Central air conditioning units are major investments. They generally cost anywhere from $4,000 to $8,000 depending on the brand and size of the unit. Some are even more expensive. Having them professionally installed only adds to the overall cost. Because of that, some people consider taking the do-it-yourself approach to AC installation to save money.
Taking the DIY route may save a little money upfront in theory, but it could actually cost far more than you expect in practice. Installing a central air conditioning system on your own isn't recommended. It's best to turn to professionals who offer installation for heating and air conditioning near me. Consider the following five reasons why trying to install an air conditioner yourself is a bad idea.
1) Technical Considerations
For one, air conditioner installation is a highly technical and complicated process. It's not the same as putting a window unit into place; it requires knowledge, experience, and precision. Professional HVAC technicians have the training and tools to do the job right. They understand the complexities of electrical wiring, adding refrigerant, calibrating the thermostat, and other important factors that are part of the process. In short, professionals will install your AC correctly. You might not, especially if you don't have previous electrical and mechanical training.
2) Safety Concerns
Safety is also a major concern when installing an air conditioning system. Working with electricity is one of the most significant dangers. While trying to install an air conditioner, you could get a serious shock or even be electrocuted. Handling refrigerant can also be dangerous. If you're exposed to high levels of it, it can cause health issues. Refrigerant is also flammable. Furthermore, if you add too much of it to your AC system or use the wrong technique when putting it in, it could explode.
Beyond the dangers of the installation process, installing an air conditioner without the right knowledge and experience could lead to safety hazards down the road. If the system isn't installed properly, it could cause an electrical fire. If you added too much refrigerant to the system when installing it, the AC unit could explode while it's running. Those are only a few of the safety issues to consider.
3) Inadequate Performance
Additionally, installing an air conditioner yourself could cause performance issues. It may not work at all once you get it installed. On the other hand, it may run, but it may not operate efficiently. If the thermostat isn't connected or calibrated properly, it will affect the air conditioner's performance. In the event you added too much or too little refrigerant to the system, efficiency and effectiveness will suffer. In turn, your monthly power bills will be higher, and the unit may not last as long as it should.
4) Voiding the Warranty
Another problem with DIY air conditioner installation is potentially voiding the warranty. AC manufacturers generally state in their warranties that installation has to be performed by a professional for coverage to apply. They're likely to require documented proof of professional installation. If an issue arises with your air conditioner and the manufacturer finds out that you did the installation yourself, you'll have to pay for repairs or replacement out of pocket.
5) Code Compliance Issues
Also, keep in mind that certain codes and regulations apply to air conditioner installation. If you install an AC system yourself and don't comply with those standards, you could face serious consequences down the road. If you decide to sell the house later on and inspectors notice problems with the air conditioner installation, you may have to have them resolved before placing the house on the market. In the event your house catches fire and an improperly installed air conditioner is to blame, your insurance company may deny your claim.
Get Added Reassurance With Professional Intervention
For all these reasons, installing an air conditioner yourself isn't a good idea. Doing so could place you and your family in danger. It may cause the system not to work properly or efficiently. DIY installation could void your AC warranty and your homeowner's insurance. It may leave you unable to obtain insurance coverage or sell your house in the future. Professional installation eliminates those problems and gives you added reassurance that all is well with your air conditioning system. It may add to the upfront cost of the system, but it'll actually cost you far less over the long term.