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How Long Does It Take To Install an AC Unit

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Many homeowners dread how long installations take. Some of us postpone unit purchases and replacements to avoid lengthy installations. 

However, putting off AC installation and other services only delays your comfort. Waiting might be the longest step in the entire AC installation process. 

Reliable HVAC contractors are equipped to provide you with more efficient services. Experienced specialists conduct unit installations effectively and accurately, condensing timeframes and helping you stick to your budget.

Read more about AC installations to avoid unexpected delays and faulty installations below.

Do Air Conditioners Take Long to Install?

The average AC installation service takes between four to fourteen hours. That is relatively quick for system extraction and installation. 

The total overhaul may take up an entire half of your day. However, some HVAC contractors split the work between two days, dedicating the first day to system extraction and the next to installations. Without an existing unit to extract, contractors may dedicate one day to laying the groundwork for unit integration.

The length of time varies between the types of HVAC systems involved in the process. How big and how extensive are your old AC unit’s connections? Thorough extractions are a painstaking but necessary process before integrating newer installations. 

Even without system extractions, laying a foundation for an all-new AC installation may take a few hours. Nearly all air conditioners require some groundwork, such as drilling and developing bearings for separate units. 

Air conditioning systems have two major components: the indoor and outdoor units. Typical installations involve at least two AC units. However, some air conditioners have more components, requiring more extensive installations.

What kind of air conditioner do you already have, and what do you plan to install?

What Air Conditioner Takes the Longest to Install?

All air conditioners condition indoor air, altering temperatures and distributing airflow. Most air conditioners also filter pollutants to maintain your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ).

AC systems are sophisticated machinery with complex mechanisms. Some air conditioners are simpler than others, with fewer attachments and more accessible components. 

Still, AC units take hours to install or extract. Knowing which kinds are involved in the process helps us estimate costs and timeframes more accurately. 

While there are plenty of variations, only four types of air conditioners exist. All air conditioners fall under four categorical types, with differential components yet similar functions.  

Which of these air conditioners is going to be involved in the installation process? 

Central Air Conditioning Systems

Most homeowners have traditional air conditioners providing ambient cooling. Central systems are linked through air ducts in your home to facilitate whole-home distribution.

Conditioned airflow circulates through air vents to alter indoor temperatures. Air vents are attached to ductwork and draw resources from an outdoor unit.

Central systems are ducted systems and require the most attachments. They require comprehensive installations, taking the longest of all AC types to install. Extracting them from your home takes hours to complete and patch up.

Installing central systems may take eight to fourteen hours, especially without any existing ductwork. Facilitating elaborate ductwork takes hours on its own, whether you are installing or removing them.

Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioners

Ductless systems greatly reduce installation time. Experienced HVAC contractors can complete mini-split integrations within four to six hours

Contractors will need more time to extract existing systems or to install more units. However, you can decide between AC units, find a place to put them, call contractors, and install them all in one day. 

Mini-split configurations provide a degree of separation, granting more liberties than most air conditioning systems. Ductless AC units only rely on internal components for resource circulation and output distribution.

Ductless air exchange is more direct. The condenser absorbs outdoor air and transfers resources to indoor handlers for ambient distribution. 

Indoor air handlers and outdoor condensers are only linked through internal coils. Its self-reliance makes mini-split systems more manageable to install and extract. 

Window-Type or Through-the-Wall Air Conditioners

Like with ductless mini-splits, window- and through-the-wall integrations don’t require supplementary attachments to assist primary functions. These air conditioners function independently, using surrounding elements and other resources to produce conditioned airflow.

With units smaller than mini-split systems, window-type installations may only take three to six hours to complete. Their extractions are also pretty basic, simply removing units from fundamental bearings.

Extracting old window types to replace with newer units may be the quickest installation service. Its fewer components require less labor, with both its installations and extractions being manageable within shorter timeframes. 

Air Source Heat Pumps

Air source heat pumps aren’t exactly air conditioners. However, they may fall under air conditioning systems

They are primarily used for heating distribution, but heat pumps make more sustainable alternatives for warmer climates like Oregon. These innovative new cooling systems aren’t sweeping across the nation just yet.

While different heat pump types make more sustainable HVAC systems, they are far more expensive than conventional air conditioners. However, air-source heat pumps only take as long as mini-split air conditioners to install, with an average installation time of five hours

Some heat pumps require more comprehensive installations, with outdoor tasks that may last up to five days. The coveted Geothermal (ground-source) heat pumps make an excellent option for sustainable home-cooling systems in Portland. 

