The Most Important Day In The Life of an HVAC System
For those folks that find themselves in the market for an air conditioning and/or heating system, it is not uncommon for this question to surface: “How can I make sure I get a good system, and how do I know which ones are the best?”
In a study/report, a number of years back, Consumer Reports identified 3 key factors that contribute to (a) Why an air conditioning & heating system operates efficiently, (b) How long it lasts, and (c) How trouble-free it operates.
The report may be only a few years old, but the truth in the report dates back to the 1950s when air conditioning was invented and began being installed in homes.
Here’s what the report concludes:
10%, they say, is attributed to the homeowner/user and how they use or “drive” the system. For example, if a thermostat setting is changed back and forth rapidly, it can potentially damage the system if the right safety controls aren’t in place. So, YOU play a role in how well your system operates.
20% is attributed to the Brand/Manufacturer of the equipment. Most of the manufacturers are fairly equal. For example, almost every one of the different HVAC manufacturers out there uses the same brand compressor (one of the system’s main components). So… no matter which brand a consumer is looking at, it probably has the identical compressor. Each of Brands/Manufacturers will, from time to time, have a run of equipment with a particular problem.
The remaining 70% is attributed to… the Installing Contractor. This is quite interesting. But, when you consider the difference between an air conditioning and heating (HVAC) system and most other appliances, then it starts to make sense…
Most appliances ‘are how they are’ when they leave the factory… Refrigerators, microwaves, washers and dryers, to name a few. There may be a difference in service after the sale, but there isn’t any difference in how the appliance operates, no matter where you bought it.
With an HVAC system, when you select the Installing Contractor, you are selecting the “Assembly Line.” That’s right… The components of an HVAC system aren’t yet a ‘working system’ when they leave the factory. Sure, each component is tested, but they aren’t tested as a matched system with all of the installation procedures that a matched system MUST have performed. It’s only when the Installing Contractor comes to your home and assembles those components, including mounting, piping, welding, evacuating, wiring and charging, does it become an operating system.
Many HVAC installation processes involve procedures that can either ultimately protect the factory components, or they can harm the factory components. This is especially true in some of the welding processes. There are many processes that the Installing Contractor performs that are critical to your system operating at the efficiency level that it was designed to operate at, operating for the number of years that it was designed to operate, and operating trouble-free… which it was designed to be.
The challenge comes if you make this assumption: “Surely, every Installing Contractor MUST install the systems correctly… otherwise they wouldn’t work right.”
This is simply not true. The manufacturers of HVAC equipment have built the equipment to overcome many potential shortcomings that could happen in the installation process. The following is only one example illustration. It is important to realize that there are numerous other examples that could be listed that are every bit as detailed as this one:
There is an exact level of refrigerant that needs to be installed in an operating HVAC system. That level is determined by a combination of the outdoor unit and indoor unit match-up, the size of the refrigerant lines, and the length of the refrigerant lines. If the level of refrigerant is either too high or too low, the system will not deliver the designed capacity and/or efficiency. And, depending on how far off the level is, it can also damage the system and potentially shorten its life.
The outdoor unit comes from the factory with a certain amount of refrigerant in it as a ‘holding charge.’ The amount that it comes with may be either more or less than the system needs. The factory that built the system has no way of knowing the exact amount. The exact amount will depend on the three factors mentioned above, which will be different for every different home. When the system is started up, very precise readings using a combination of gauges and electronic meters must be taken and properly evaluated, to determine the exact amount of refrigerant necessary. As mentioned earlier, if the system has anything but the exact amount of refrigerant, the system cannot achieve its factory designed capacity or efficiency. Your installing Contractor has to either add or remove the correct amount in order to bring the amount of the refrigerant to its correct level.
The potential problem for you is this: If the level of refrigerant isn’t correct… the system will still operate… and appear to be working correctly. And you won’t know it. You may never know it. It has been proven in studies by several utility companies that many installing contractors simply go with the amount of refrigerant that comes shipped with the system, and they don’t make any further adjustment. In our opinion, this is an unconscionable action that will affect the efficiency, capacity and lifespan of your new system.
In every Allen’s installation, our Electronic Charging Procedure (ECP), using the proper digital measurement equipment, is used when charging the system with refrigerant in order to achieve refrigerant charge accuracy, to the exact ounce.
As mentioned earlier, the refrigerant charge illustration is simply one of many critical procedures that can “make or break” how a system works. The Allen’s installation makes sure that every one of the other critical installation procedures is used on every installation.
Hopefully, this gives you a better idea of why the Consumer Reports study showed that 70% of (a) Why an HVAC system operates efficiently, (b) How long it lasts, and (c) How trouble-free it operates depends on the Installing Contractor. It can be summed up this way, and this answers the question proposed in the headline of this article:
The Most Important Day in the Life of an HVAC System is the Day It Is Installed
Your Allen’s Installation includes many “intangible” benefits that will affect the operation of your new system for years to come.
Your installation also includes these items:
- All work will be done in accordance with existing codes.
- The project will be supervised by a licensed Journeyman of the State of Kentucky.
- All work will be performed by experienced, trained technicians.
- All technicians will wear protective shoe covers when working inside the home, and will use drop cloths where necessary to prevent floors or carpets from dirt & debris from the installation.
- The job site will be completely cleaned of any debris from the installation.
- All installations are covered by Allen’s exclusive “No Surprises” guarantee. If we find that anything was mistakenly or inadvertently left out of the proposal, it is Allen’s responsibility to cover it, and there is no additional cost to you.
- All installations are covered by Allen’s exclusive “Money Back” guarantee. If, after the system has been installed for Twelve (12) months, if the homeowner is not 100% satisfied with the system, Allen’s will offer to take the system out and give a full 100% refund, NON-PRORATED.
Thank you for considering the Allen’s team for the installation of your new system. Allen’s has been serving the 7 county area around Elizabethtown Kentucky for over 59 years. We are proud to have earned the reputation for being the best. Hopefully the insights in this article have given you an idea of just exactly why we’re the best. We know that your trust in our installation team will pay dividends for years to come!
David E. Allen
Call Allen’s Air Conditioning today.