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Since 1914, HVAC is creating a hallmark in creating quality air for all bodies and has taken over the US market by storm.

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, and it minimizes stagnant airflow in your residence by pulling fresh outside air, filtering it, and circulating it indoors. But since 90% of HVAC installations are done incorrectly, you must adhere to the best practices for efficacy.

So, if you are up for HVAC installations in your home for better air circulation and to bid farewell to allergies, congestion, and dust, we’ve got your back!


Can You Perform the Entire HVAC Installation on Your Own?

The answer may be mixed for other states, but the answer is no if you live in the U.S.A. The United States of America mandates that HVAC installation can only be carried out by a licensed professional. And in Texas, HVAC technician companies are required to get licensed by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

So, if you live in Texas, for instance, in Fort Worth, you can contact a quality HVAC installation company in Fort Worth and ask them to show their licence and accident insurance before working. And why is it necessary? Because at one time, the U.S. reported 37,000 accidents from plumbing and HVAC injuries!


What Are the Steps in Installing HVAC Systems?

Before jumping to the best practices in HVAC installation, you need to uncover the basics of installing them. So, here’s how you can install an HVAC system:

1. Get the Complete Package

HVAC doesn’t explicitly mean air conditioners, ventilators, and heaters. Hence, you need access to humidifiers, home automation systems, and everything else needed before installing the HVAC.

2. Sizing

After gathering the equipment, you need to determine the size of the property. And for that, you need to calculate the load, which means measuring each room and corner for HVAC installations and calculating the total area.

3. Determining the Location of Heating and Cooling Components

You can even determine this during load calculation. And it might seem obvious for some properties, but some installations, like the air conditioners, are outdoors. Hence, you need to decide the best place to install the units to give them the best efficacy.

4. Install and Test

Once you have determined the locations for installations, you have to install them. Yes, the process can be tricky, but compiling the steps with the best practices can be fruitful in the long run. You also need to connect these units to the ductwork and power.

Once done with the installation, you need to check and test the entire system for calibration. So, look for leaks, problems, dangers, etc., using accurate tools.


What Are the Best Practices in HVAC Installation?

Now that you are familiar with the basics of HVAC installation, it’s time to note the practices that will prevent failures in the future. Here’s a list of experts’ advice:


Watch Out for the Time and Season

When installing a new HVAC system or replacing one, you need to choose the season when you won’t need it. Though HVAC installs can take place at any time of the year, for moderate climate areas, you need to understand that you will be out of a system of air conditioning and heating during HVAC installs in extremely hot and cold temperatures, respectively. So, early spring and fall are the best times for your HVAC installation.


Safety First

Here’s the deal: No investment is more important than your life’s safety. And since an HVAC installation requires working with heating and noting sensitive structural details, a slight mistake could easily cause your HVAC install, life, property, and hard work to turn into ash—quite literally! So, here’s what you should take notice of:

  • Smell for smoke and leaks, and call a fire brigade immediately
  • Take the help of a licensed professional whenever you get stuck
  • Gather all safety tools, for instance, measuring tape, a reciprocating saw, screwdrivers, gloves, masks, safety glasses, a cordless drill, a multimeter, a voltage tester, etc.
  • Employ safety work habits like carrying the weight with your legs and not the back, not consuming alcohol before HVAC installations, wearing gloves before ducting and handling sharp objects, etc.


Pack Tight

Now you know how slight leaks and improper sealing could threaten your safety. Hence, creating a tough envelope that blankets the entire house for extremely safe insulation and prevents energy loss is crucial. For that, you need to employ the following:

  • The best framing techniques
  • Use high-efficacy windows (for example, hinged-sash windows like awning and casement windows produce a weathertight seal after closing and hence preserve energy).
  • Install continuous air barriers, etc.

Insulation and air sealing are explicitly important when you can’t hide the ducts in areas like a garage, basement, etc.


Accurately Size Ductwork and Equipment According to ACCA Standards

If you plan to calculate the cooling loads using sizing units based on traditional metric methods like square footage, etc., it’s not a good practice to size the HVAC ducts. You need to access the ACCA’s Manual J load calculation system, where the unit size relies on physical factors like insulation levels, climate, window orientation, etc.

And ductwork means the system of ducts (synthetic or metal tubes) for carrying the air generated or conditioned by the HVAC all over your house.