However, ground-source heat pumps require intricate installations and may last for days. Still, installing less expansive heat pump systems won’t take longer than a few hours.

It’s important to dedicate adequate resources to each step in the process. Do not rush installations whether your air conditioners only require a few hours or even when days-long timeframes test your patience.

Rushed installation services won’t save you time or money and will only expose your home to various risks.

How Dangerous Are Faulty AC Installations?

Do not prolong any necessary unit replacements to avoid “lengthy” services. Your home deserves affordable, top-quality cooling whenever you need it.

It isn’t just good quality your family deserves. Proper installations help ensure your comfort and provide your home with more sustainable and stable cooling systems.

Sustainable cooling reduces your air conditioner’s monthly costs and negative impacts on the environment. Stability helps keep your family safe from mechanical malfunctions. 

Risks of Improper Installations

While malfunctions may affect your comfort, they may lead to more dangerous threats. Improperly installed air conditioners can cause fire and health hazards. 

Some homeowners don’t pinpoint improper AC installations as the root cause of any recurring nuisances and lingering discomfort in their homes. However, more vigilant homeowners detect poor indoor air quality and subpar AC performance more quickly. 

Below are some tips to help you pick up on any irregularities with your AC system.

Inefficient Operations

There are more noticeable discrepancies in your monthly energy costs. Sudden spikes in your monthly bills aren’t typical and may indicate underlying issues. 

Costly cooling may stem from struggling AC functions. Clogs, dirty filters, and other compromised components may hinder your air conditioner. 

Ineffective Cooling

Compromised AC functions produce inadequate cooling. Even with your air conditioner on full blast, indoor air stays tepid and stuffy.

Clogs hinder functions and disrupt resource circulation, harboring air pressure. It may lead to static pressure that promotes air loss, condensate leaks, and residual buildup.

Hazardous Malfunctions

Older or worn-out AC units require immediate replacement before they risk your comfort and safety. Internal issues impact cooling output and compromise the entire AC system. 

Unstable air conditioners emit unusual noises, foul odors, and dangerous electrical issues. Your AC units may short-circuit or blow a fuse and lead to fire hazards. 

How Do I Know My Air Conditioners Weren’t Installed Properly

Homeowners should always be present during significant installations, especially home HVAC systems. Observing individual unit installations ensures no shortcuts are taken that may endanger your entire home. 

However, there are indicators you may look out for if you weren’t present during AC installations. Watch out for the symptoms below if you suspect your air conditioner was improperly installed.

  • Sudden surges in energy costs
  • Erratic temperatures
  • Unusual noises
  • Lingering odors
  • Recurring leaks
  • Shaky units

Homeowners should always opt for reputable HVAC contractors before installing their AC units. However, you should also contact reliable cooling specialists to assess your current AC installations properly.

You don’t need to pinch pennies and opt for amateur technicians. 

Are You Looking for Reliable Air Conditioner Installations in Portland, Oregon?

The experts at Sunset Heating & Cooling put your family first. We prioritize your comfort and convenience while providing our profound expertise!

Our core values include integrity, which has upheld our company’s century-long reputation. 

Hire Portland’s Finest HVAC Contractors!

Trust our team for reliable AC Installation services in Portland and neighboring areas such as Happy Valley, Yamhill, and Dayton. We take steps to ensure your air conditioners are installed with utmost diligence for seamless integrations. We won’t cut corners at your expense. 

We won’t leave you hanging, either. Sunset Heating & Cooling offers comprehensive AC maintenance services with various inclusions.

The Sunset Heating & Cooling offers maintenance membership programs to help homeowners preserve their air conditioners and avoid costly damages. Portland homeowners may also benefit from exclusive discounts for AC installation and replacements today!

Call the Sunset Heating & Cooling Team at (503) 500-5866 for Reliable and Efficient Air Conditioner Services

What Our Clients Say

The Sunset team who sold and installed a new furnace and AC unit in my condominium were wonderful. They were knowledgeable, professional, thorough, respectful and friendly. They went the extra mile to be sure other residents were not impacted and I was happy. They took special care to leave no trace of their being here, except for new and vastly improved heating and cooling system.

-Kaki B.

Ryan from Sunset Heating & Cooling was friendly, efficient, helpful and so pleasant to have in our home. A great company and wonderful service.

-Kathi P.

Caring, professional and helpful. Thanks for making things happen quickly and getting my Dear friend's heating back up and running in such a quick manner. You went above and beyond for a family in need and that is very much appreciated. Thanks from the whole group!

-Kristina K.

Jeremy was prompt and friendly. He did a great job of servicing our ac and explaining what he did. Great customer service!

-Jennifer M.

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