Air Conditioning System Installations
What does Custom Climates offer for cooling system installations?
As a full service and complete heating and cooling company based in Southern New Hampshire, we can design, sell, install, and service all types of air conditioning cooling systems. Like most companies, we have our specialties and will try hard to explain the benefits of any given product compared to another. Please look at our product pages to see which products we prefer, why we chose to carry them, and what benefits they have to our customers.
What do I need to be careful about with air conditioning installations?
Air conditioning systems are meant to be for the comfort and humidity control of the home. An air conditioner that is not designed properly can lead to humidity problems. An oversized unit will short cycle (turn on and off in short periods of time) and lead to a lack of humidity removal from the air. It will lead to a cold damp feeling, like raining in March, rather than a nice cool dry comfort. An undersized unit will leave you hot on the warmest days outside, which is likely the time when you want it to work the most. Air conditioning systems should be designed as close to perfect as possible. With the advancement of technology, it is much more readily available for contractors to be able to do this right.
It is important to keep in mind that with the way these systems are installed, it is likely to be impossible for anyone that is not trained in this industry or without the proper diagnostic tools, to determine whether the system is installed properly or not. An improperly installed air conditioning system may look to the homeowner, the exact same as one that is installed properly. Also, the operation of the improperly installed unit will be drastically affected, but that is not to say it won’t cool your home. The problem is, the improperly installed air conditioner may still cool the home but it may cost you twice as much to do it in operating costs and the life expectancy of the equipment will be drastically reduced.
Custom Climates spends countless hours per year training, reviewing, and educating our employees to be the most professional and knowledgeable technicians that they can be. We always design and install by the best practices and manufacturer recommendations, and we strive to have the best installation possible on every project.
What type of cooling system do I have?
Cooling systems can typically be put into 3 groups, conventional, ductless, and window units. Conventional would include any type of cooling system that delivers the cool air through ductwork that is installed throughout the home/building. These are the most common and can offer some very efficient operation but can lack in comfort and control. Ductless would mainly include any type “on the wall unit” that connects to a separate (split) outdoor unit. Ductless units can offer some of the highest efficiencies as well as the most control of comfort and individual spaces in the home/building, although some find the aesthetics not as pleasing as conventional. Window air conditioning units, also known as window shakers, are not considered a whole home or permanent source of cooling. These units are typically not an ideal source nor are they efficient in operation.
There are a few exceptions for these but this covers 99% of situations here in New Hampshire.
What type of cooling system do I want?
This is a question we get all the time and as was mentioned above there are a few options and benefits for each option. We will try to go over the most common options and the most common information we offer for our customers to make an informed decision.
Conventional – Furnace with A-Coil
If you currently have a furnace in your home with ductwork, then the easiest and most economical way to get cooling is likely using an A-coil and outdoor condenser or heat pump. An A-coil is a small piece of equipment that sits on top of your furnace and the air that the furnace can move by its blower motor passes across the coil to provide cooling. An outdoor unit is the real engine of the cooling system. It is also known as a condenser. A heat pump is also an option if someone wants to also have some supplemental heating capability added to the cooling system. Check out our heat pump information for more details. These split air conditioning systems are usually the easiest to replace and install since the majority of the system (furnace, ductwork, vents) is all existing. But be careful, a cooling system is much more susceptible to poor performance or failure due to a poor duct design/installation because the cool air is denser, heavier, and harder to move. So the duct design has to be right or you’ll never be comfortable. This type of cooling system also has limited control over individual spaces unless the top tier modulating type of equipment and zoning is used.
Conventional – Air Handler
Very similar to the furnace and A-coil, these units are separate from the furnace and can be common with boilers for a heating system. An air handler would be attached to a ducting system and would deliver the cool air through that ductwork and vents. Air handlers can also be connected to condensers or heat pumps. As with the A-coil and furnace, air handler type split air conditioning systems can be susceptible to poor duct design as well as limited control and comfort. A hydronic air handler is also an option, which has a hot water coil that gets heating capability from a boiler in the home/building.
Ductless – Wall Units
When people say ductless, the wall unit is typically what they picture in their minds. Ductless offers the best control over individual spaces as well as comfort. Many manufacturers have very efficient heat pumps as their primary offering, with cooling only options being a dropdown option. Ductless systems are one of the best options for having efficiency, control, and comfort in the home. Please visit our ductless mini-split installations page for more information about these systems.
Ducted Mini Splits
A much less known system option than others, ducted mini-split systems give a customer close to all the benefits of a conventional ducted system as well as close to all the benefits of a ductless mini-split system. These options can do one to four rooms with one small piece of equipment and limited ducting installed. The efficiencies are high and they are very capable of providing the desired comfort that one would expect from a ductless system. The downside is that they are more intrusive with trying to install even a limited amount of ductwork into a space, and they are typically limited to conditioning multiple rooms, especially when those rooms are smaller. They are a great option for people who want the comfort, efficiencies, and control of ductless systems but don’t want or have no space for wall units.
Window Air Conditioners
Because window air conditioners are inexpensive and New Hampshire was traditionally thought of as not needing air conditioning for much of the year, many homes were built without AC and window AC units were the answer. However, people are quickly becoming more concerned about air quality and comfort, and in those two categories window units fail. Window air conditioning units are not efficient at all, primarily due to the size restraints of the coils and casing as well as the voltage that they are able to run on. Window shakers are noisy and generally are not able to condition more than one small space each. The one benefit is that they are very inexpensive. In fact, if something goes wrong with the unit, it is generally less expensive to buy a new one than it would be to purchase a new one from your big box store.