As a result, sizing should be done with caution, as small units will not regulate temperature properly in the summer, while larger units will not deduct enough humidity. And with accurate sizing, you can also benefit from HVAC fabrication, where you can customize the HVAC installs according to your property’s requirements.


Work on the Ductwork Design and Material

Efficient HVAC equals efficient ductwork design and materials. For materials, you can choose durable options like PU, metal, flexible non-metallic, etc. You can also go for inexpensive options like fiberglass (insulated and cut- and seal-friendly but hard to insulate) or strong ones like galvanised metal (tough but not insulation-friendly).

As for the design, experts suggest:

  • Minimizing the duct lengths and installing them in cool areas, preferably. Otherwise, as mentioned previously, you should insulate the ones installed in close or unconditioned areas like basements.
  • A duct layout draft can also help ensure where to install the supply and return ducts for natural airflow.


Ensure Proper Sealing and Soundproofing of Ducts

After designing the layout and gathering the best materials for ducts, you need to work on sealing it properly. Why? Because around 30% of duct energy is lost from crevices and discontinuation of non sealed ducts. For management, you can use fibreglass, mastic, and mesh materials to attach the duct sections with screws and cover seal joints and seams with mastic and fibre mesh.

Will the flowing and vibrating air inside the duct layout create a nuisance while you sleep? Yes, another major problem with HVAC installations is that they become too noisy due to continuous vibration in the ducts. But you can counteract it with sound dampening.

HVAC soundproofing or sound dampening employs effective coating measures to minimise all extra noise and vibrations caused by the hot and cold airflow in the ducts, furnaces, etc. It not only reduces extra banging within the house, but it also prevents echoes from occurring. So, here’s what you can practise for efficient HVAC duct soundproofing:

  • Install magnetic vent covers over air vents in unused or minimally used HVAC rooms (like the store room or guest room), but there should be no more than two rooms. So, since no air will flow through the vents, they will become soundproof, and you can easily remove the magnetic cover for running the air conditioner to prevent microbial growth.
  • To prevent sound from escaping the other room, you need to install efficient HVAC soundproofing materials on the ductwork. And examples of efficient HVAC duct soundproofing materials include melamine, plenum return silencers, Quiet Wrap™ Pipe wrap, etc.
  • You can also use flame-resistant fireproof foam on your ductwork to simultaneously provide HVAC sound dampening and fireproofing.
  • Sleeping peacefully would be more challenging if you installed your HVAC in the attic by chance and had your bedrooms next to it. Hence, you need to add extra insulation in the central unit; for example, add an extra insulation layer in the furnace duct, or repair your HVAC systems if they need repairing.
  • Other measures you can opt for in HVAC sound dampening are installing flat acoustic foam, duct silencers, ceiling grids, tile barriers, and return silencers in the plenum.


Minimise Seam

We’ve talked about covering the seams in the previous section, but avoiding them in the first place is better. So, to prevent leakage, just avoid using duct sections and employ long, singular duct pieces as much as possible. The abrupt hot and cold airflow can break the seams and seals at any time and cause excessive hard work.


Ensure HVAC Neutral Air Maintenance

To ensure that the air pressure in the entire house stays neutral, you need to install proper returns and supply registers for the airflow. For this, you need to determine the exact number of supply vents (vents that push conditioned air throughout your home) and return vents (vents that pull musty air into the duct network).


Place the Condenser and Air Handler in Safe Environments.

This goes for every system of air conditioning. If you place the condensing units of your HVAC air conditioning near large objects, you can cause major obstructions in airflow. Hence, try placing the condenser within four feet of your central unit. Furthermore, if there are multiple condensers, they should be separated by a large distance. So, install your indoor air handler in centralized areas to minimize duct returns and blockage.


Verify the Air Conditioning System for Inspection and Calibration

Installing an air conditioning system is tricky. But if a certain airflow problem goes unnoticed initially, your efforts can go in vain, and you won’t enjoy HVAC properly in the long run. So, you need to ensure that all air conditioning and heating systems have proper refrigerant charges as per the label claim. Also, you need to measure each room’s airflow to check all the ins and outs of proper airflow.


Wrap Up

Because of the increase in pollutants and decreased air quality, HVAC has become a critical need for retrieving quality air for inhalation. But improper installation techniques can cost you multiple repairs in the long run. Hence, getting in touch with a licensed expert or HVAC service is best for better results.