5 Ways Most AC Companies Cut Corners On Installs

When a Southern California homeowner calls us because they need a new air-conditioning system installed, that’s a trust we take seriously.

We NEVER, EVER take shortcuts – we train our technicians to do things to the highest standards on EVERY. SINGLE. JOB.

This is not how most AC installation companies operate. In fact, homeowners are shocked to find out what is bypassed when they get a new AC system installed. This happens even with established companies with good reputations.

Here are the 5 ways most AC companies cut corners when installing a new system:

Shortcut #1 – Failing To Properly Size The Ductwork For Each Room/Area Of The House.

If you are having your ductwork replaced as part of your new AC installation, the majority of Southern California air conditioning companies will not first calculate the air volume needs of each room.

Truth be told, many of them don’t even know how to calculate it.

Instead, they’ll just rip out all the old ductwork and replace it with the same size that was already there or whatever standard size they have on hand.

The problem with this method is that it takes absolutely no account of how much air volume a particular room in your house needs.

And that means some rooms are going to get uncomfortable, even with a new AC unit working at peak efficiency.

There’s a specific formula for properly calculating the air flow needs based on several factors: the cubic feet of a room, whether it receives a lot of sun, does it have vaulted ceilings, etc.

At Service Champions, we always calculate this precisely, and then install the ductwork that will supply each room with the proper air volume and flow for maximum comfort and efficiency.

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Shortcut #2 – Not Installing Safety Systems To Detect Water Leaks.

Most people know an air conditioning system produces condensation when it runs. What many don’t know is just how much water is produced – it can be as much as 3 to 5 gallons a day.

Because this amount of water is generated, the safe and smart thing to do is to install safety devices that will automatically shut down the AC system if it detects water or backed up condensation lines.

Also, a secondary drain pan should be installed with a new AC system to help prevent damage if there is a leak.

At Service Champions we install these safety features on EVERY new air conditioning installation – NO EXCEPTIONS.

We wish we could say this is a standard practice in the industry, but it’s not. Not even close. This means leaks can go undetected for a long time, creating a lot of damage and unsafe conditions.

Shortcut #3 – Not Replacing The ‘Line Set.’

You are probably thinking, “what the heck’s a line set?”

And that’s exactly what most Southern California AC installation companies count on you saying.

They figure if you don’t know what it is, you probably won’t notice that it wasn’t replaced.

Most air conditioning systems are “split” systems, meaning one part of the system is outside and one part is inside. The line set – which is made of copper tubing – is what carries the coolant between the 2 parts of the system. (A “line set” is also sometimes referred to as the refrigerant pipes or freon pipes). 

Copper is expensive. And these lines are often run in places that are difficult to access, making them a challenge to replace.

So, guess what? A lot of companies don’t replace them.

They count on the fact that most homeowners won’t notice they weren’t replaced and then they cross their fingers that the old line set won’t cause a problem in the future.

At Service Champions, we believe you are paying for an all new air conditioning system, and that includes a new line set. Period.

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Shortcut #4 – Failing To Install Plenum Sheet Metal Transitions For Ductwork.

Yes, that’s a mouthful. So we’ll keep this explanation as simple as possible.

The plenum is a box where your cooled air is pushed through on its way to your ductwork. If you are connecting a new plenum to existing ductwork, it is absolutely crucial that the transition from the plenum to the ductwork be created with sheet metal AND that it be done BY TECHNICIANS WHO KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE DOING.

The problem is that many companies have technicians who DON’T know exactly what they are doing when it comes to working with sheet metal. If the fabricating is not done with precision, too much of your cooled air will escape before it even enters your ductwork to be distributed throughout your home.

At Service Champions, we have the best-trained air conditioning technicians in Southern California, and this includes installation experts who know exactly how to fabricate these important plenum sheet metal transitions to keep your system operating at peak efficiency.

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Shortcut #5 – Installing A System With Too Small An Air Return

The other big shortcut AC installation companies take is not calculating how big an Air Return your AC system needs to create the right air flow for your specific home.

Our experience is that most air returns installed for Southern California homes are too small for the home’s needs. That can create massive air flow problems – a system with a too small an Air Return has to work harder and less efficiently just to keep you comfortable.

Many companies don’t have the depth of knowledge to take the right measurements and precisely calculate how big an air handler needs to be.  

Instead they’ll take the shortcut of recommending whatever system they want you to buy, instead of calculating the one that best meets your specific needs.

At Service Champions, we take exact, careful measurements before we even think of recommending anything.

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What Shortcuts Can Cost You

When AC companies take these shortcuts, they might not think they are doing much harm. But homeowners are the ones stuck with the consequences.

Don’t risk paying for a brand-new air-conditioning system and then being just as uncomfortable as you were with your old system.

And remember that you’ll live with the AC system you install for years. If it is inefficient, that means every month you will pay higher energy bills than you would have with the right system installed WITHOUT shortcuts.

Get the peace of mind that comes with hiring a company that never takes shortcuts. To discover more about Service Champions and are AC maintenance, repair, and installation services for Southern California homeowners, Contact Us.