How to install an air conditioner in your home

The installation process for an air conditioner is slightly more complicated than you might initially think. In this blog we’ve written our short step by step guide to installing a domestic air conditioner unit in your home ready for the warmer weather. As you will notice, this process can vary depending on the different type of air conditioner you’ve chosen. If you’re interested in learning more about the different types of air conditioners available and which would work best for your home, take a look at our previous blog.

Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioner

Installing a ductless mini-split air conditioner can be done is three easy steps.

  • Installing the indoor evaporative heat exchanger
    Find a suitable place, must be attached to a wall and placed at least 7 feet from the floor. Once the space is determined attach a mounting plate to the wall. After that, a hole will be created using a circular drill near the air conditioning installation, typically 3 inches in diameter to give room for cables to pass through. Make sure there’s no pipes behind where you’re mounting the unit. Finally attach the unit to the mounting plate.
  • Installing the outdoor condensing unit
    The outside condenser must be positioned at least 12 inches away from a wall. Must be installed near the hole drilled earlier. Ensure the unit is not installed within 10 feet of a television or an antenna. A concrete pad is placed on the ground to form a foundation for the unit, laying something firm is key. The outdoor heat exchanger is fastened to the concrete using rubber pads or cushions to keep in place and reduce vibrations. Finally, the internal wiring is inspected before the cable runs through the wall to connect with the external machine.
  • Final touches
    A few last-minute checks and assurances are then made to the set-up to ensure its functionality and efficiency. Professional installers will, at this point, bleed any humidity and air from the unit. This is done to make sure the air conditioning installation will operate correctly. Any loose cabling is then covered in piping to add protection and to make it more appealing. The very final step is for the installer to turn on the machine and check it’s working. If everything has been done correctly, your rooms should feel the sudden influx of cool air.

Window Air Conditioner

  • Before you start
    Make sure you select a window close enough to an outlet. Most window AC's have power cords between 5 and 6 feet long. See what side of the AC the cord extends from, and choose an outlet the cord reaches. Also have your owner's manual out to follow along with the manufacturer's directions.
  • Remove Your AC and Find the Center of Your Window
    Remove all the pieces from your box to confirm all the parts were sent. Measure the width of your window, and mark the center with a pencil.
  • Open and Prepare Your Window
    Open your window. If a weather strip is provided from the manufacturer, install it now. Not all models will have these weather strips, and your AC will work fine without one. However these strips help block any air that may pass through tiny cracks and protects your window from possible damage when you're installing or removing of the AC.
  • Attach the Side Panels
    Slide the panels into the appropriate place on your unit. Slide them all the way in and then secure the adjustable panels into your window AC using provided screws. Connect all the screws to avoid any gaps, because with gaps it can let warm air, allergens, and pollution into your home.
  • Insert Your AC in the Window
    Pick up your AC and center it in your window. Then tightly close your window on top of the AC; there should be a spot where the window easily slides into place. Once you close the window, your AC should be securely in place.
  • Install L Brackets
    Crew the L bracket or brackets to the top of the opened window. This prevents the window from being pushed up, which is the main concern once window ACs are installed.
  • Attach Panels
    If provided, add the window padding to the sides of your open window. If no padding came with your model, just extend the side panels to reach your window. Then attach both side panels to your window using the screws from your manufacturer.
  • Secure Unit and Start Cooling
    Select manufacturers provide brackets and screws that connect the AC to the interior window sill. This is an extra level of security, and some manufacturers don't find it necessary. But if they're provided, screw them in now. You're done! Plug in and turn on your AC. You should immediately feel it cooling your room.

Installing an air conditioner

Portable Air Conditioner

The actual installation process for portable air conditioners is very quick. You simply put bring them in, make a couple of adjustments, and turn them on. Unfortunatelly, the easy installation process is the only real benefit to a portable air conditioner. Their systems are often under-powered they are used to cool leaving the customes somewhat unhappy with the result.

Central Air Conditioner

If you want a central air conditioner then please contact us and get a specialist to fit it for you.

How can Norton Air Conditioning help?

Norton Air Conditioning has a team of trained engineers with knowledge of all current installation methods. They will advise you on the best solution for you and your space to give you the best outcome. Also, can help you get the best outcome of you air conditioning installation.

Want to find the right air conditioner for you? Get in touch with Norton Air Conditioning today.

For a selection of air conditioning systems in Reading, call us today.

01189 333 999


What is air conditioning?

A system for controlling the humidity, ventilation, and temperature in a building, typically to maintain a cool atmosphere in warm conditions.

How does air conditioning work?

Air conditioners use chemicals (refrigerants) that easily convert from a gas to a liquid and back again. This chemical is used to transfer heat from the air inside of a building to the outside air.

The machine has three main parts. They are a compressor, a condenser and an evaporator. The compressor and condenser are usually located on the outside. The evaporator is located inside the building.

