The Basics of Air Conditioning Installation

A new Air Conditioning Installation in Norfolk VA consists of an evaporator unit inside and a compressor and condenser on the exterior, with piping running between them. This type of ductless system is quieter and more energy efficient than central air conditioning.

A professional assessment by an HVAC expert determines the right sized system for your home. This helps avoid costly surprises later and maximizes energy efficiency.


A new AC unit’s price can vary significantly depending on the type of system and features you choose. The system’s size and SEER rating will influence its cost, but other factors can also drive up the price. For example, if you want a smart system, it will cost more than a standard model.

The location of your home will also impact the price of an air conditioning installation. Mobile homes, for instance, will need ductless mini-splits or window units since they can’t install ducts. In addition, adding ducts to an older house can cost more than installing a system in a newer home.

Your HVAC contractor’s fees can add to the overall cost of an AC installation as well. You should always get quotes from three or four contractors before making a decision. Also, consider scheduling your installation during the spring or fall when contractors are less busy and can offer you a better deal.


Air conditioning systems are sized by the number of BTUs they can remove from the air per hour. A licensed HVAC contractor can calculate what size system you need based on the square footage of your home. They can also advise you on any energy-saving modifications to your home that may reduce the peak cooling capacity required, lowering your installation costs.

An air conditioner will require ductwork to provide conditioned air throughout your home, so if your house does not have ductwork, this will add to the installation costs. If you opt for a split ductless system, which eliminates the need for large ductwork, this will further lower your installation and ongoing energy costs.

New AC units are available in a variety of efficiency ratings, and it makes sense to choose one with the highest SEER rating. It will cost more upfront, but will save you energy costs in the long run. If your house does not have adequate insulation, upgrading it will also help reduce your installation and energy costs.


A professional should be able to complete AC installation within four to eight hours. They’ll need to inspect the thermostat (or replace it), and make sure the airflow is correct. They’ll also take measurements to determine the size of the unit you need.

Choosing the right size of air conditioner requires an evaluation of your home’s load calculations. This is a relatively easy calculation that helps the contractor determine what size unit your house needs. The contractor will also examine insulation, leaks, and the location of existing ducts or vents.

If you’re installing a window air conditioning unit, choose a spot that’s clear of objects and plants and at least 3.3 feet from electrical sources such as intercoms, TV antennas, and power lines. The space should be framed with studs and anchored to the wall with plastic anchors. It should also be a place that’s safe to open and close the window. Once the air conditioner is in place, secure it to the mounting plate with copper pipes, drain pipe, and wires.


There are several maintenance procedures that should be done on a regular basis to keep your air conditioner working properly. These include checking the air filter, electrical connections, and thermostat. A programmable thermostat makes it easier to maintain an ideal temperature in the home.

The concrete pads that AC units sit on can sink over time, but this isn’t a big deal if the unit is still level and there are no signs of active refrigerant leaks or water puddles around it. However, if the pad is sinking and pulling on copper coolant lines or the AC unit, it’s time to replace the pad.

An HVAC professional can help with this. They can also perform a load calculation to ensure the air conditioning unit is correctly sized for the home. This helps prevent it from having to work overtime to meet the home’s cooling requirements, which saves energy and money. Some HVAC companies offer a service contract that includes annual maintenance visits.