Top HVAC Installation Mistakes To Avoid

image of an hvac contractor performing an air conditioner installation

A new HVAC system has the potential to improve your life. It can increase comfort, reduce energy costs compared to your old system, maintain good health, and boost productivity. On the other hand, it could also be a nightmare when faced with an improper HVAC installation. Then you will have to deal with poor indoor air quality, frequent HVAC repairs, premature replacement, higher energy costs, and uncomfortable spaces. Choose experienced and certified HVAC contractors to ensure a good outcome. As a homeowner, you can also do your part by learning about the common HVAC installation mistakes as a means to avoid them.

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Top HVAC Installation Mistakes to Avoid

In this article, we discuss some of the more common HVAC installation mistakes.

1. Selecting The Wrong Heating And Cooling System Size

A lot of people equate a larger HVAC size with better performance. They think that buying the biggest system they can afford is a good investment. This simply isn’t true. The right size depends on the projected load. The best contractors perform complex calculations that factor in the regional temperatures, the shade provided by nearby structures, the orientation of the house, the total interior floor area, the height of the ceiling, and many more. You will know exactly how much power your system needs to heat up or cool down your home. The worst HVAC contractors make faulty recommendations based on inaccurate rules of thumb.


2. Keeping The Old Ductwork

You could save money by keeping the old ducts after you have installed a new HVAC system. However, this is not always ideal. They may prove to be incompatible particularly if you have to change the size of your furnace or air conditioner. The old ducts may be too small for efficient airflow. If they were installed decades ago, then they probably have leaks, dirt, mold, and other issues. The original design may not even be optimal for the distribution of conditioned air around the house. Consider having new ducts designed and installed by a contractor that you trust.

3. Bad HVAC Duct Installation Techniques

image of hvac ductwork installation

Design is one thing. Execution is another. There are contractors who are able to come up with logical and economical designs that should work well in theory. However, their technicians use bad installation techniques due to inexperience or a desire to finish the job quickly. For example, they might use tape for sealing the gaps even though this is only meant to be a temporary solution. After a while, the leaks will start and the efficiency of the system will plummet. You will end up paying more for your monthly bills. Make sure you hire a reputable HVAC company, like McAllister Energy, that uses high-quality materials and sealants.

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4. Poorly Designed HVAC Drainage System

Air conditioners produce moisture around the coils due to condensation. The installer must ensure that all the water is collected and filtered away from the system. Otherwise, the moisture can spill over to other parts of the house. This can lead to the growth of mold and mildew. Drywall and flooring could also be damaged over time. Bacteria will thrive and make the affected area smell so bad that you will not be able to ignore it. It’s better to do it right the first time and prevent all of these headaches. Experienced HVAC professionals will know what to do.

5. Incorrect Venting Of Toxic Gases

carbon monoxide alarm

The installation should include proper venting for the toxic gases that the system generates during combustion. Your furnace can produce carbon monoxide and other hazardous gases while burning fuel. This will not be a problem as long as the exhaust system is pushing these out of the house right away. However, faulty installation can lead to the release of these harmful gases inside the home. Households should have carbon monoxide detectors in order to be warned about the danger. Otherwise, they might not notice the colorless and odorless gas. Drill your contractor about combustion safety to see if they know how to implement this properly.

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6. Improper Heating & Cooling System Placement

image of a compressor of an HVAC system

Some mistakes are easy to avoid as long as the contractor is paying attention. For example, they should not just put different units where the old HVAC equipment used to be without verifying proper HVAC location first. This might be repeating an error instead of correcting it. For example, you will want to shield the AC condenser from the sun as much as possible. Less direct sunshine means less work for the system. Do the same for the thermostat. If it’s near the windows, then it will heat up more than the rest of the house and suffer from faulty sensor readings. An experienced HVAC technician will know the best location for your HVAC unit and its components.

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7. Neglecting Clearance Around The Condenser

The condenser needs space to breathe in order to work at its best. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always get this with rush installations. Maybe the contractor only gave it a few inches of clearances on all sides. However, experts recommend providing a minimum of 2 feet around the perimeter. This is necessary for good air intake and optimal efficiency. Avoid this mistake so that the system will not consume more energy than it really needs or suffer from early wear and tear. After the installation, the homeowner should maintain this clearance by keeping objects away and trimming any nearby plants.



HVAC installation mistakes are more common than homeowners might realize. Experienced contractors are often called in to correct the errors of the amateur contractors who installed the system. Avoid doubling your service expenses by making the right decisions from the start. Now that you already know what to watch out for, find a certified contractor who has an excellent reputation in your area.

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McAllister Energy

McAllister Energy offers superior heating and cooling services in Camden County, New Jersey. We hire the best-certified technicians who can provide you with excellent HVAC tune-ups, repairs, installations, and replacements. Each of our techs has the knowledge and experience to service your HVAC system correctly.

McAllister Energy guarantees the most competitive heating and cooling service costs in the area. Our maintenance services can improve your comfort, increase your energy efficiency while reducing your home heating and cooling costs. If you happen to need an HVAC repair or replacement system, we can recommend the best one for your home while staying within your budget. We back all of our work with a guarantee to ensure your satisfaction. To schedule a service appointment, give McAllister Energy a call today. We offer free, in-home estimates.

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