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Avoid These 10 Costly Mistakes When Installing Your AC System!

AC Installed wrong

Installing a new HVAC system is one of the biggest investments you can make for your home. It’s not just about keeping cool in the summer and warm in the winter; it’s about creating a comfortable, energy-efficient living environment. But, let’s be honest, it can also be a bit daunting. Here at Sparkle Air, we've seen it all—the good, the bad, and the downright disastrous. So, let’s dive into the top 10 mistakes homeowners make during HVAC installation and how you can avoid them.

1. Choosing the Wrong Size System

Why Size Matters

One of the most common mistakes is choosing to install the wrong size AC system. An oversized unit can short cycle, leading to inefficient operation and higher energy bills. Conversely, an undersized unit will struggle to maintain comfort, running continuously and wearing out prematurely.

How to Get It Right

To avoid this, a proper load calculation is essential. This isn’t something you can eyeball. It requires a professional assessment that considers factors like your home’s square footage, insulation, window sizes, and more. At Sparkle Air, we use advanced software to ensure we get it right. We once had a client, the Johnsons, who initially went with a cheaper, undersized unit from another company. It couldn’t keep up during the summer heat, and they ended up spending more to replace it within a year.

2. Skipping Professional Installation

DIY Isn’t Always the Answer

We get it—DIY can be tempting. But HVAC installation is not a weekend project. Improper installation can void warranties, lead to inefficiency, and even pose safety hazards.

The Sparkle Air Difference

Always hire a licensed, experienced contractor. We’ve been in the business for over 20 years, and our team at Sparkle Air has seen many DIY disasters. One memorable case involved a homeowner who attempted to install their own system but forgot to seal the ducts. Not only did this reduce efficiency, but it also led to poor indoor air quality.

3. Neglecting to Check Ductwork

The Hidden Problem

Your new HVAC system is only as good as your ductwork. Leaky, damaged, or improperly sized ducts can severely compromise performance.

Inspect and Repair

Before installing a new system, have your ductwork inspected. Repair or replace any issues to ensure maximum efficiency. We had a project where a customer complained about uneven cooling. After inspecting the ducts, we found several leaks and blockages. Fixing these issues made a world of difference.

4. Overlooking Ventilation Requirements

Airflow is Key

Proper ventilation is crucial for maintaining indoor air quality and ensuring your HVAC system runs efficiently.

Getting it Right

Ensure your home has adequate ventilation. This might mean adding exhaust fans, air exchangers, or other solutions. A few years back, we helped a family who suffered from frequent allergies. Adding proper ventilation reduced their symptoms significantly, proving the importance of good airflow.

5. Ignoring Energy Efficiency Ratings

Look Beyond the Price Tag

It’s easy to focus on upfront costs and ignore energy efficiency. But a less efficient system can cost you more in the long run through higher energy bills.

Energy Efficiency Pays Off

Look for systems with high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings. Investing in an energy-efficient system can save money over time. We recently upgraded a client to a high-SEER unit, and they reported a noticeable drop in their monthly energy bills.

6. Improper Placement of the Outdoor Unit

Location, Location, Location

The placement of the outdoor unit is critical. Putting it in a poorly ventilated area, too close to the home, or where it’s exposed to debris can reduce its efficiency and lifespan.

Optimal Placement

Position the outdoor unit in a shaded, well-ventilated area, away from obstructions and debris. We once relocated a unit that was placed under a deck with poor airflow. The difference in performance after moving it to an open area was night and day.

7. Failing to Install a Programmable Thermostat

Smart Control for Smart Savings

Not using a programmable thermostat can lead to inefficient operation and higher energy bills.

The Benefits of Programmable Thermostats

Install a programmable or smart thermostat. These allow you to set schedules and control your HVAC system remotely, optimizing efficiency. One of our clients, saw a 20% reduction in their energy costs after installing a smart thermostat. They loved the convenience of adjusting settings from their phones.

8. Ignoring Maintenance Requirements

Regular Maintenance is Key

Skipping regular maintenance can lead to system breakdowns, reduced efficiency, and higher repair costs.

Keep it Running Smoothly

Schedule regular maintenance checks with a professional. Change filters, clean ducts, and perform other routine tasks to keep the system running smoothly. At Sparkle Air, we offer maintenance packages that ensure your system is always in top shape. One of our long-time customers, Mrs. Thompson, swears by our annual maintenance service for keeping her system running without a hitch.

9. Overlooking Insulation

Insulation Matters

Poor insulation can cause your HVAC system to work harder, leading to higher energy consumption and wear and tear.

Insulate for Efficiency

Ensure your home is properly insulated, especially in the attic and walls. Consider upgrading insulation if necessary. We had a project where a simple insulation upgrade resulted in a noticeable improvement in the home's overall comfort and energy efficiency.

10. Not Considering Future Needs

Plan for the Future

Installing a system that only meets your current needs without considering future expansions or renovations can limit its effectiveness and require costly upgrades.

Think Ahead

Plan for potential changes in your home’s layout or occupancy. Choose a flexible system that can accommodate these changes. We once installed a system for a growing family, making sure it could handle additional rooms they planned to add. They were grateful they didn’t have to upgrade again when their family expanded.


Installing an HVAC system is a significant investment, and getting it right the first time can save you a lot of headaches and money. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure your home stays comfortable and your system operates efficiently. At Sparkle Air, we’re committed to providing top-notch service and helping you make informed decisions. Don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation and let us help you avoid these pitfalls.

Additional Resources

For more tips and expert advice, check out our other articles on HVAC maintenance, choosing the right system, and energy efficiency. And if you have any questions or need professional services, give us a call at Sparkle Air. We’re here to help!

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