Home Ownership – Understanding Central Air Conditioning

Air Conditioning is the technology of indoor and vehicular environmental comfort.  Air Conditioning is important in the design in medium to large industrial and office buildings such as skyscrapers, and marine environments such as aquariums.  Safe and healthy building conditions are regulated with respect to temperature and humidity using fresh air from outdoors.

Central Air Conditioning “All-Air”

These units are often installed in modern residences, offices and public buildings but are difficult to install in a building that was not designed to receive it because of the bulky air ducts.  Buildings that have Central Air usually have sealed windows because open windows work against a system that is intended to maintain constant indoor air conditions.  All modern conditioners are equipped with internal filters.  This gauzy material must be replaced and washed as conditions warrant.

Range of Cost

Central Air Conditioning installations can be done in many different ways and will vary in building size and the availability of some pre-existing systems in the home.  Some homes with forced hot air heating will have the duct work required for fast and easy installation.  When the installation requires duct work, the prices obviously climb significantly.  The average cost to install central air is between $2,500 to $15,000. Especially for public buildings, there are governmental regulations that require great care to be taken in the management of water leakage from air conditioning units, as they can cause mold buildup and water damage over time.

Installation and Additional Considerations

Sizing the building, number of windows, quality of the installation and selecting the Air Conditioning unit are the first steps to a proper installation.  These should be done by a licensed certified professional.  The average units are from three to six tons and sized at 36K to 72K BTUs.  All products must be installed according to manufacturer’s installation instructions and safety guidelines. All work must be done according to local and national building, electrical and mechanical codes. Wear proper safety equipment when performing your installation.  Get local permits if necessary.  Do not adjust or handle refrigerant unless you are EPA-Certified.  Do not handle high-voltage electrical wiring unless properly trained. Even the quietest condensers make noise, so do not place them near a bedroom or home-office window. Do not place the condenser under a deck or completely enclose it because it exhausts warm air out the top. Any airflow restriction will lower the unit’s efficiency. Hide the condenser in the landscaping, as long as air can freely circulate around it. The condenser is outside and the fan-and-coil system is inside, connected to the condenser by pipes that run up the outside of the house. The pipes can be disguised as part of the gutter-and-downspout system.  Ductwork for second-floors will travel through ceiling registers. Ducts run through closets on their way to first-floor rooms.  Furnace ducts that deliver hot air in cold months can be used for air-conditioning. Sealing the ducts to boost efficiency, and upgrade register grilles.

Our lives have become accustomed to having air conditioning; public buildings are required to have air conditioning for their employers as well as the customers.  The elderly are required to have air conditioning for comfort.  Individuals with heart ailments and breathing problems cannot handle the very hot and humid weather.   

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Janet Smith is an entrepreneur and mother of two beautiful kids, as well as online blogger, she can be found blogging from time to time on blogs about how important air conditioning repairs are to the overall value of a home.