the best place for your thermostat, and here’s why. Hallways are empty most of the time, and the airflow is often restricted to a narrow corridor. Also, opening and closing the front door, for example, will create cold drafts that can throw off the accuracy of your thermostat.
Near air vents, doors, or windows. As briefly mentioned in the previous point, keeping your thermostat away from doors will reduce the likelihood of incorrect readings. Placing your thermostat near any object that results in direct airflow hitting the appliance is likely to reduce its effectiveness. If heating is on, it can think the ambient temperature is warmer than it is and switch it off before the room is heated enough, and it may do the same when you want cooled air. Your thermostat will think its job is done before it is, which leads to shorter, more frequent cooling or heating cycles. If placed near doors and windows, they will also be more susceptible to reading the outside air temperature, which, often, is what you’re trying to get away from!
The ideal location? Out of direct sunlight, in or near a room that you or your family spend a lot of time on interior walls away from areas that we’ve previously mentioned.
Where to Place Your Condenser?
An outdoor condenser unit is often installed as part of air conditioner installation to help maintain proper temperatures. When placing a condenser outdoors, you should make sure the location is sufficiently shaded. Excess exposure to direct sunlight can lead to overheating, damage, and regular maintenance calls to your local HVAC team. Also, you should make sure it’s in an easily accessible location that receives sufficient airflow. Not only will this ensure your condenser is operating as it should, but it also makes it easier to maintain. Debris and other blockages that aren’t removed can cause system malfunctions, so having it in an easily accessible, shielded location is best.
Condensers are built and installed as part of a central air conditioner installation to remove the hot air from inside your home. Without this unit, the warm air has fewer places to go, resulting in more intensive cooling requirements inside your home.
Condenser units should always be placed outside, although some people consider putting it in the attic or garage so that it’s shielded from outside elements. However, placing it inside reduces the system’s air supply and also limits the amount of heat that it can remove. Naturally, a condenser placed indoors will also cause the area around it to heat up and potentially radiate to other areas of the home, an undesirable effect when you’re trying to keep your home cool in Texan summers!
The ideal location for a condenser has no large obstructions within 3-4 ft. of the unit. If your home is large enough to require multiple condensers as part of a complex air conditioner installation project, they need to be placed far enough away from each other during the air conditioner installation process to avoid hindering each other’s flow. Where possible, keep nearby plants or bushes trimmed back; this not only reduces the likelihood of leaves and debris blowing into the condenser, but it avoids restricting airflow. Fences and decking should also, where possible, be far enough away from the unit. If it is built into decking, there needs to be openings in the decking structure to allow the airflow to exit.
Where to Place Your Intake and Output Vents?
When considering air conditioner installation, vents are an often overlooked component of air conditioner installation. However, their placement is crucial. Floor vents are no longer sufficient to deal with modern heating and cooling requirements, so it’s time to look elsewhere if this is what you’ve got installed, particularly if you’ve already noticed your AC system struggling to keep up with demand.
Ceiling vents are commonly used today, and for good reasons. They don’t detract from existing or potential usable space; you don’t have to worry about putting furniture in strange locations to prevent airflow blockages. Another reason for placing vents higher up is to do with the Texan climate. We require effective cooling more than we need heating, and since hot air rises, it makes sense to have the output vent located higher up in AC systems to combat the hot, humid climate effectively.
However, that’s not to say that your air conditioner installation can’t include lower vents. If you desire a combined HVAC system, you may prefer to have lower vents to help bring back cool air while heating if you’re more susceptible to the cold. You could even plump for a duct that includes a high/low vent configuration. Really, the choice is yours!
When it comes time for air conditioner installation in Azle, TX, call the technicians at One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Fort Worth. We proudly serve Azle and the surrounding areas with a whole host of air conditioning services. Whether you’re looking for a full or partial air conditioner installation, maintenance, repair, thermostat adjustments, or another HVAC service, we’ve got you covered. Rest assured, our staff is available 24/7, and we’re here to help you make sure your air conditioner installation goes smoothly.