How Long Does It Take To Replace an Air Conditioner?

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You may be wondering how long does it take to replace an air conditioner? If this is the case you have come to the right place.

In this article, we will go over how long it takes to replace an air conditioner, how to know if you need a new air conditioner, and different types of air conditioners. 

Click on each corresponding link to jump ahead: 
1. Air Conditioner Replacement Timeline 
2. How to Know if You Need a New Air Conditioner
3. Different Types of Air Conditioners

At Service 1st, we can help you throughout the process of installing a new air conditioner. We have over 30 years of experience working with HVAC systems, and we know how to thoroughly and effectively install your new air conditioner to make a difference in your home. Get in touch with us today.

How Long Does It Take To Replace an Air Conditioner?

Cambridge HVAC

Replacing an air conditioner is a timely process that varies depending on several factors.

1. Air Conditioner Replacement Timeline

Generally speaking, a typical air conditioner can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours to install. 

However, the time it takes to replace an air conditioner can vary depending on several factors, including: 

  • The type of air conditioner being replaced
  • The complexity of the installation
  • The size of the space
  • The specific circumstances of the installation (such as location)

Here are some general details to follow when considering “how long does it take to replace an air conditioner?”: 

  • Simple Window or Wall Unit: Replacing a window or wall-mounted air conditioning unit can typically be done relatively quickly, often within a few hours. These units are usually less complex to install compared to central air conditioning systems.
  • Ductless Mini-Split System: If you’re replacing an existing ductless mini-split system, the installation might take longer due to electrical and refrigerant line connections. It could take a day or more, depending on the number of indoor units and the complexity of the setup.
  • Central Air Conditioning System: Replacing a central air conditioning system can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours or longer. This is because these systems involve more components, such as ductwork, electrical connections, and potentially more advanced features.
  • Complex Installations: If the replacement involves significant modifications, like relocating equipment or extensive ductwork changes, the installation could take several days.

Keep in mind that these are general estimates and the actual time required can vary. It’s recommended to get quotes and time estimates from HVAC professionals who can assess your specific situation. Additionally, keep in mind that unexpected issues can arise during the installation process that might cause delays.

It’s important to have a professional HVAC technician perform the replacement to ensure the new unit is properly installed and functions efficiently. Pro technicians will also consider factors such as load calculations, proper sizing, and adherence to local building codes.

When planning for an air conditioner replacement, consider scheduling it during a time when you can comfortably endure a few days without air conditioning, especially if unexpected delays occur.

2. How to Know if You Need a New Air Conditioner

Is you air conditioner struggling to produce cold air? It may be time to replace it. 

Before you should even worry about “how long does it take to replace an air conditioner”, make sure you need a new one in the first place. 

Here are some common indicators that your current unit may need to be replaced: 

  • Age of the System: It is tough to give an estimate on how long an air conditioner can and should last because so much depends on the make and model. If your unit is approaching or exceeding the age range of 15-25 years, keep in mind that it may be replaced or repaired soon.
  • Frequent Breakdowns and Repairs: If you find yourself frequently calling for repairs and your air conditioner seems to be breaking down more often, the cumulative cost of repairs could start outweighing the benefits. Replacing the unit might save you money in the long run.
  • Increased Energy Bills: A significant increase in your energy bills, even if you haven’t made any changes to your cooling habits, can indicate that your air conditioner is consuming more energy to achieve the same level of cooling. if this is the case, now might be the time to upgrade to a newer more energy-efficient unit. 
  • Poor Cooling Performance: If your air conditioner is no longer providing consistent and effective cooling throughout your home, or if you notice uneven temperatures from room to room, it could be a sign that the system’s cooling capacity has diminished. If this is the case, have an expert come and take a look at your unit. 
  • Strange Noises and Odours: Unusual noises, such as grinding, rattling, or clanking, coming from your air conditioner could indicate mechanical problems. Similarly, if you detect strange odours or musty smells when the unit is running, there might be mould or other issues that warrant consideration for replacement.
  • Obsolete Technology: If your air conditioner uses outdated technology and is no longer compatible with newer, more efficient systems, it might make sense to replace it with a more modern unit that offers better energy efficiency and features. A new unit paired with a smart thermostat will introduce you to a whole new world of technology. 
  • Home Renovations or Additions: If you’ve made significant changes to your home, like adding more living space, your current air conditioner might not be adequately sized to cool the larger area. This could necessitate a replacement with a unit that can handle the increased load. If this is the case, contact a professional HVAC company and they can advise you on the type of air conditioner you need for your home. 

