Top HVAC Installation Mistakes to Avoid

image of an hvac contractor performing an air conditioner installation

Investing in a new HVAC system can significantly enhance your life by elevating your comfort levels, lowering energy expenses in contrast to an outdated system, promoting good health, and increasing productivity. However, a faulty HVAC installation can lead to disastrous consequences such as compromised indoor air quality, recurrent HVAC repairs, early system replacement, escalated energy costs, and uncomfortable living conditions. Hiring skilled and certified HVAC contractors is crucial to ensure a favorable outcome. As a homeowner, you must familiarize yourself with typical improper HVAC installation errors to evade them.

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Top HVAC Installation Mistakes to Avoid

This article covers some of the frequently occurring HVAC installation errors.

Choosing an Improper HVAC System Size

Many people assume that a bigger HVAC system equates to superior performance and believe that investing in the largest system they can afford is a wise decision. However, this is not the case, as an HVAC system’s appropriate size depends on the anticipated load. Competent contractors use intricate calculations that consider various factors such as the local temperature range, the amount of shade provided by neighboring structures, the orientation of the residence, the total interior floor area, the ceiling height, and others. This ensures that you know precisely how much power is required to heat or cool your house effectively. On the other hand, less skilled HVAC contractors make inadequate recommendations based on inaccurate rules of thumb.

Related Article: Signs Of An Oversized Furnace

Retaining the Old Ductwork

Retaining old ducts after installing a new HVAC system might seem like a cost-saving measure, but it is not always the best option. Compatibility issues can arise, especially if the size of the furnace or air conditioner needs to be changed. The old ducts may be too small to facilitate efficient airflow, and if they were installed several decades ago, they might have problems such as leaks, dirt, and mold. Also, the original duct design may not be optimal for effectively distributing conditioned air throughout the house. Make sure you hire a contractor you trust to design and install new ducts instead.

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Bad HVAC Duct Installation Techniques

hvac ductwork

Creating a design and executing it are two separate things. Some contractors may be able to develop reasonable and cost-effective designs that appear functional in theory. But their technicians may use improper installation methods because they lack experience or a desire to finish the job quickly. For instance, they may resort to using tape to seal gaps, despite it being a temporary solution. This could result in leaks occurring over time, causing the system’s efficiency to drop significantly. You can end up paying more for your monthly bills. To avoid such issues, engage the services of a reputable HVAC company like Wilcox Energy, which utilizes high-quality materials and sealants.

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Poorly Designed HVAC Drainage System

Air conditioners generate moisture near the coils through condensation. The installer must make sure that all the water is gathered and filtered out from the system. Failure to do so may cause the moisture to spread to other rooms of the house, resulting in mold and mildew growth, as well as damage to drywall and flooring over time. Bacteria can also thrive and create an unpleasant odor in the affected area, which cannot be ignored. To prevent these issues, it is important to get the job done correctly the first time. HVAC professionals will be able to handle this task properly.

Related Article: How Do Ductless Air Conditioners Work?

Improper Venting of Toxic Gases

gas furnace flames

Make sure that your furnace installation includes proper ventilation to expel the toxic gases generated during combustion safely. These gases, including carbon monoxide, can be extremely hazardous if they accumulate in your home. Adequate venting can prevent this issue by immediately venting these gases outside. However, improper installation may cause these harmful fumes to leak into your home, requiring carbon monoxide detectors. Without these, you may not detect the colorless and odorless gas, leading to potentially life-threatening situations. So, it is crucial to discuss combustion safety with your contractor and ensure they have the necessary expertise to install the ventilation system correctly.

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Improper HVAC System Placement

If the contractor pays attention, they can easily avoid some mistakes. For instance, it is essential to verify the proper location for HVAC equipment before replacing it where the old equipment used to be. Otherwise, they may end up repeating a mistake rather than fixing it. It is also advisable to shield the AC condenser from direct sunlight to reduce the workload on the system. The thermostat should also be protected from heat sources like windows, which could cause inaccurate sensor readings. A skilled HVAC technician will know the ideal placement for your HVAC components.

Related Article: What To Look For In A New Oil Boiler For Your Home

Not Allowing Sufficient Clearance Around the Condenser

image of outdoor ac units that do not have enough clearance around them

For optimal performance, the condenser requires sufficient breathing space, which is not always provided during rushed installations. It’s possible that the contractor only allowed a few inches of clearance on all sides, but experts advise leaving at least 2 feet around the perimeter. This allows for proper air intake and ensures maximum efficiency, preventing excessive energy consumption or premature wear and tear. Homeowners should avoid placing objects near the condenser and trim any nearby vegetation after installation to maintain good clearance around the condenser.

Related Article: What Does An Air Conditioner’s SEER Rating Actually Mean?


Homeowners may not realize that HVAC installation mistakes are more prevalent than they think. Even experienced contractors are frequently summoned to fix the errors of novice contractors who installed the system. To avoid incurring additional service costs, it’s crucial to make the right decisions from the outset. Having an understanding of what to look out for, you should search for a certified contractor with a reputable track record in your local area.

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Call Wilcox Energy For All Of Your HVAC Requirements


At Wilcox Energy, we provide top-notch heating and cooling solutions to both residential and commercial clients throughout southern Connecticut. Our team comprises highly skilled and certified technicians who offer top-notch HVAC tune-ups, repairs, installations, and replacements. Each of our technicians has the required expertise and experience to service your HVAC system efficiently.

We are committed to providing the region’s most competitive pricing for heating and cooling services. Our maintenance services not only enhance your comfort but also boost your energy efficiency and cut down on your home heating and cooling expenses. If you require an HVAC repair or replacement, we can suggest the best solution that fits your needs and budget. We stand behind our work with a guarantee to ensure that you are completely satisfied. Contact Wilcox Energy today to schedule a service appointment, and we offer complimentary in-home estimates.

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For more information about our HVAC services, be sure to contact Wilcox Energy. You can click here to contact us, or you can call us at (860) 399-6218 to find out more. We offer a full line of heating and cooling repairs, maintenance services, and installations. Click the link to view our service area.