Step-by-step Phoenix AC Install Expectations

Having a new air conditioner installed in your Phoenix, Arizona home is a fairly major undertaking. Whether you’re putting in central air for the first time, or upgrading your existing unit, it helps to know what to expect beforehand. Many homeowners may be apprehensive of the procedure, not knowing if it’s going to take a lot of time or create a mess in the house. Fortunately, most air conditioning installations can be completed in just a few days, even if you need new ducts run through the house, and there’s typically little mess involved.

Air Conditioning Installation Step-by-Step

This overview of air conditioning installation is designed to let you know what to expect when you have your new Arizona air conditioner installed. Your particular installation may vary depending upon the type of unit you are having installed, the state of your existing ductwork, and any modifications that your home may require. Always speak to your contractor about what your installation may entail if you have questions or concerns.

Find a Spot for Installation


Your blower and coils are usually going to be installed in one of two places: inside your furnace if you have forced hot air in the home, or in the attic if you don’t. Your compressor, however, has a little more leeway in terms of installation location.

Your contractor will work with you to find the ideal place to install it. It needs to be on level ground that has good ventilation – it can’t go beneath an enclosed deck, for example – and it can’t go beneath a gutter or other area that could be too wet. It also needs to be near enough to your electrical panel so it can be wired in. You may also want to ensure that it doesn’t go near a bedroom or study area, because even the quietest air conditioners do generate some noise. Sometimes the roof is a good place for a unit, it all depends on your house.

Cutting a Hole in the Wall

Cutting into the home is one of the things that makes many Phoenix homeowners nervous, but it’s necessary to run the compressor’s wires and pipes inside. A hole will be cut near the bottom of the wall where your compressor is located.

Installing the Coil

At this point, your coil will be installed. If the coil is uncased, a hole will be cut in the side of the supply plenum to house it. Otherwise, your coil may be placed on top of your furnace. If you have an air handler already, the coil is already a part of it, and you will not need one installed.

If the coil is being put in the plenum, sheet metal will be used to create some shelves for it to sit on once inside. These will be trimmed to ensure they don’t block the air flow to the coil, and the shelves and coil will be installed with a cover placed on the plenum.

Installing the Line Set

The line set is made up of two refrigerated lines connecting the condenser to the coil. The lines will first be connected to the condenser, then run in through the hole in the house and along the ceiling until they reach the coil, where they will be connected to the other side. The suction line will be run and installed first, and then the liquid line will be run alongside it, using the same brackets that are holding the suction line in place.

High Voltage Connections

Your new air conditioner runs on 220 volts of electricity. This comes from the main electrical panel in your home, with your condenser connected directly to it. A disconnect, or safety switch, will also be installed at the same time. The wires connecting the condenser will be run through the same hole that was cut in the wall when the condenser location was picked.

Low Voltage Connections

Once the high voltage connections and the disconnect are in place, the low voltage connections are made. These are also run to the condenser along the same path the high voltage connections took. Additional low voltage connections will also be run from the main electrical panel up to the coil and fan.

Hook Up Thermostat

Once all the electrical connections are in place between the electrical panel, the condenser, and the blower, the lines are run to the thermostat which controls the unit. This is done at the same time the wires are run to the furnace or air handler.

Installing Drain Tubing

To finish up the job, your contractor will install a drain line from the evaporator coil to allow any water that condenses on the coil to drain outside. The contractor will solder any connections, and add refrigerant to the system, as well as start up the system and balance it to make sure that it’s working.

Other Modifications

It may be necessary for your contractor to run ducts around your attic and down through your walls. Your contractor may also have to repair existing ducts, or add additional returns to make sure the new system has enough air flow. To finish up the job, they should also replace the siding on the house over the hole that was cut, and caulk it into place.

All of these steps should only take a few days, depending upon the state of any existing ducts, or whether or not ducts also need to be installed.

Get a New AC Unit

Once you understand the basic steps your contractor will take to install your new AC, you should see that there’s nothing to be concerned with. Your contractor shouldn’t have to dismantle or tinker with your existing furnace or ducts to set it up, and any holes cut are generally unobtrusive and easily concealed. Make the call to get a new central AC unit today, and feel comfortable with the process of installing it in your home.

Precision Air & Heating was founded in 1995. Since then, we have performed well over 250,000 service calls. All of our technicians are NATE certified, and we have great online review. If you’re looking to have a new unit installed on your home, give us a call.

Precision Air & Plumbing September 3, 2017


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