What Is Your AC Line Set and How Does It Affect Your Installation?

You probably know that your home air conditioning system uses both indoor and outdoor units. In simple terms, the indoor unit (evaporator/air handler) collects heat, and the outdoor unit (condenser) rejects it back into the environment. Both sides also have a few more roles to play, including pumping refrigerant through the system and distributing cool air through your home.

These two units may be far apart, and it's the control wiring and refrigerant line set that bridge the gap between the two. The line set provides a path for refrigerant to travel between the evaporator and condenser, forming a highway for heat transport out of your home. This component is a critical part of your new air conditioner's installation process.

Understanding Line Set Specifications

Your line set's primary role is to transport refrigerant, but the details can be more complex. Air conditioning systems require line sets that meet specific specifications. Using a line set that doesn't meet these specifications may cause your system to run suboptimally or possibly not run at all. If you're replacing an old air conditioner, you may need a new line set if your old one isn't up to spec.

Generally speaking, there are two reasons that your old line set might not meet the specifications of your new hardware. The first possibility is an older system that uses R-22 refrigerant instead of the more modern R-410A. These systems sometimes use smaller diameter tubing that cannot provide an adequate flow rate for newer air conditioners.

The other possibility involves the design of your old system. If your condenser and evaporator are too far apart, your old line set may be too long. Every air conditioning manufacturer recommends a maximum line set length, and exceeding this can severely hurt performance. In these cases, you may need to relocate one unit or use a larger diameter line set.

How Do These Factors Impact Your Installation?

If your old line set is compatible with your new system, then that aspect of your installation involves plugging it and using it immediately. While line sets aren't expensive, this might save you an hour or two of labor, depending on the location of your old tubing. On the other hand, installing a new set or relocating your units will usually add a significant amount of time to your system's install.

Even if your old line set is compatible with your new hardware, your contractor will still need to examine and evacuate it. Inspecting the line set ensures that it's not leaking, and evacuating it removes any build-up of contaminants in the system. These steps help prevent any problems that may be caused by reusing older plumbing.

Your line set is an essential part of your AC system, so your contractors will pay special attention to it during installation. For more information about this process, contact home air conditioning services.