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Does an AC Unit Take Long to Install? A Peoria, IL HVAC Expert Answers

By May 8, 2024No Comments
how long does it take to install an AC unit

Utilizing an AC system in your home is essential for these hot summers, especially when Peoria gets as high as 86 degrees. Your family members won’t handle those high temperatures for very long. Even indoor plants prefer a temperature range of about 60 to 75 degrees. 

Unfortunately, not every home comes preinstalled with an HVAC unit. Some may use ones that are too small or inefficient for the property size. 

So how long does it take to install an AC unit for the first time, and when should you invest in a new one?

How Long Does It Take to Install an AC Unit?

There are a variety of factors that can affect how long it takes to install an AC unit. It isn’t always an overnight ordeal. In some cases, you may need to add components such as ductwork to a building if you hope to have centralized air conditioning. 

House Size and AC Unit Size

The first factor to consider is the size of your building and the subsequent size you’ll need for your AC unit. 

Not every unit will work with all property sizes. In many cases, using something too small and underpowered will cause it to work too hard and wear itself out. You also won’t achieve the kind of cooling and heating that you expect. 

To know what size AC unit you need, you’ll need to calculate the square footage of the space and the cooling capacity you’ll need. It’s also essential to make adjustments for more specific factors like the amount of sun or shade a room gets. 

Professional Help

Not every AC unit requires professional assistance to install them. For example, a portable unit often only requires a ventilation point and electricity to function. The same goes for a window unit. 

The same cannot be said for central AC units, which can weigh upwards of 200 pounds and may need to be placed in certain areas of your building. You also have to take into consideration if your AC needs ductwork, a drain line, and other associated components. 

On top of that, your AC unit professional may not be available every day. They may have emergency jobs they need to deal with during the installation process, which can prolong the timeline by a day or two. 

Installation Point

One of the main reasons you may want to hire professional help for your AC installation is because of where you’re installing the unit. 

Something like a window unit is often put in place alone by a homeowner with the help of a friend. You align the unit in the window, screw it into place, and use the accessories provided to enclose the space around it. 

However, something like a central AC unit is much more complicated. In many cases, these are installed in the attic space of your home so they have direct access to your ductwork. 

Maneuvering this large unit by yourself will be difficult at best. Most homeowners also won’t know how to properly attach all the electrical connections and other various components. 

It’s also possible to install it somewhere on the ground level. In that case, you’ll still want to hire a professional to install it for you and make sure everything is up to code.

Types of AC Units

The biggest indicator of how long it’ll take to install your AC unit is the type you invest in. Which one you use will depend on the kind of space you’re hoping to cool and what your home allows. Not every building will work with central AC unless you make some major renovations. 

A ductless split mini system is a great option for homes without an HVAC system. They function much like window units except that they come with an exterior unit and are typically installed in the top corner of the wall. 

Ductless systems are easier to install but may still require a professional’s help.

In comparison, something like central air will require ductwork. This can lengthen the time it takes to make it fully operational if there isn’t any preexisting ductwork. 

AC Ductwork

As previously mentioned, ductwork is an important part of central air conditioning. Without ductwork, your air can’t circulate properly. 

Unfortunately, homes that haven’t had central AC in the past likely won’t have ductwork installed. That means buying a new system also means buying and installing new ductwork. 

If your home does have preexisting ductwork, then that means half of your work is already completed. At most, you’ll want your AC professional to assess your ducts and see if there are any problems or leaks. 

AC Unit Replacement or Upgrade

How can you tell if your AC unit is due for a replacement or an upgrade? 

Some signs that you may need a new AC unit include strange smells, poor airflow, and high energy bills. A more obvious sign is if you suffer a refrigerant leak that keeps your system from pushing out cold air. 

If you replace or upgrade your AC unit to something similar, then installation will be simple. However, going from something like a window unit to central air is a lengthier process. 

Ongoing Maintenance

Once your new unit is installed, it’s important to stay on top of its maintenance. Your installer should be able to let you know what you should and shouldn’t do to keep it running at peak efficiency. 

Most of this will involve replacing your air filters and using weather stripping to seal your home. However, you may also need to clean your outdoor condenser coils and your evaporator coil. 

Get Help With Your Next Project

How long does it take to install an AC unit? Depending on the type you invest in, it could take anywhere from an hour to a week. A lot of time will be spent on putting in new ductwork if your system and home need it. 

Lambie Heating & Air Conditioning has provided HVAC services in Peoria, IL since 1962. We service all makes and models, and we’re family-owned and operated. Reach out today if you need help installing your new AC unit. 

(309) 216-6619