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10 Mistakes When Installing A Ducted Air Conditioner

The 10 biggest mistakes when installing a ducted air conditioner are listed below. Make sure you avoid these before you make your purchase. We’ve also included some tips on what to look for when deciding on the right contractor.


Choosing the wrong size unit


Every room in the house needs to be cooled, not just one! A ducted air conditioning Central Coast system can service 4 rooms, but if they’re all small rooms you’ll still end up with an undersized system that will have no problem keeping them cool during summer, but will struggle to maintain a pleasant temperature in those same spaces during winter-time. If your home is of average size and square meters this mistake comes with an expensive price tag, Installing a ducted air conditioning system that’s too large is an expensive mistake! Make sure you note down the correct BTU of each room and add them up for a total, then have a contractor work out the right size unit.


Choosing roof-tops or short down-pipes 


The height of your roof and the length of your downpipe will determine if there are restrictions on installing ducts from inside to outside. If you have low roofs and short down-pipes, it means you’ll be limited in how long your duct can be, which limits how many rooms your system can cool. In these cases, we recommend choosing a more compact system with smaller cassettes so that they’re less visible on the exterior of your home.


Proper insulation 


It goes without saying that if there are heat-losses in one room, they’ll be transmitted to the rest of the house. Choose a contractor that knows how to insulate all ducts and not just the exposed ones. Insulating walls is often done after installation, but you can avoid this problem by simply buying an air conditioner with high SEER ratings (SEER = Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). A higher SEER means lower energy consumption which means less wasted power travelling through exposed pipes.


Choosing the wrong installer 


This task will take 2 or more tradespeople to do properly. If your new system is only ventilated on one side you’re going to need someone who can seal the ducts from the inside. If your entire system is only going to be vented on one side you’ll need someone who can install a wall sleeve and seal it properly. For a proper installation both of these steps must be done without gaps or leakage because if warm air gets outside, it will get in.


Choosing an installer that doesn’t know how to size the unit 


For your new system to work well, your contractor must understand what sizes are available and how they differ from each other. The things to look out for are BTU ratings (the higher the better), SEER rating (the higher the better), Dehumidification (the higher the better) and a High-Quality Compressor.


All of these things contribute towards your new system running as efficiently as possible, saving you money on your energy bills for many years to come.


Not fitting enough indoor unit 


If you’ve got a large home with 4 rooms or more that need cooling during summer, make sure there are enough indoor units to provide one per room. We don’t recommend going any lower than 1-1 because it’s simply not cost-effective. The smaller the cassette, the less airflow it provides which results in an undersized air conditioner that struggles to cool a small room effectively. Installing a ducted air conditioning system? You’ll get more from your money by investing in a larger system that can provide an instant cooling effect in each room.


Not sealing the ducts 


Once all of your pipes are installed you’ll need to have them sealed with cloth tape for them to be airtight. If cold air escapes out through gaps in the piping your system won’t work as efficiently as it should. This step is often done by a tradesperson who specializes in this area, so make sure you ask around and see which contractor has had great success here.


Fitting them too low or unevenly 


If you’re planning on installing wall sleeves then there’s no correct height or position that will suit everyone. It depends on how much space you have available under your window sills, but we recommend trying to keep them as low as possible for a more compact installation. If you’re looking at ceiling sleeves then there’s no right way to do it and they can go anywhere that is convenient for you and within your available height.


Too small of an indoor unit 


A rule of thumb is each room needs 1/5th to 1/10th of an indoor unit. If it’s a large room split into 4 different areas then you’re going to need multiple cassettes to provide enough cooling for the entire space.


Not sealing up all gaps 


To keep your system as efficient as possible, you must seal any gaps or penetrations in your home. Have a look around the outside of your house, make sure no cables are poking through, all of your downpipes are sealed and that guttering is clean. The same goes for inside the house. Make sure there are no gaps around light fittings, switches or outlets along with any penetrations by wires or pipes into the roof cavity.



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