When considering whether to replace your air conditioner, it’s a good idea to consult with a professional HVAC technician. They can assess the condition of your current unit, provide recommendations, and help you make an informed decision based on your specific needs and circumstances.

3. Different Types of Air Conditioners

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Window Units:

How They Work: Window air conditioners are self-contained units designed to fit in a window or a slot in an exterior wall. They cool and dehumidify air by drawing warm indoor air through a cooling coil and then expelling the cooled air back into the room and hot air outside.

Replacement Process: If you are wondering “how long does it take to replace an air conditioner?”, especially a window unit, you may be happy to know that this process is fairly quick. It involves removing the old unit from the window or wall slot and installing a new unit in its place. It’s a relatively straightforward process, often requiring little modification.

Applications: Window units are commonly used to cool single rooms, such as bedrooms, living rooms, or small office spaces.

Portable Air Conditioners:

How They Work: Portable air conditioners cool the air in a room by drawing warm air across cooling coils and then venting the hot air outside through an exhaust hose. They are easy to move and don’t require permanent installation.

Replacement Process: Replacing a portable air conditioner involves disconnecting the old unit, removing the exhaust hose and any window adapter, and installing the new unit. It’s a straightforward process.

Applications: Portable air conditioners are suitable for cooling smaller spaces and rooms where window units might not be an option, such as apartments without suitable windows for mounting.

Floor-Mounted Air Conditioners:

How They Work: Floor-mounted air conditioners are similar to window units but are designed to be installed through a hole in the wall near the floor. They operate by drawing warm air through the unit, cooling it, and then releasing cool air back into the room.

Replacement Process: Replacing a floor-mounted unit involves removing the old unit from the wall, making sure the hole is appropriately sealed, and installing the new unit. It’s similar to window unit replacement.

Applications: These units are commonly used in spaces with low windows or where wall installation is preferred, such as basements or rooms with limited wall height.

Ductless Mini-Split Systems:

How They Work: Ductless mini-split systems consist of an indoor unit (evaporator) connected to an outdoor unit (condenser) by refrigerant lines. They provide zone cooling by delivering cooled air directly to individual rooms without the need for ductwork.

Replacement Process: Replacing a ductless mini-split system involves removing the old indoor and outdoor units, replacing them with new units, and connecting the refrigerant lines and electrical wiring. It can be more complex than other replacements due to multiple units.

Applications: Ductless mini-splits are ideal for cooling specific zones or rooms in homes without ductwork, or for areas where temperature control is important, like server rooms or sunrooms.

Central Air Systems:

How They Work: Central air conditioning systems cool air through a central unit (usually located outside) and distribute the cooled air through ductwork to various rooms in the building. They use a compressor, coils, and a blower to achieve cooling.

Replacement Process: If you are wondering “how long does it take to replace an air conditioner?”, especially a central air system, it is important that you understand that this process involves removing the old outdoor and indoor components, including the compressor, evaporator coil, and air handler. The new components are installed, and ductwork might need to be modified.

Applications: Central air systems are suitable for cooling entire homes or large commercial spaces efficiently, providing consistent cooling throughout multiple rooms.

Each type of air conditioning system has its own advantages and best use cases. When considering replacement, it’s important to choose the type that aligns with your cooling needs, available space, and installation requirements. Consulting with an HVAC professional can help you determine the most appropriate replacement option for your specific situation.

For all Your HVAC Needs, Rely on the Experts at Service 1st

Silas Roger Barrette
Brandon Karl Heuser
Chris Robbin Balsdon

If  you are in desperate need of a new air conditioner and you are wondering “how long does it take to replace an air conditioner?”, contact us directly. You can rely on our experience and expertise at Service 1st. We provide thorough installation of new air conditioners as well as a wide range of other HVAC services that homeowners can count on.

We have been serving homeowners in Cambridge and the surrounding areas for over 30 years and have a proven record of excellence. Whether it’s time for a new air conditioner, a simple service call, or a furnace replacement, we can help.

We are a locally owned and operated business that prides itself on the highest quality work and installation of the highest quality products. We have received the prestigious Circle of Champions award from Bryant – an honour that highlights our commitment to quality, leadership, and excellence in the HVAC industry. We are an Elite Bryant Factory Authorized Dealer and offer our customers the highest quality products and services.

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“From booking to install everyone involved were very professional and respectful of our home. Thanks so much!” 

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