The air conditioner is one of the most highly demanded appliances. When the weather gets hot, a/c installation companies are overwhelmed with requests. Instead of waiting for the a/c expert to find the time to install an air conditioner, some homeowners try to do it on their own.
Unless you have related experience, installing major appliances without professional assistance can be complicated. In the worst case, you could cause damage to the air conditioner or hurt yourself in the process.
If you decide to proceed without professional assistance, these tips can help you through the installation.
1. Prepare the Space
If you are planning to install a window air conditioner, you need to make sure it fits your window frame. Before buying the appliance, make measurements. More often than not, these appliances are standard. However, window designs may differ.
Once you have the appliance at home, try to fit it into a window carefully. If something is off, you still have time to return it.
If you are planning to install a two-unit a/c, you need to make sure the outdoor part is easily accessible for maintenance. Otherwise, you would need to rent special equipment or call the experts to change filters or clean the unit.
2. Get Assistance
Even if you decide to install an a/c on your own, you still need someone to help you. An average window unit weighs between 80 and 120 pounds. Hauling it around on your own can be dangerous.
You would need to find someone to hold the unit in place while you are securing it on your window. Some a/c can weigh as much as 200 pounds, so you may want to get a couple of people to help you.
Don’t try to hold the a/c and secure it at the same time.
3. Check the Wattage Rating
Each appliance has its own wattage rating. While some appliances may use less power than others due to their energy efficiency, ignoring the rating could cause the a/c to overload the circuit.
Small air conditioners may not require a new circuit, so you can plug them into an existing one, together with other units. However, according to experts from Hartman, air conditioning installation company, a/c units over 15,000 BTUs and higher need a dedicated circuit.
If you aren’t sure whether your a/c needs a dedicated circuit, you may want to contact a professional a/c technician or electrician.
Benefits of DIY A/C Installation
While complicated, time-consuming, and possibly hazardous, installing the a/c on your own comes with several advantages, including:
- Timetable – you choose when, where, and how to install the air conditioner. You don’t need to wait for the a/c installation experts to find a free spot for you. This is especially beneficial during the hot summer months.
- Cost–efficiency – when you hire installation experts, you pay for labor. While costs aren’t usually too high, it’s an expense many homeowners prefer to avoid. When you do a DIY installation, your expenses stop when your purchase the unit as well as installation equipment and materials.
- New experience – when installing a new appliance, you gain valuable experience. You can consult your friends and family about a/c installation in the future.
Overall, if you have sufficient time for research, it’s possible to install the a/c on your own.
Disadvantages of DIY A/C Installation
While DIY a/c installation may seem like a good idea, it comes with a few downsides:
- Experience – without the proper experience, you will spend a substantial amount of time on a/c installation. Eventually, results aren’t guaranteed.
- Damage – if you make a mistake when installing the a/c, it’s easy to damage the unit and the surrounding furniture or flooring
- Hazard – any DIY installation comes with certain electrocution hazards. You need to be very thorough about the safety equipment and procedure.
Overall, if you work with installation experts, you are likely to save time and money while keeping yourself safe.
While DIY a/c installation is possible, it doesn’t come recommended unless you have experience and proper assistance. If you decide to install the air conditioner on your own, take the time to go through professional tutorials and ask for expert advice.