Installing your own air conditioner machine is a really bad idea. For one, there is a reason a HVAC contractor becomes certified, insured and bonded. There is a reason he takes tests and clocks in hours learning in the HVAC field. Setting up, maintaining and repairing complex machinery is not for any guy with a toolset. Unfortunately, I was that guy with a toolset who thought he could save a few bucks installing his air conditioner. In the end, trying to save money cost me way more down the road.
Once I had my new AC system installed, I turned it on for the first time. Right away the air conditioner made this horrible grinding noise when it was running. It was loud, awkward and sounded like it was dying. I did some research online and people say that their AC makes noises when it needs a repair. I literally had just bought it new and installed it. No way there could be a repair, right?
After a few days of using the AC I realized it was not functioning that great. There was water leaking over the sides and forming a puddle around it. I also had the thermostat as low as it could go and my house was still sweltering. It took days for me to finally throw in the towel and admit that I messed up badly. I knew that I messed a lot of things up when I installed my own cooling system. Check out my next blog, Admitting defeat on my DIY AC installation, when I admit defeat.
When it comes to any major appliance, it is best to leave service, maintenance and repairs to the professionals. Do you really feel confident pumping your own septic tank? Do you really think you can install all new wiring without shocking yourself? Installing your own HVAC system is equally as daunting and demanding. I made the horrible mistake of thinking I could install my own cooling system however. I went online and I found the perfect cooling system for my home. I already had ductwork installed in my home and figured all I needed was to buy the magical system and I could hook it up myself. The cost of AC installation scared me. I did not want to pay somebody to do a job I figured I could do. I am a handy guy. I had installed doors, windows and laid drywall. I have cut tiles and redone flooring. I can handle small plumbing repairs and even do my own wiring. I figured HVAC would be along the same lines.
When I purchased the cooling system and had it delivered, I was quite overwhelmed. First, the AC machine was a lot bigger and more complicated than I expected. Second, I had literally no idea where to start. Like any normal person, I started looking online on how to install my own air conditioner. The videos were confusing, uninformative and sometimes only showed half the job. I had a very difficult time even starting. I then figured it would be like popping the hood on a car. Once I had the pieces kind of in the right area, it would all make sense to me. At the time, and still to this day, AC doesn’t make sense to me. That became clear once I started hooking up to my existing ductwork and setting up the indoor air handler.
The process took days to complete and at the end of the process, I didn’t feel like I did a good job. I then dumped a whole bunch of refrigerant systems and figured I was good to go. How bad could I have made it really? Really bad is the answer. Read my next blog, The aftermath of DIY AC installation, to find out just how badly I messed up.
If you keep up with my blog, you know that my husband and I rely on hydronic heating in the winter and summer with our swimming pool. I have already gone over the good points in my blog titled The benefits of owning hydronic heating. For this post I just want to talk about life after with heated flooring.
As a couple, having hydronic heating was awesome for energy saving matters and comfort. Now that the two of us have young kids, I can’t imagine another heater. Hydronic heating is having warm floors. I have a baby that is crawling around like a little champion. I love that in the winter he is toasty warm since he is literally on the heating system. Sometimes he flops right down and naps on the floor next to our dog.
I don’t have to worry about the heated flooring waking the baby or my toddler due to the silent operation. The heating system stays on all winter long at a reasonable temperature. There is no distinct click turning on and off or operational noises. It is so nice knowing that nothing is going to disturb the kids and wreck the free hours I managed to snag when they are asleep.
With the piping being trapped, and relying on hot water, the indoor air quality is clean. Why is clean indoor air conditions a big deal? Little kids are susceptible to any sort of dust or debris. Their immune systems are still developing and can easily get sick. My kids hardly feel ill in the winter time due to no dirty, stale air circulating in the home through vents or ductwork. I don’t even need to invest in an air cleaner or humidifier since the air quality isn’t dry or polluted.
Heated flooring is also very safe for having young kids. I used to live in a home with a gas fireplace. That front glass plate would get lava hot. I even burned my pants on one occasion. I can’t imagine having kids running around that unsafe heating system. I have a child that is still unsteady on his feet. He could easily fall over and catch himself on the gas fireplace. Then he has burned hands or even could have burned his face. Heated flooring stays trapped under the floors and the boiler in the basement certainly is not a threat. Any parent should consider the safety features on their heater when they have young kids.