Do I need a permit to install a new air conditioner?
Yes. Whether you live in the city or the county, a house, condo, town home or mobile home a permit is a legal requirement. The issuance of a permit usually involves making a drawing of the property showing the location of the air conditioner, some cities require engineering sound calculations to keep your neighbors happy and then taking this to the building department along with an application. The fees for this vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Permits are usually issued the same day. After we complete your home improvement and you star enjoying your investment, we call for an inspection and set up an appointment with the city inspector.
The inspector actually works for you, the homeowner
They make sure that the system safe, up to code and meets the installation requirements as set forth by the manufacturer of the equipment. When the job is completed and safe the inspector will sign off the permit. Some companies illegally do these jobs without a permit and when they are busted, the homeowner gets the fine, not the contractor. Here at the Empire Family of Services, we take care of obtaining the permit, take care to install your new home comfort system properly and take care to ensure that that your home improvement passes muster with the city. We do all of this so that your new home comfort system takes care of you and your family for many years to come in a trouble free efficient and cost effective manner.
Since my new air conditioner was installed
Since my new air conditioner was installed, our electric bill has skyrocketed
We don’t even use the air conditioning very much and are only running it for a few hours at night. Is something wrong?
Yes. New air conditioners should cost you about one half as much to run as an older unit. They come with Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratings (SEER) of 13 as a minimum and go as high as 20+. The older machines had ratings down around 6. This means that if the air conditioning portion of your electrical bill was $200 before the install, the new portion should be 6 divided by 13 times 200 or about $92 saving you over $100 a month.
If your energy bill has skyrocketed
If your energy bill has skyrocketed there probably is a problem somewhere in the system. Upon installation a new air conditioner must be tested and have the refrigerant charge accurately adjusted. These are not preset by the factory as every job site has different conditions. North Carolina Alternative Energy Corp. found that 90% of the units they tested exhibited some sort of energy wasting problem, 50% had an improper refrigerant charge and 40% had inadequate airflow.
Proper installation of the air conditioner and testing
Proper installation of the air conditioner and testing of the system as a whole is crucial to performance and energy savings.
In the order of most problematic first with the installation of a new system:
1. Improper Freon Charge. 10% under or overcharge equates to a 20% reduction in efficiency.
2. Ducting undersized, broken or restricted. 35% of all wasted btus in heating and cooling systems are lost from the ducting.
3. Oversized air conditioners. This cause short cycling (on-off) rather than on the majority of the day. When an air runs for a longer period of time it removes moisture and adds to the comfort ability in the home.
4. Improper installation. Lack of clearances around the outdoor unit restricting airflow to the cooling coils. Undersized or over length copper lines to and from the outdoor unit to the indoor unit.
If you are going to have a new system installed, don’t you think you have it installed properly. Protect yourself and insist upon a permit.