The working fluid arrives at the compressor as a cool, low-pressure gas. The compressor squeezes the fluid. This packs the molecule of the fluid closer together. The closer the molecules are together, the higher its energy and its temperature.

The working fluid leaves the compressor as a hot, high pressure gas and flows into the condenser.

When the working fluid leaves the condenser, its temperature is much cooler, and it has changed from a gas to a liquid under high pressure. The liquid goes into the evaporator through an orifice (a very tiny, narrow hole). On the other side, the liquid’s pressure drops. When it does it begins to evaporate into a gas.

As the liquid changes to gas and evaporates, it extracts heat from the air around it.

By the time the working fluid leaves the evaporator, it is a cool, low pressure gas. It then returns to the compressor to begin its trip all over again.

This continues over and over and over until the room reaches the temperature you want the room cooled to. The thermostat senses that the temperature has reached the right setting and turns off the air conditioner. As the room warms up, the thermostat turns the air conditioner back on until the room reaches the temperature.

What types of air conditioning systems are there?

Split Systems

Split AC Systems only have two units, one inside the building and the other outside. The units are joined together by interconnecting pipework and cables. These systems are usually used to condition the air in a single room.

Twin-Split Systems

Twin split systems contain two indoor units connected to a singular outdoor unit. A branching kit is used in the pipework to connect all units together. This type of system can be used in a large single room to distribute air flow better.

Multi-Split Systems

Multi split systems, again have a singular outdoor unit but can have up to five indoor units connected to it. Each indoor unit has its own pipework connected directly to the outdoor unit. These systems are used to condition the air in different rooms in a building, giving individual control of room temperature settings. Though only either heating or cooling can be used at any one time.

Packaged Systems

In packaged systems, all the main components are encased in one unit and are used for bigger applications than the split systems. The unit is usually located on flat roof tops and ducting is used to supply large rooms/whole buildings with conditioned air.

Heat Recovery VRF Systems

These systems are usually used in large buildings with many rooms and many occupants. They can simultaneously provide heating and cooling to different rooms when required. These systems are complex with sophisticated technology. A large condensing unit (or many linked together) is installed outside, with many indoor units connected to the pipework.

What is a Heat Pump?

Heat pumps are integral to an air-conditioning system, transferring heat from one environment to another via a refrigerant. Heat pumps also offer a cost-effective heating solution – and air source heat pumps are recognised as a renewable heat technology.

In cooling mode, heat pumps work by transferring the heat from a room or internal space to the outside air, thus cooling the inside area. In reverse, heat pumps can extract latent heat from the outside air (even when the temperature outside is down to -20°C) and pump it inside to heat indoor spaces.

How energy efficient are air conditioning systems?

An air conditioner’s efficiency is measured by the energy efficiency ratio (EER). The EER is the ratio of the cooling capacity (in kW) to the power input (in Kw). The higher the EER rating, the more efficient the air conditioner.

Air conditioning systems can be very energy efficient. Most new systems are given an EER rating of ‘A’, some can even be given an ‘A+++’ rating in both heating and cooling.

A systems efficiency also greatly depends on the installation. Correct equipment selection is vital, so a survey is strongly recommended before any installation work is carried out.

Once installed, regular maintenance will keep the system running as efficiently as possible.

Do I need my air conditioning system serviced?

It is recommended that an air conditioning system is serviced at least once a year, in many other instances, maintenance may be required two, three or four times annually.

In residential properties where a system may only be used for half a year, a service once a year may be sufficient. In commercial properties, such as office buildings, it may require two visits annually. In other instances, such as hotels and hairdressers for example, systems may require four visits annually to keep them running efficiently.

After a new installation, for warranty purposes, the manufacturer of the equipment may insist on regular servicing for up to three years.

The amount of refrigerant inside a system may also dictate how many maintenance visits are required annually. If a system contains over a certain amount of refrigerant, then it may need an annual leak test under the 2014 EU F-Gas Regulation. Larger systems may require six-monthly or three-monthly leak tests.

What is the 2014 EU F-Gas Regulation?

Fluorinated gases (‘F-gases’) are a family of man-made gases used in a range of applications. In this case, refrigerants in air conditioning systems. Because they do not damage the atmospheric ozone layer, they are often used as substitutes for ozone-depleting substances. However, F-gases are powerful greenhouse gases, with a global warming effect up to 23 000 times greater than carbon dioxide (CO2), and their emissions are rising strongly.

The European Union is therefore taking regulatory action to control F-gases as part of its policy to combat climate change.

F-Gas tests are therefore a mandatory requirement on systems that fall into the threshold for leak testing. Records of the leak test results must be kept.

My air conditioning system isn’t working – what should I do next?

If this unfortunate circumstance occurs, it is best to call in the experts. An engineer will need to attend to check on the system, but time and money can be saved by taking a few notes before making the call. Note the make, model and serial number of the faulty unit. Also, check on the controller, a fault code may be visible, make a note of this too. With any extra information, the attending engineer can be prepared to find the fault quickly or even fix the problem first time of asking.

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